We are a fully halal, completely alcohol free bar and restaurant. What is Halal, and why have we chosen it?
We often get asked about why we've decided to offer a fully halal menu and alcohol free bar. Religious reasons aside, below is an explanation of Halal, of Tayyab, and of a dry bar in Zone 1 London!
Why not? Islam is the largest minority religion in the UK, and Halal (which simply means permissible), is accessible to everyone. Why wouldn’t we want to serve up an amazing dining experience that is accessible to all? Halal makes us inclusive.
Beyond that, we enjoy and relish the challenge that comes with shattering so many of the preconceptions and myths surrounding Halal. Halal isn’t a cuisine. It isn’t dirty fried chicken and litres of sugary fruit drinks. There is no reason why Halal should put so many people from other backgrounds off.
What is Halal, and what does Tayyab mean?
To many people from many cultural and educational backgrounds, Halal is a word that carries a burden of negative connotation. Halal is synonymous with images of animals rights abuse and poorly drawn cartoons of suspiciously chipper chickens. Halal is a tremendously misrepresented word.
The meat that arrives on your plate which is Halal (permissible according the edicts of Islam) should properly be Tayyab Halal. This means that the animal should be treated with the utmost regard and dignity for the duration of its life. Meat which is Tayyab Halal is, by definition free-range. Tayyab Halal meat comes from animals who are ignorant to the last of their ultimate fate. Slaughtered by hand, individually, and having not witnessed a single slaughter other than its own. Tayyab Halal is in many regards the responsible and practical gold standard for the rearing of animals whose ultimate destination is your plate.
So, an Alcohol-free bar in Central London. What’s that about?
Why not!? People are drinking less and less every year. We are living in an increasingly health conscious world. Think of Dry January and Stop-tober! And you know, booze-free doesn’t have to be taste free. Again, we love the challenge that comes with creating a variety and range of flavour experiences and drink choices that is accessible to everyone. We both love reading about the 1920’s; a time synonymous with the 1st golden age of cocktail making, and you’ll see plenty of inspiration from the pages of cocktail recipe books from around then gracing our cocktail menu!
Another passion of ours that a completely dry-bar allows space for is Tea. Our Tea list (all courtesy of the super-cool guys at the Rare Tea Company) is currently three pages long. We want to grow that. We want to grow it to legendary proportions. Ultimately, I look at it as a contender to the omni-present wine list. Why should non-drinkers have any less choice than drinkers? And boy, does tea have as broad a taste spectrum as wine!