I’m baffled with myself for not having a review published for The Great Chase here on this blog. We visited The Great Chase a few times when they first opened a few years back and were immediately on board with their dining concept. Many food connoisseurs could agree with me that this is the type of restaurant we need more of in the halal dining scene. Fast-forward to now, The Great Chase has launched a new taster menu concept (available on weekday evenings only from 2nd Nov to 16th Dec) which we have been very kindly invited to try out pre-launch.
*Disclaimer: this was a complimentary meal but all thoughts are our own.
The Great Chase: Alcohol-Free Halal Contemporary Fine European Restaurant
When The Great Chase first opened, it really stood out from the market with its fine European food concept. It’s not just about the food but also about its exquisite alcohol-free drinks menu that’s specially designed for food pairing. You can find halal alcohol-free bubbles and various fine cocktail creations, as well as a whole section dedicated to rare teas. Ultimately, it appeals to many foodies for breaking away from the typical “halal cuisines” and presents gastronomy that isn’t commonly found in the Muslim community. Moreover, it offers a chance to educate non-Muslims about what’s halal and promotes inclusivity.
Halal Dégustation 10-course Taster Menu (£87 pp)
A completely halal degustation dining concept is not something you can easily find in London. Sure, there are a handful of fine-dining Michelin-starred restaurants in London that has a partial halal menu or allow individual requests for halal options in advance. But one that’s 100% halal and alcohol-free is pretty much unheard of.
Having briefly spoken with the owner of The Great Chase, Mabruk mentioned that this taster menu concept is what he originally envisaged for the restaurant. However, the UK dining market was just not ready for it. As the halal dining scene continues to evolve, he feels that now could be a good time to trial the concept and is launching this taster menu for 7 weeks to see how it is received by the public.
A tasting menu is a collection of several dishes served in small portions and strung together into a multi-course meal. Usually, running a taster menu allows elements of storytelling and highlights the chef’s culinary artistry. It’s meant to be a gastronomic experience, where each dish takes your palate through a journey and is typically accompanied by drinks pairing.
The Food & Drinks Pairings
Date of dining: November 2022
Halal status: The Great Chase is a fully halal restaurant and no alcohol is served.
- Sourdough with Smoked Turkey Butter & Honey Butter
- Carrot & Coriander Foam Veloute with Parmesan Tuile
- Roasted Scallop with Cauliflower Puree, Caramelised Turkey, Parsnip Crisp & Lobster Bisque
- Citrus & Tonic Cocktail Palate Cleanser
- Panko Glazed Chicken Stuffed with Candied Cabbage
- Crispy Dauphinoise Potato Chips
- Raspberry Meringue Cocktail
- Pan-seared Duck with Truffle Demise and Cherry & White Chocolate Puree
- Caramelised Beef Cheek with Potato Foam
- Shortbread Cookie with Chocolate Ganache, Edible Meringue Mushrooms & Pistachio
- Lemongrass Tea
- Coconut Parfait with Coconut Brittle Tonka Mousse, White Chocolate Ganache & Honey Buttermilk Sauce
- Chocolate & Passionfruit Bon Bon
Sourdough with Smoked Turkey Butter & Honey Butter
After enjoying our bubbly glass of rosé, the menu begins with sourdough and butter. A good start of bread & butter typically marks a great meal ahead, and that’s exactly what it delivered. The two butter flavours were quite contrasting with one another and both were very enjoyable. I couldn’t decide which one I liked more as they both have their own unique flavour profile. The smoked turkey butter offers deep umami and really hits you with an oomph, whereas the honey butter was easy on the palate and simply addictively delicious.
Carrot & Coriander Foam Veloute with Parmesan Tuile
The following course was the Carrot & Coriander Foam Veloute, served in a simple glass with a piece of Parmesan Tuile elegantly sitting on top. At the time of serving, the veloute wasn’t as foamy as it was intended anymore but it still got a nice airy texture to it. The soup itself wasn’t anything extraordinary in our opinion, but the Parmesan Tuile, i.e. baked wafer, was a clever touch to elevate the dish.
Roasted Scallop with Cauliflower Puree, Caramelised Turkey, Parsnip Crisp & Lobster Bisque
Next up was the roasted scallop, which is something right up my street as I love seafood and adore scallops. The scallop itself wasn’t particularly outstanding but it’s all the components around that brought the dish to life. I particularly enjoyed the cauliflower puree and parsnip crisps, which both rounded up the dish very nicely and added different layers of texture. There were also plenty of caramelised turkey rasher bits to give a strong smoky edge of flavours and savouriness. Last but not least, it came with a little touch of lobster bisque to enhance the seafood taste and the overall richness of the dish.
