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Posted by on in Events

Our first event was a complete sell out and we cannot thank all of you that came and helped organise it enough!

We were slightly apprehensive about planning an event of this scale at the moment considering we are a fairly new organisation but it went off without a hitch and the several months of stressful planning and organising were totally worth it.

The event 'HFF Family Fiesta' took place on Saturday 20th September 2014 at St.Barnabas Church, Pitshanger Lane, Ealing, W5; the venue was chosen due to its centrality, parking facilities and space! We were hoping to attract between 150-200 people but at last count and following plenty of ticket sales on the door, we welcomed over 350 of you throughout the day!!!

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Though food is undoubtedly important at an event like this, we wanted to keep the brains of those who visited us ticking and throughout the day had talks from Action on Salt and Sugar, Willowbrook Organic Farm, and a Food Technologist from the Halal Food Authority discussing various issues from excessive salt consumption to organic farming methods to alternatives to gelatine. We also had an interactive workshop from Jyoti at the Veggie Kitchen who gave a live demonstration on how to make homemade mango sorbet and a spicy bean salad as well as a story telling session by Shade 7 Publishing (creators of the world's first Quranic pop up book!).

Children's activities also ran throughout the day to keep the little ones busy:

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And after arts-and-crafting themselves out they were able to go into the main hall and grab a snack from one of the variety of food stalls we had on offer, including award-winning Snowflake Gelato:

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and the taste of Pakistan, Gola Ganda:

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Also on offer were the necessary samosas, chaats, biryanis - but we also had free Kashmiri tea, a variety of Persian and Moroccan culinary delights, cakes (cupcakes, fruit cakes, sponge cakes, cake pops - you name a cake, we had it!), cheese and olive tasting, chicken pasties, halal Pick'n'Mix and were delighted to have hosted Ieat Foods at their first ever public tasting outside of Tesco / Sainsburys! 

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We would also like to extend a huge thank you to Sweet Apple Publishers, Compassion in World Farming, Halal Eat, Attar Mist and all of the other stallholders and volunteers that helped us on the day. The HFF Family Fiesta was a joint effort and we are so glad that it went off with a bang! We are hoping to make this an annual event and perhaps even take it to different parts of the country. Our ultimate goal is to educate the community on leading a healthy, balanced and halal lifestyle - but we want to do this through a fun, enigmatic and interactive way.Help us make this a reality!

For more information contact us on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To see the full image gallery of the event (hi-res) click here

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Posted by on in HFF

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If you’re from up North you will most definitely have been to, or at the very least, heard of Royal Nawaab; their new and highly anticipated second restaurant opened in London a few months ago and has had a fantastic response.

The Nawaab brand was formed in the mid-80s by Mehboob Hussein and partners. The three Nawaab pioneers came up with the name of the brand when they first bought their first restaurant property; having converted an old East-India bank to begin their restaurateur dreams, they came across old photographs of Mughal architecture and artefacts as well as pictures of the Nawaab people – it seemed apt to name the restaurant ‘Nawaab’ as they are a people who notoriously love their food. At first an a-la-carte restaurant in Bradford with a capacity of 40, the authentic tastes of the subcontinent and the memories evoked from taking a bite out of their gourmet curries and homemade breads increased popularity by a mammoth amount. A few years later, it was time for Mehboob et al to expand.

Following a trip to Chicago and gaining inspiration from a variety of eateries across the pond, it was decided that Royal Nawaab Mancester would be a buffet style restaurant what with the space being so large. Without exaggeration, Manchester’s most coveted Pakistani restaurant, the need to expand was inevitable. I sat down with Waqas, son of Mehboob Hussein who now runs Royal Nawaab alongside his father and brother-in-law to find out more about their story and their expansion to London.

Waqas tells me that the need for another branch had been at the forefront of the family’s mind for a long time – “with people travelling up to Manchester from London, Birmingham, Leicester etc. just to eat at our place, we HAD to create a new branch”; I am told that the second branch was originally planned for Birmingham but London proved to be a better fit. Royal Nawaab (as it is now known due to the imitations of competitors) in London is situated in the iconic art-deco Hoover Building – and as the property is a listed building the planning permission took 8-9 months to complete.

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With such a huge following across the UK, Waqas is proud of the fact that they have not had to do any advertising whatsoever to get people through the door – even on opening day. In essence, Royal Nawaab diners do the advertising for the restaurant itself – search ‘Nawaab’ on facebook, instagram or twitter and you will be inundated with photos of people enjoying the 80 or so dishes on offer at Royal Nawaab at any one time.

