London Halal Food Festival 2016

by - Friday, August 26, 2016

Last weekend we visited London Halal Food Festival - if you follow me on Instagram, you would've seen quite a few of the photos I took on the day.

Three years ago the first Halal Food Festival was born - and of course I had to attend! It was a great opportunity to discover new halal products and restaurants, and really the first event to show how big the halal market was becoming. It was a shame that their next event didn't happen.

But then the guys behind Muslim Lifestyle Show (which we sadly missed this year, as we went to Poland), got in touch saying they're organising a new Halal Food Festival in London this year! What halal blogger would miss that?

Hubby had that weekend off, so on Saturday we all got to the Tobacco Dock in London for halal foodie extravaganza! The Festival started at 11:00, so when we finally got there around midday it was packed with people - you could see many families, like us, coming for a fun and food-filled family day out in London.

Once we collected our passes, we thought we'd have a quick look around the exhibition area, but with so many stalls to see we decided to first fill our stomachs after a long journey to London.

It actually took us a while to decide, with all the choice available! The most popular food around seemed to be steaks and chicken wings, but there was a great choice of Indian and Pakistani food, hot dogs, burgers, and even sushi burritos! In the end we opted for kind of Middle-Eastern option, with falafel and halloumi wrap for me from the Nomad Caravan, and one with sliced steak for Hubby, from Gaucho Asado. Plus a portion of masala chips from Chaatit. But we couldn't go through the day without some Desi food, so Hubby later got some papri chaat, from Inito I believe.

Stuffed, we were ready to explore all the halal products that exhibitors had to offer - some of them we already knew, but there was plenty of new stuff to see and try! It would take forever to show you everything, so here are a few of my favourites:

Apple Blue Patisserie showed off some of their most beautiful pastries - the "fake ice cream" topped with flowers was so gorgeous, I'd hesitate to actually eat it!

And talking of beautiful bakes, GBBO's Ali Imdad was there, doing live cookery demonstration, but also having a stall with his bakes. Hubby only rolled his eyes when I left the stand with a bag full of goodies, but come on - how could I miss out on buying cakes from GBBO contestant? And oh my, the matcha brownies were to die for.

It was great to personally meet the guys behind Haloodies - they were the ones to first come up with the idea of Halal Food Festival, but for various reasons couldn't carry on and are now concentrating on their halal meat and poultry business. They were showcasing their new cooked chicken range, which I'll soon be presenting to you in more detail. I sampled their new Thai chicken, which is a-ma-zing! And they were one of the friendliest teams at the Festival ;)

Overall, the event was great fun. In addition to all the food and drink stalls, there was a variety of lifestyle exhibitors, including halal perfume, modest clothing and henna artists. Families with young kids could enjoy a kids' space brought by Ali and Sumaya - we also took a break there, letting Adam enjoy some run-around and colouring along with other children. Downstairs, underneath the main exhibition hall, everyone could enjoy live Qawali session and shisha bar - my little munchkin put up quite a show himself, when he started dancing to the music! And of course there were live cookery shows, including Ali Imdad and MasterChef winner Shelina Permalloo. Anyway, it was great to discover some halal food places we can visit if we get to London, and get to know some exciting brands to follow. And it definitely looked like everyone around enjoyed themselves, so well done to London Halal Food Festival organisers, and we're looking forward to the next exciting event!

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