On the 20-21st August the London Halal Food Festival took place in the beautiful Tobacco Docks. Initially I was weary about the drive to East London, but it was worth it! A grade II listed building, where the festival was both inside and outside, really made the event the success it was. It was also great to see food from around the world like Egypt (Egyptian Sandwich), Argentina (Gaucho Asado) and even a sushi van! Over 12,000 people visited over the two days and I bumped into lots of familiar faces.
There were many food vendors but the ones that stood out for me were:
Nojito — everyone loves a mojito so this is it, in a glass bottle and chilled minus the alcohol. Fizzy, limey, minty. Delicious.
Haloodies — Initially skeptical about pre-cooked chicken bought from a supermarket, I have changed my mind as it’s pretty darn tasty when heated up. There’s a few flavours to choose from and let’s be honest it’s a nice convenience food that we could all do with in our fridge from time to time. The fact that I can get it from my local Tesco is a novelty.
HS&Co — Well this stall was buzzing all day long and was the only stall with queues. I wasn’t able to taste their Philli Cheese Steak but I managed to get my hands on the honey & chilli wings which were piping hot and spicy, albeit a bit oily. The electronic shisha which was served downstairs wasn’t to my liking but it’s a positive step in providing a healthier (no tobacco or nicotine) shisha experience. Their mocktails (especially the blueberry one) were on the money.
Pakwaan — Just incredibly good kebab rolls! Enough said.
Halal Italia — A little stall on the ground floor so a bit isolated, a wonderful Italian lady was selling authentic Italian ingredients including halal pastrami, pate and salami. All the products are made in Italy and when you come across halal charcuterie, it’s hard to resist. When I discovered her, she sadly only had samples left and sold out of meat products.
Halalnivore: A really fun bunch of guys who have set up an online meat business focussing on gourmet beef and lamb. Watch this space for more on Halalnivore.
Here is a short (2.35m) video I made after my visit, kind of sums it up!
Over all a very well executed event and a lot of fun. It wasn’t too busy like the previous one maybe because of staggered tickets and was just a better organised event. Brilliant entertainment at the Sufi evening to end the night with, am looking forward to the next one!