London Halal Food Festival 2016
A few years ago, right at the beginning of the UK halal food boom, us Muslims were treated to a special event that would introduce us to the different halal foods and products available: the Halal Food Festival! And as enjoyable as the event was (food everywheeere!), it was short-lived and we were told there wouldn’t be another – how sad. However, the guys behind the Muslim Lifestyle Show decided to put their hard work and effort into bringing us the brand new London Halal Food Festival 2016!
A festival dedicated to halal food? I’m definitely there! We made our way to Tobacco Dock on the Sunday and was happy to see such a big turnout. The place was super busy with families, friends, and couples, making their way around and enjoying the different products. Starving, we straight away hit the food stands. For those of you who could not make it down, don’t worry, I did all the delicious tasting for you, and have picked out a few of the most interesting ones!
Of course, my first stop was Big Apple Hotdogs. I first tried their hotdogs at the first festival 3 years ago, and really enjoyed how good the beef dog was, in terms of taste and quality. It was the best hot dog I had had and sadly, only dreamed of having it again, until I found out they were going to be at the festival this year! Woohoo!
I opted for the Big Apple beef hotdog topped with crunchy fried onions and plenty of ketchup and mustard. BAHD offer both beef and lamb hot dogs that are made using a variety of spices and good quality meat, and still stands to be one of the best hot dogs I have had. They do have a store near Islington and one in Euston railway station, but please be aware that they also sell pork hotdogs.
We had a quick stop at the wings counter at HS&Co and opted for the chef’s favourite: honey chilli wings. They were crunchy with a good drizzle of sweet, sticky, spicy sauce. As usual, BW polished these all off.
The queues, however, were longer for their philly cheesesteak sandwiches! Clearly the more popular option out of the two.
A mountain of chaat from Taz’s Kitchen.
Pakwan’s freshly fried pakora and chicken nanza.
I watched in awe as the guys at Gaucho Asado sliced up the most beautiful rib-eyes to put in shawarmas with tangy chimichurri sauce. Definitely love at first sight, and I cannot wait to visit their restaurant in Queensway to try out the food.
Jerk City’s smoker full of jerk chicken ready to be served with rice and peas, and hot sauce. A wave of sentiment washed over me as they were the third restaurant I had ever reviewed on HGAT!
The Meat Rack’s “she’s so hot” burger with fries; decent but nothing to write home about.
We also had two types of wings: the house spicy, and the bbq honey. Unfortunately, these were a disappointment.
A glass of fresh, punchy lemonade to hydrate us from The Fresh Lemonade Co.
Delicious, buttery, flaky cronuts from Dum Dum Donutterie. These are some of the best cronuts in London, and they sell an assortment of flavours (the nutella one is the best!) in Harrods, Box Park, and Camden Market.
These sold out super fast, and they only had the cornflake and vanilla cronuts left when I went back! I held on to this little cronut for dear life: all the way through the festival, all the way through tea with friends (BW almost stepped on the poor thing), and alllll the way home. Thankfully, it survived and still tasted good!
The Datery was also present with a variety of chocolate covered dates. You can order yours here; a great eid gift and even works as a wedding favour.
I have an absolute weakness for desserts so made a stop by Apple Blue Patisserie’s table to admire their pretty pastries.
Look at this cute praline mousse cake topped with a chocolate filled syringe!
Shout out to Haloodies! Their new cooked chicken range, which is now being sold on Ocado, AmazonFresh, and in Tesco, is perfect for both packed lunch and dinner on the go. The Southern fried chicken fillets were my favourite; tender, peppery, and of good quality.
Check out their facebook page to be in the chance of winning a haloodies hamper packed with goodies.
The festival had also arranged several lifestyle stalls (beauty, beard accessories etc.), many charity stands, and a cookery theatre where they held eating competitions and showed live cooking demonstrations! It was a good day, the weather was fantastic, and it was great to see so many of you enjoying yourselves. It would have been nice to see more offerings from known and popular restaurants like I recall there were last time, but it was also great discovering new cuisines (Argentinian, Egyptian etc.)