Whether it’s a weekday, weekend, birthday, anniversary or a casual night out – whatever the occasion The Great Chase delivers impressive plates of food and wait for it, it’s 100% halal with no alcohol present.
When we walked into The Great Chase, we were greeted by a warm smile by the person behind the bar. He welcomed us in and asked whether we had a booking, and then took us to our seat and handed us a menu.
The menu at The Great Chase is seasonal, expect the best quality of meat, vegetables and other items of food. Glaring at the restaurant menu, made our appetite intensify. The waiters were remarkably passionate and knowledgable about the food on offer. Whether you have a sweet tooth or wanted to try something new – the waiters were able to recommend you something from the menu that would fulfil the need of your palette and gut.
The Great Chase has a 100% alcohol-free dry bar featuring the most amazing cocktails you will ever have. I assume the bartender specialises in molecular mixology – creating a range of sophisticated alcohol-free cocktails – complimenting the dishes.
This is the experience halal focused restaurants are missing. It’s not about just getting a rack of halal lamb and grilling it or making “mocktails” using cheap juices – as many halal restaurants do. There is a sense of passion, delight and care from every single dish served at The Great Chase.
The alcohol-free drinks
So we’ve been to The Great Chase before, and we knew we can rely on some fantastic drinks from the dry bar, so we decided to go for something new. From the menu, we ordered the hedgerow spritz and spritz al lampone.
The hedgerow spritz is a drink made from ingredients grown on hedges. In particular, berries. In this case, we are dealing with the bramble fruit, a blackberry. Made with a handmade hedgerow and rosehip cordial, Bees Knees fizz, orange and mace mist. This drink had a tangy, citric flavour, with a kick of spiciness to it. We absolutely loved this cocktail.
Spritz al lampone was no exception, made with raspberry and lime cordial, fresh raspberries, Agave syrup, orange juice and Bees Knees sparking rose’. This drink was more blunt, sweet but balanced with a sour taste. I found this drink great for cleansing my palette between each meal.
Okay, you’ve probably had cheese and onion pastries or crisp before. If you are a fan of cheese and onion, then you must absolutely get the shallots with crispy goats cheese. This was by far my favourite dish of the whole day.
The shallots were elegantly caramelised. It brought out a sweet, soft flavour but with a subtle crunch. When you break into the crispy fried goats’ cheese, it trickled mild delightful cheese, running out smoothly. Along with the white onion cream, balsamic reduction and herb salad. Put together, it’s a match made in heaven. I literally felt The Great Chase perfected the cheese and onion flavour.
We also ordered tempura black tiger prawns. Coated in light crumbs, with delicious guacamole, broccoli and red pepper chutney. The crunchy bits, combined with the soft texture of the prawn, lightness of the guacamole and sweet jamminess of the red pepper chutney had us wiping this starter clean.
Chicken and chestnut
From our first visit to The Great Chase, we had chicken stuffed with dates and pistachio. A rather odd combination you would think however it was executed so brilliantly that we left wanting more.
This time the menu was different – knowing that we loved the previous chicken dish we opted for the chicken and chestnut. It was the winter period, the month of December – so The Great Chase went for festive flavours – to bring in that sense of warmth during the cold nights.
The roasted chicken breast had a crispy skin, celeriac-infused, seasoned beautifully, with a slight aromatic coming from the vegetables. The leg of the chicken was stuffed with black olive with a chestnut emulsion, grilled baby leek, and demi-glace and black olive powder. Soft, tender and delicious.
Beef with Carrot three ways
The braised beef cheek was incredibly tender, splendidly tearing apart as my fork and knife made contact. The beef was soft and the fat melted inside your mouth, giving it a firework of flavour. It was complimented with mashed carrots and ginger cream, confit carrot, baby carrots, crispy shallots and fried parsley. The carrot sauce accompanying the beef was sweet, light and reminded me of the Indian dessert, gajar halwa.
Chocolate fondant vs Pear, apple and cranberry crumble!
The desserts were no exception at The Great Chase. If you’re stuck for choice, the waiter can help ease to a decision.
For the sweet-toothed person, I would recommend going for the chocolate fondant cake, delivered with a white chocolate sauce and ice-cream covered in cornflakes. As soon as you break into the desert, chocolate flows out like lava.
However, if you like that sour balance, with a biscuity touch. Then go for the pear, apple and cranberry crumble. It comes with ice cream, which is fantastic. The hot and cold contrast in both of the desserts makes it smack with taste.
Every single detail about The Great Chase, from the moment you walk in, the ambience and hospitality remains top notch. I would not hesitate to recommend people to this restaurant. If you are planning to visit, you should go for the dry bar.
The Great Chase
– Fully halal establishment
– You must book in order to avoid disappointment
– No alcohol present – 100% alcohol-free dry bar
The Great Chase
Location: 316 St John Street, Islington, EC1V 4NT
Last modified: 4th May 2019