Date of visit, 1st Feb 2018
This is going to be an interesting one, I’ve been to The Great Chase 3 times, the first time I went was before anyone knew about The Great Chase, I discovered it on Tastecard and found out they did halal food, I went not knowing too much about it and had a GREAT meal. At the time it was only open for a few weeks, I posted about it on Instagram and it created a lot of hype and exposure. After my first visit, I went again for Brunch but didn’t enjoy the meal, I was then invited back to try some new dishes and that was a good experience, good, but not great.
After a few months, I was getting some contrasting feedback from friends and followers that the food was not very good anymore. So I decided to visit without an invitation and do an honest review.
So this review will be based SOLEY on my 4th visit and will not factor in my previous visits.
The Great Chase is a unique restaurant and differs from most halal places I’ve been to. First of all, (to my knowledge) it is the ONLY fully halal restaurant in Zone One that doesn’t serve alcohol. ( I’m not including chicken shops and takeaways) the focus is on sourcing high-quality ingredients.
The menu here is very small and changes based on seasonal availability of ingredients. Here lies one of the first issues, depending on the time of year you visit you might get a menu that’s better than visiting at another time. So on my first visit, I had the duck breast which I loved, but duck is a hard item to obtain, so it was not available when I visited.
My issue with a small menu is that I believe every dish should be on point as there is a greater attention to detail and focus due to a fewer number of items to manage.
As you can see from the Menu there’s only 3 starters and 5 mains. What I found odd, was despite that fact that this is a halal restaurant, out of 8 items on the menu only 3 were meat based. Which includes a £29 steak, Which I just don’t understand, if halal is a restaurant USP then surely there should be more meat-based offerings, If I wanted veg or seafood why would I visit here? I am all for trying to reduce the amount of non-veg we eat, but if I visit a halal British restaurant then I want to eat food that I normally get a chance to eat, due to halal options.
Smoked Duck Breast, £9
I really did not like this at all. It had a fishy smell and taste to it for some reason. Just looking at this picture brings back unpleasant memories. I made an assumption that this would be a hot dish, but it was served cold.
The day before I visited a new modern tapas restaurant called Tuyo, (not had a chance to review yet) where I had an octopus dish there for £7 and it was great, so I was hoping to get something similar. The octopus was cooked well but, I didn’t think the addition of the radish and spiced apple worked in harmony.
This is where the evening just takes an unfortunate nosedive.
Chicken Breast, £18
The first time I visited my friend ordered this dish and it was good, so I had high hopes. However, on this visit was let down being served undercooked chicken, that lacked any flavour. The only good thing was the fondant potato. This dish was too simple and needs a lot more refinement.
As you can see some of the chicken is still pink and the texture was definitely of something that was undercooked.
Looking at the menu, there was no mention of how this dish would be served up, I definitely was not expecting such a poorly made dish, presented in a broth. I found it odd that a European focused menu would throw in an Asain influenced dish.
The fish, mushrooms and parsnips got soggy very quickly, It was not what I expected. Although the fish was cooked well, there are no another positives I can give this dish. It was very average.
Again, I have to state, if I were to review this place based on my 1st visit, it would probably score in my top 5. However, a sign of a good restaurant is consistency, it needs to try and deliver the same high standards in food every day.With such a limited and small menu, every item needs to be on point, but it just wasn’t. It seems that the feedback I got from friends and followers was correct.
I know the owner now and spoke with him at length about my experience and passed on my feedback. On this visit, the food I had was poor, and I could have had better at any other standard British restaurant that has good seafood options.
If you want top-quality British food with halal options then I recommend my number one rated review The Frog
I paid for my meal but got 50% off using a tastecard.