Luckily, where I live there is a vast choice of halal restaurants in Tooting. I usually eat at one of these places once a week looking for inspiration for my recipes. I have listed 10 best halal restaurants in Tooting which appear to be quite popular and can all be found on the high street.
1) Spice Village: This is one of my favourite restaurants in Tooting. When I used to eat there 10 years ago, there were a few wobbly tables but the food was always amazing. We would be in and out of there within an hour with our young kids. No delays in service, fresh food and great service. The restaurant has grown 10-fold in size and still has the most amazing food, service is not as it was before but as a larger establishment this is to be expected. One of their chefs specials is the deep fried fish (not so healthy I know) but the fish tikka is fab too. Haleem is a real winner but served only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The chicken jalfrezi is the best in town as is the achari gosht. My shami kebabs are better I think but their chapli kebabs are great. The charga chicken is a real bargain for what you get. My friend recently introduced me to Garlic Naan which I now always order when I am there. Also the food is not oily which is a real plus. The only downside is that since it is so busy service can take a while. I give Spice Village a generous 8/10.
2) Mirch Masala: This restaurant does a great tilapia and amazing chicken seekh kebabs which are extremely tender, melt in the mouth. Their cocktails and fresh passion fruit juice are great too and loved by our kids. The Norbury branch is less crowded than the Tooting one, so if there are a few of you, pop over to Norbury for a more comfortable seating arrangements as Tooting can be a bit tight. I was once asked if I had finished and if I wanted the bill. This riled me as I was not offered desert and felt they wanted to kick me out. I give Mirch Masala 7/10, actually make that 6/10.
3) Namak Mandi: This is an Afghani restaurant so expect some variations to IndoPak cuisine. The best dish served here is the £1 seekh kebab. This is the most tender mouth watering seekh kebab I have tasted and what a treat at only a pound. Their biryani was a bit oily for my liking where the rice appeared to be fried and had sultanas in it which I wasn’t used to and found a little odd, but am sure this is normal for an Afghani biryani. Be careful when ordering the chicken curry as you can only order by weight and not portion, not seen this before! I ordered a portion but was given 1/2 kg of chicken which I couldn’t finish even with my hubby sharing! Another thing to bear in mind is that the seating upstairs is on the floor. While seated on the floor, I passed the karahi to my husband and to our amazement, our hands and coats got covered in charcoal stains including my little ones light pink jacket. On the plus side, we got a complimentary phirni (rice pudding) and mint tea so that made up for the charcoal staining! Overall a good place to grab a seekh kebab takeaway if you have only a few quid. I give Namak Mandi 6/10
4) Maseladar: This restaurant is too dark and dimly lit for my liking making it impossible to see what I am eating. For that reason I haven’t taken the kids there. Maybe its for romantic couples who are too busy at looking at each other and the water feature on display than their food. They tend to specialise in Swahili-African dishes such as mogo, motoke etc. I have been there twice but can’t recall a single dish (to recommend). I give Masaledar 3/10
5) Al Mirage: All I remember about this restaurant are three things. One, we ordered a lamb dish that had so much fat is was inedible. Secondly, the waiters continuosly kept coming up to us to align the salt and pepper pots which my one year old son was playing with. Thirdly, they asked us to let our three year old son not to go near stairs after which he wanted to go even more so. Overall, not very child friendly restaurant when I visited. For me, lamb should have the fat removed, but it looks the cheapest cuts of lamb were used. I visited recently about 10 years since my last time. It was at lunch time and the chicken jalfrezi was a bit cold. We asked for poppadums and were informed that it would take too long to make them and we should fo for samosas instead. Hel,l no! My friend and I were now even more determined for the poppadums and were willing to wait 20 mins as they suggested. Me thinks this was a sneaky ploy to get us to buy a starter! I give Al Mirage 10 years ago and now, a poor 4/10.
6) Steakout: My opinion of Steakout has drastically changed. My first visit when it opened was not pleasant as the children’s meal was cold. Since then I regularly visit at lunchtimes with friends. Their early bird meal deal is an absolute treat and the best value for money food going! I like to order a chicken steak with a spicy chilli tomato sauce and chips, all for only £5.95 – a real bargain. Please note that this offer is not for all steaks but one meat steak (can’t recall the name), a chicken steak and tilapia fish steak. The service is good as are the chocolate orange squares at the end of the bill. Before I used to avoid this place, but now clearly one of my favourites! I give it a super 9/10.
7) Roosters: Wow, what a pleasant surprise for a fast food place. Okay, the decor, ambiance is not all that, but the food is amazing. Their gourmet burgers are great and of course I recommend only the grilled ones. Their lemon and herb chicken strips are to die for. This is by far the best chicken I have ever tasted. I ordered the same chicken strips at Roosters in Harrow but they were no match. So, I salute the staff at Roosters in Tooting for their amazingly tender and flavoursome chicken strips. My family and I regularly head off to this joint after my son’s footie match and we are never disappointed. A real hidden treasure and beats Chicken Cottage hands down. I give Roosters 9/10 for food quality and 10/10 for price.
8) Chicken Cottage: I used to go here for wraps but the wraps were kind of hollow and empty ie. not enough chicken in them so I now go to Roosters. My kids love the Chicken Poppers from here, but as they now do them at Roosters, we tend to go there. Chicken Cottage has more seating space than Roosters so its great for family and friends looking for a bite to eat at a good price. I give Chicken Cottage 7/10 for food quality and 9/10 for price.
9) Lahore Karahi: This is one of the first restaurants I used to go to for Indian food when I moved to London. Their lamb chops and biryani are amazing. Their curry dishes tend to be a bit oily and the seating can be a bit tight especially on Fridays and weekend evenings. Service is not as good as I used to be but its not a bad alternative to Spice Village and Mirch Masala. Their chicken tikka is very tender and one of the best in Tooting. You will not be disappointed. I give Lahore Karahi an overall 7/10.
10) Ambala: I don’t really come here for food, but always come here for vegetarian samosas, as do most of my friends. You will not find samosas like this anwhere else. They are a bit pricey but worth it. Make sure you ask for their chutney to go with the samosas (its free!) Their mithai is really yummy too but I can’t possibly talk about that as this is a healthy indian recipe website! 🙂