The Best Restaurants Openings of 2019

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2019 saw a wide range of new restaurants openings that offers halal options. It’s great to see that more and more businesses are catering to the needs of people seeking halal meat. 

I was lucky enough to eat at a lot of restaurants in 2019. This year I tried to eat a wider range of food as I found the scene it was getting a little boring. I ate out less in 2019 compared with the previous year, because i went on a very strict diet called the Keto diet for 6 weeks, I managed to lose around 8kg with just diet. Oh and I also got married, so that diet was to look and feel good for my wedding day.

Here are a few of my favourite New openings of this past year. The restaurants here have all opened in 2019. In no particular order… 

Robata

Address56 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 4UE

I had one of my best meals of 2019 at the Japanese restaurant @robata.soho. Some beautiful Japanese dishes.

The star of the show was the Hay Flamed Beef Fillet. At £25 for 200g of meat, its a pricey dish, but you get your own little Robata at your table and the accompanying sides that included chimichurri were just delicious. 

The beef tataki was brilliant as was the sushi I had. I got 2 types of bao buns, fried chicken and soft shell crab. Both were just epic. 

Prices are towards the mid-range to expensive side and the bill can add up pretty quick. I was given a complimentary £100 budget (including service) and blew through it quickly, so might be a good idea to go in a group to split the costs. 

Please take note carefully. The beef and chicken are halal. However, items from the Robata Skewers section are cooked on the same grill as pork. Therefore there is confirmed cross-contamination. So I didn’t order from this part of the menu, coz I don’t want any chance of peppa pig juice on my chicken. 

Second, some dishes marinated with sake and therefore have trace amounts of alcohol as product of the fermentation process. This personally is not an issue for me, as the bao buns are fried and any traces are cooked away in the high temperatures. However, if it’s of concern to you then maybe avoid these items as well.



Hotstone

Address9 Chapel Market, The Angel, London N1 9EZ

 

As a food blooger, I’m very fortunate to get to experience and try loads of different styles of food from different restaurants. I thought I’d found my favourite places of the year, but I came across an interesting Japanese restaurant that had a hotstone cooking. After I found out they had halal options they invited me to check them out. 

@hotstonelondon which is located in Angel, North London. It was a great experience, good food and something different with some excellent Japanese food. I had a fantastic meal and big smile on my facing during the meal. 

On the menu, there’s Australian Halal Wagyu available and Special halal sauces available.

The main picture is uncooked Wagyu beef ready to cook yourself on a hotstone at your table. Amazing marbling, that fat just added so much flavour. Cooking your own food might not suit everyone, so if it doesn’t there’s loads of other food to choose from. 

The meal started with an amazing 3 style of Sashimi, featuring halal wagyu, seabass and butterfish. The favours fantastic.

One of my favourite dishes was the vegetarian miso aubergine. I’ve never had anything like this before, it was deliciously silky-smooth and packed full of flavour. £12. A 10/10 dish. 

Also tried some sushi called 9 chapel roll £17.50 Grilled salmon slices, crab stick, red spicy mayo, tuna tartar. Brilliant. We also got to try a lovely looking sushi box, which had different types or sushi. 

They also serve only fresh 100% Japanese wasabi which can take up to 3 years to grow. Fresh wasabi has a more vibrant flavour and enhances the delicate taste of fish to another level. The heat only lasts 15mins. 

Overall I had a great meal and this ranks up there with one of my best. Prices are expensive though. So I’d go on pay day or for a special occasion.

I’m grateful that I was allowed to try so many different dishes as I know if had been paying it would have been a big bill. But it was brilliant food. 



Farzi Cafe

Address8 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4BP

 

Okay, so technically this place I visited right at the end of 2018, but it was during a soft launch, the official opening was early 2019.

I’ve been here 3 times (2 times were invitations). The reason why I’m adding Farzi to the list is because of their amazing eid lamb roast I had. It was unquestionably one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Ever. 

However, although that dish is a special item and nothing that was only available for one week (you can get something similar on Sunday) their a la cart menu has loads of excellent dishes. 

The Mantl

Address142 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW3 1HY

 

After visiting here, I now have a different option for Turkish food. This pace lifts the bar with Turkish cuisine. The quality of meats they use and the love put onto dishes shows. Rather than doing the typical pile cheap cuts of meat on a plate and call it a platter, The Mantl has a focus on quality, not quantity. 