This leads us onto the next topic of discussion – with 80 dishes, how are they all decided / checked for the high quality taste that is synonymous with the Nawaab brand? Waqas informs me that there is a rotational menu at Nawaab's – no drastic changes though as customers are very passionate about their favourites. Every single dish available at Nawaab's follows Mehboob Hussein’s own recipe and he – and his son – are very particular about the way things are cooked, what ingredients are used and how the food tastes. Once a week Waqas samples every single dish that has been cooked (and this is not an easy feat!), this is done at random so that the chef’s do not know when to expect a taste-test. Living and breathing Pakistani cuisine since he was born, Waqas takes a moment or two when I ask him what his favourite dish is, “paneer tikka” he smiles. I would have to disagree with him and say that their Butter Chicken, Tawa Chicken and Dum Aloo are more exceptional (if possible!) than the Paneer!

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So what is it about Royal Nawaab that has people so excited? I’ve been three times now and each time the restaurant floor is packed and people’s plates are piled high. The staff are attentive and the decor very regal, but ultimately, what makes Royal Nawaab so great is the exceptional taste of the food. I have never tasted Saag or Curree that is as good as my Dadi’s until sampling both at Nawaab's.

Some say that the price per head is too expensive, but Waqas mentions the fact that following his market research, their prices are average, if not affordable, for London. In an environment where we pay up to £12 for a single pizza, “would you not rather pay a little bit more and have 80 high-quality dishes at your disposal?” Waqas asks me – he has a point.

Royal Nawaab is a brand that should not be underestimated; their food speaks for itself...and ask yourself this, in the highly digitalised day and age that we now live in, how important would you class effective advertising? The world and his wife have a need for it – not Nawaab.

 

Visit Royal Nawaab, London:

Hoover Building 7. Western Avenue Perivale Greenford UB6 8DW

Contact Phone: 020 8998 6151

 

 

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

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We attended the first annual Willowbrook Festival the Saturday just gone - a lovely day out for the entire family! A farm run by the Radwan family, all of the land is farmed 100% organically. Willowbrook self-sustainability is a passion that each member of the family shares. In fact, the house that you see in the picture above is built out of material the Radwan's dug from their own farm. Didn't that leave a big, gaping hole I hear you cry?! Well it did. But the Radwan's turned it into this:

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A pond that houses numerous species of aquatic and plant life. 

The Radwan's say:

Since we started the farm in 2002 we have diversified from producing organic eggs, to providing our customers with chicken, lamb, beef, and vegetables and other quality produce such as cheeses and honey from local producers. We have gone from two empty fields to two fields absolutely full of hundreds of varieties of trees. We dredged out pond in 2002 to create a sustainable welcoming environment for waterfowl and other riverside wildlife. We use solar panels and wind energy and we are currently building natural, sustainable cob buildings (adobe or mud brick), and there will be many more conservation and eco-projects in the future! Our products are free range, healthy animals, they're fed on quality Non-GM feed.

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Our day began with a tour of the farm where we were taken around by Khalil Radwan, son of Lutfi and Ruby (the farm owners). He took us around the whole 22 acre site and explained what it's really like to farm 100% organically and how easy self-sustainability is. It was refreshing visiting Willowbrook, a farm unlike the majority - the sheep field was so large it felt as though they were in the wild!

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Under no circumstance are the fields in Willowbrook tended to with pesticides and growth-enhancers. Unlike the more aesthetically pleasing fields in the area, Willowbrook do not use unnatural sources to tend to their land; their produce is 100% organic - and this means that everything the animals eat is 100% organic also.

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The Willowbrook Festival also included workshops on songwriting by the incredibly talented Dawud Whamsby, African drumming workshops, Tai Chi, pony lunging, live bees talk, petting zoo and delicious food stalls using the farm's own produce (trust me - we could taste the difference!).

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 One of our highlights of the day included getting lost in the Willowbrook woodland (planted by the Radwan's themselves...they even have a treehouse! Doesn't the farm just sound like the embodiment of all your childhood fantasies!?

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There won't be another festival at Willowbrook until next year, but the farm are always running open days or you can contact them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange a visit!

We'd like to thank the Radwan's for their great hospitality - we hope to welcome them as warmly to our Family Fiesta in September (they are confirmed speakers!!) and we leave you with two things: 1. did you know that if you have bug bites / an external wound, applying tea tree oil mixed with fresh garlic makes the perfect ointment?! (just one of the many things we learnt - it even works on animals! and 2. this thought, placed lovingly in the heart of Willowbrook:

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Posted by on in HFF

The following press release has been issued due to some negative feedback we received from the 2014 Living Islam Festival. We would like to clear up some completely untrue and negative rumours that are being circulated regarding our commercial wing - the Halal Food Authority (HFA). Please see below for more information.

Press-Release---misconceptions-hfa.pdf

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