Citrus & Tonic Cocktail Palate Cleanser
Before moving on to the next meat dishes, we were served a citrus & tonic cocktail as a palate cleanser and aperitif. Its flavours were simple yet effective. Not only was it incredibly refreshing to taste, but it also allows your taste buds to reset from the richness of the scallop dish before diving into the next course. There’s a very subtle bittersweet undertone against the zingy lemony flavours. If you enjoy a delectable citrusy drink, you’d certainly find this one a delight.
Panko Glazed Chicken Stuffed with Candied Cabbage
Now let’s begin with the meat dishes. First up was the Panko-glazed Chicken, which comes stuffed with candied cabbage and served with a sweet soy glaze. The coating was incredibly crispy and well-seasoned, and I thoroughly enjoyed the concept of stuffed cabbage in it. Since the stuffed cabbage itself already carried quite a bit of sweetness, the sweet soy glaze then felt a little overpowering at times. It reminded me of a teriyaki but it also hit you with strong hints of peppercorn. Without a doubt, it was an interesting dish concept but would personally prefer just a teeny bit less sweet.
Crispy Dauphinoise Potato Chips
Then comes the potatoes, cooked in Dauphinoise style and shaped into chunky chips. The potatoes were well-seasoned and herby to taste, with a light crisp on the outside that envelopes the many layers inside. No doubt that they are a great munch and the accompanying chilli & garlic compote & mayonnaise aioli was an easy crowd-pleaser.
Raspberry Meringue Cocktail
Next, we have another drinks break before the next courses. This time, we’re served a Raspberry Meringue cocktail, which was a sweet candy-like concoction to prepare your palate for the upcoming more decadent dishes. There are subtle lemon notes beneath all the sweetness, creating a light and delicate flavour profile.
Pan-seared Duck with Truffle Demise and Cherry & White Chocolate Puree
For me, this dish was the highlight of the evening. It was remarkable the way everything was embraced together in this dish. The duck was perfectly executed and cooked just right. If you are a truffle lover, you’d absolutely adore the single piece of truffle that sat prettily on top, offering the most beautiful whiff of truffle aroma and great flavours. The truffle flavours were strong and distinct, but never overpowering.
There were plenty of other supporting components around the dish, including Potato Terrine, Black Olive Crumb, Caramelised Leek & Spring Onion, and the mind-blowingly impressive Cherry & White Chocolate Puree. Initially, I had my doubts about the white chocolate puree, but the way it rounded up all the flavours of the dish was something quite phenomenal.
Caramelised Beef Cheek with Potato Foam
For the last savoury dish for the evening, we were treated with some stupendously tender caramelised beef cheeks, served over potato foam plus fig & olive jam, artichoke & leek compote, sweet beef demi-glace and crispy beetroot. The beef was cooked to a soft melt-in-your-mouth texture and featured deep & flavours with a little hint of underlying sweetness. Once again, all the surrounding elements really helped to round up all the flavours, making it a great final savoury dish for the evening.
Shortbread Cookie with Chocolate Ganache, Edible Meringue Mushrooms & Pistachio
Now we’re officially done with all the savoury courses and moving on to digestives and desserts. To start, there’s this simple shortbread cookie topped with chocolate ganache, edible mushroom meringue, and pistachio dust. This could be the best piece of shortbread cookie I ever had. There is flavour depth in the cookie, which carried the perfectly whipped ganache nicely. The mushroom meringue wasn’t just for the aesthetics but also to add a light sugary touch. Every element on this cookie had hit the spot and I could munch them all day with a cuppa!
We were also served Lemongrass Tea to let everything digest ahead of the actual dessert dishes. The light delicate flavours of the tea were soothing and relaxing. There was this very subtle lemony taste, without the tanginess, and minty touch that really came through the second brew.
Coconut Parfait with Coconut Brittle Tonka Mousse, White Chocolate Ganache & Honey Buttermilk Sauce
This dessert is another personal highlight for me. The moment that sharp zingy flavours hit, I immediately fell in love with it. It’s got a super refreshing taste from the coconut which is then laced with honey and a super tangy buttermilk sauce. The white chocolate ganache was quite subtle, more just to round up the flavours and to add an overall richness to the dish. Everything from the presentation to the taste, they’ve really nailed it!
Chocolate & Passionfruit Bon Bon
To be honest, I didn’t last till this course. I was really stuffed by then! But what I can tell you about this very final course of the evening is that it’s a decadent one. If you’re still not entirely full after all those 9 courses, this final dessert will do the job. The chocolate & passionfruit bonbon was rich to taste and came with passionfruit coulis, pistachio minute cake & cranberry bite.
Restaurant Review Summary
There was never any doubt for The Great Chase to pull off this taster menu concept and they’ve lived up to our expectations. It was truly a flavour journey for the palate from start to finish and was certainly a unique dining experience that’s been sorely missing in the halal dining scene. The menu was so well-thought-out and meticulously curated, which I’d totally recommend going to experience it yourselves. Priced at £87 per person, I think it’s quite a good deal and would pay more for it for the quality of food you get.
Nearest station: Angel