Their Adana is a prime example of this. It had so much flavour than any other kebab I’ve ever had. It made me think, I’d rather one single Kebab than a plate of meat with standard flavour. Don’t get me wrong. There are somewhere you want a meat fix and I’m sure a standard Turkish platter would give you that fix. But The Mantl is about refinement, it mixes classic Turkish food and cooking styles with new modern and contemporary European methods. 

I find there are 2 types of Turkish restaurants, your standard meats over charcoal grill piled up on a plate, don’t let me wrong, there’s the time when I like and want that. But then some restaurants try and pave the way and define itself with setting new trends

I tried a few things, including a selection of starters and a classic Mix Gill (which had one of the best Lamb minced kebab or Adanas I’ve a had) 

The headliner of the menu is chefs special. Pistachio Lamb chops. (These aren’t the standard lamb chops served with the mix grill) . This is French trimmed, different cut, think and juicy chop, encrusted in a pistachio nut coat, served on a bed of shallot pomme puree (french for mash potato) and grilled asparagus. There’s was a perfect balance of ingredients using little surprise extras like pomegranate, watercress, lemongrass and nigella seeds. A must order.

The lamb itself was cooked perfectly, juicy and tender and full of flavour. Priced at £25 in Knightsbridge for a headliner meal is not bad when you consider all the factors in play

Oh and the Milk Kadayif pictured above was the best dessert of 2019.



Coqfighter Soho

Address75 Beak St, Soho, London W1F 9SS

Fat Pundit

Address77 Berwick St, Soho, London W1F 8TH

 

My day job is a freelance graphic designer, which means I work all over London, but mainly in Soho. I was walking to a new contract job when I spotted a new restaurant on Berwick St (which used to be home to a middle eaten halal restaurant)

Anyway long story short I had a quick look at the menu and saw that the dishes looked halal, and well most of them were. So, I arranged a meal here to check it out..since I pretty much worked next door, nice and easy after work. 

The food is a fusion of Indian and Chinese. Everything I ate here was great, the menu is like small plates tapas-style dishes. Just a small menu with loads of good food. Split into momos which are steamed dumplings, veg, seafood and meat. 

One of the best things on the menu is the Crackling Spinach, an excellent vegetarian dish, its like a chaat but with crispy spinach.

Also, a great dish is the double-cut lamb chops. Oh and don’t forget to order the sizzling brownie. 

There is a separate halal menu available, ask for that when you order.



Al-Fanar 

Address128 Gloucester Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 4SF

 

When you think of Dubai, you probably don’t think about traditional Emirati cuisine. I don’t know much about Emirati cuisine, which is why I was intrigued to visit @alfanaruk a restaurant that specialises in food from the Emirati culture and heritage, located opposite Gloucester Road Station.

The best way to describe the cuisine is a fusion of Middle Eastern, North African and Pakistan foods. I’ll be honest. The food was pretty good and much better than I expected.

The focus of the menu is grilled meats, seafood, chicken and lamb. There are hardly any vegetarian options on offer. Pretty much each dish comes with a choice of a large bed of rice enough to feed a family, so trust me when I said we had a lot of rice to take away.

The starters menu is small, we just ordered a small portion of grilled tiger prawns. £7.95. This is where things started to surprise me because these were great, full of flavour and delicious. 

Lamb chops, despite being cooked well done, it was still tender and juicy because of the high quality of lamb chops used. It had been marinated with traditional spices and flavour came from the high-fat content and flavour imparted from the grill. £19 for 3 chops is pretty steep, however worth it if split in a group. 

Another favourite was a lamb curry style dish, lamb nasheef (£12.95) from the breakfast menu, it was really tasty with subtle sweet tones. Definitely get this. 

Speaking of the breakfast menu, I think this place does the bests parathas I’ve EVER had. The texture was unlike anything I’ve eaten before, upon taking the first bite I was like wow and straight away ordered the cheese and honey options as well, which were amazing. 

From the desserts, my favourite were the golden ball things. 

The food was very good and felt authentic. I definitely recommend this place and enjoyed the meal a lot. Service was a bit Meh, language issues. Also, I didn’t notice any alcohol around us. All food halal. I’ve give it a solid 8.5/

Thanks for reading!

New Halal restaurants 2019

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