Thursday, September 27, 2012

Halal Food In Hong Kong: Ziafat @ Nathan Road Review

This was our first day early dinner, we had originally planned to eat at The Great Kebab Indian Factory at Miramar Shopping Ctr to take advantage of the buffet lunch, but couldn't make it in time after checking in. And since our hotel shuttle service stops at Hankow Road and our stomach are already rumbling and the legs were getting wobbly from carrying our two chubby princes we seek refuge at Ziafat when we stumbled upon its sign.

hong kong halal food
Halal Food in Hong Kong: Ziafat Restaurant sign at Nathan Road

I had already read quite a bit about other bloggers reviews about Ziafat, everyone seems to agree that the food is edible and the price is quite fair, so, we felt that it would do at that time. Do keep your eyes peeled for the sign as Harilela Mansion is not really prominent and you could easily miss the small entrance between the rows of shops. Step into the building, and yes you are not in the wrong place, that is a security guard in front of the elevator, take that small elevator up to the 6th floor. Lifts accommodates up to 5 people at a time only. 

Interior of the restaurant is basic but comfortable enough. The waitresses are Indonesians while the cooks are Arabs. Ziafat serves halal Indian, Pakistani and Arabic dishes but I think that their strength is the Arab cuisine while the Indian dishes tasted a bit off. 

halal food tsim sha tsui
Halal Food in Hong Kong: Butter Naan at Ziafat

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Halal Food in Hong Kong: Butter Chicken at Ziafat

We ordered naan, butter chicken, chicken mandi and lamb kabsah (this time around it was hubby who wanted to ty the kabsah after finishing up 2/3 of my mandi :p ) drinks were lime juice and mint tea. 

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Halal Food In Hong Kong: Chicken Mandi @ Ziafat

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Halal Food in Hong Kong: Lamb Kabsah @ Ziafat

makanan halal hong kong
Halal Food in Hong Kong: Tomato & Chili Chutney @ Ziafat

The naan was fine, but the butter chicken tasted like a very diluted chicken curry with coconut milk. Chicken Mandi was delicious, the rice was rich in spices and the chicken very well marinated, the tomato and chilli chutney that comes with it was tangy with just the right balance of the juicy tomatoes and fiery chillies. Since we enjoyed the chicken mandi so much, hubby decided to order another lamb kabsah, expecting another fantastic dish much like the one that is served by Wadi Hadhramaut at Kuala Lumpur, I remember commenting to hubby "what if they serve you the same rice as the Mandi?" and true enough, the kabsah came with the exact same rice served with the chicken mandi except for additional carrots and peas! Well, while the rice goes perfectly with the Mandi Chicken, unfortunately, it doesn't pair well with the lamb. The lamb is tender yes, but I find that the marinade is a bit wanting. I also feel that the dish is a bit dry but the butter chicken (that tasted like curry) that we ordered made the Kabsah Lamb more palatable.

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Halal Food in Hong Kong: Lime Juice @ Ziafat

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Halal Food in Hong Kong: Arabic Mint Tea @ Ziafat

As for the drinks, the lime juice was refershingly zesty and the tea was invigorating with  fresh mint leaves in the pot.. hmmm.. just what I need to reenergize me for sightseeing :)

After dinner, we crossed the road to head for TST pier and I saw a neon sign for halal Indian and Malaysian food at one of the buildings while waiting for the green man. Slightly amused since I doubt that many ppl will notice that small neon sign, I pointed it out to hubby and just as we finished crossing the road, we were accosted by touts for various halal restaurants inside the building.. hmm.. Chung King Mansion.. that place is not listed in my halal restaurants in Hong Kong list I downloaded from the trustees of the Islamic Community Fund of Hong Kong (apparently, there is another list on the net, that I somehow missed and the list that is on the trustees site is not complete - read the disclaimer-) I couldn't resist not going in of course.. so, we went into Chung King Mansion for a few minutes just to see what's inside. A number of money changers at the front and an assortment of small shops at the back from Hindustani DVDs to luggages and phone accessories and numerous small, mostly indian halal shops.. hmm.. kind of feel like you are in Little India somewhere.. All right.. another day perhaps.. let me go back and find out more about the place on the web first :)

For those who would like to visit Ziafat, the address is 6F, 81 Nathan Road, TST, Kowloon. Map of the building:

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