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An international city with over 200 vernaculars, award winning cosmopolis centre, London has everything to offer to its International guests. London is a notorious food heaven and through its diverse culinary magic has broken down language and cultural barriers between its dissidents and visitors. This is a city that is blessed with a decadence of delightful Halal cuisine from all across the Muslim world. The significance of words such as Halal (meat that is slaughtered according to Muslims customs) and Kosher (Jewish meat) have become synonymous of many London restaurant menus.
With its large Muslim population, the restaurants serving Halal food in London have multiplied over the years. London’s Halal restaurants have been preparing for months for the arrival of Olympics 2012 and the holy month of Ramadan where Muslims fast for 30 days from dusk till dawn. The two mega events will provide a platform for these restaurateurs to market to its Muslim and non-Muslim visitors their services and exquisite culinary delights.
The Olympics and Ramadan is a testing time for Muslims operating in food industry to observe the fast, act as hospitable hosts to their city’s guests, and manage an influx of guests at evening all wanting to be served at the same time (9 pm when fast opens). Toonari post went across the diverse hub of London to discover how restaurant owners and their workers will deal with these challenges of balancing Ramadan with Olympics in coming weeks.
Maison Touareg is a signature brand in the heart of London, specializing in Lebanese and exotic Moroccan cuisine, the notorious restaurant is famed for its quality of food, decor and its service. “Here at Maison Touareg we are gearing up for London 2012 Olympic Games.
Considering the restaurant’s location, in centre of Soho, at the heart of London and due to massive increase in number of tourists, management have decided to limit the number of bookings in order to have more availability for tourists and walk-ins.” Naz Amirshahi, Reservations and Events Manager said. “We offer Ramadan set menu to all the Muslim tourists who will be fasting in the holy month of Ramadan.”
Toonari Post asked why tourists should go to Maison Touareg? Amirshahi said “Maison Touareg is the gateway to the beautiful mixture of Moroccan and Lebanese culture and offers a truly unique dining experience throughout the Ramadan and Olympic period. Whether it was a day of sightseeing and activities in the city or the excitement of watching live games, Maison Touareg is the perfect spot to go and eat, drink and relax.”
Another popular restaurant in Bayswater, London is Khans. Famed for its grand exterior and ability to seat 300 people at any given notice, their name is a mark of quality for native Londoners. Their backup staff will be on hands to accommodate evening influx of diners.
Despite all the challenges, London is home to world class Halal dinning from continental to Mediterranean, to Arabic to Asian and has some of the best Halal restaurants in Europe. This summer, why not taste a world of flavours in all that London has to offer your palette from Iran to Morocco to Bali to Caribbean to India to America. If you are nostalgic for some Persian magic, then step over to Alounak in Paddington or visit Simurgh in Covent Gardens. Persians are famed for their artistic exotic cuisine, and London provides you with this culinary experience at a price that suites your pocket.
If you want something poetic, then cross over to the world of Rumi in many of city’s popular Turkish restaurants ranging from an average price to exclusive five star dinning. Middle East and North Africa is right at your threshold from lascivious Lebanese dining in Mayfair’s Fakherldine to exquisite North African dining in South Kensington’s Pasha to signature brands from casual to themed eateries from Morocco, Egypt, Algeria and Lebanon lining the Edgware road area.
For fast food enthusiasts, tempting arrays of Halal McDonalds, KFC, and subway are scattered all across the city. Now if you are American and missing your double whoppers, exotic milkshakes then visit Tinsletown in Bayswater. For bagel lovers, there is Bagel bite serving Halal English breakfast, light breakfast and variety of bagels with delightful fillings at Bayswater.
For steak lovers there is Steak Out in Tooting, Sahara Grill in Leyton or initially you can go and divulge in some retail therapy at Westfield shopping centre, where world famous chain steakhouse offers premium signature style Halal steak. For Halal Italian, visit Coffee Max in Tooting, where the extensive menu offers everything and anything Italian.
For people with exotic taste buds, there are many Indonesian and Malay restaurants known for their fine resplendent dining. Halal Chinese, Cantonese, Peking and Thai restaurants are also all over the city, especially in China town. You will also get a flavour of Halal Carribean food at Guanbana in Camden town. And those with fiery taste, South Asian restaurants specializing in Indian, Bangladeshi Afghani and Pakistani food are plentiful.