In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Asalamu alaikum, buona sera!
I finally got the chance to visit La Favorita, yesterday. I have wanted to
go for a while after hearing the great review's earlier this year.
It's an Italian restaurant that is halal, yes you heard right! Halal & Italian, can it get any better than that?
It's in Birmingham, just off Ladypool Rd. It was my first time in the Sparkbrook area and I have to say that that part of Birmingham looked a little run down so I was curious about how La Favorita would compare.
The two storey, glass fronted restaurant looked great. There's a parking area infront of the restaurant across the road. We weren't too sure if this was for the restaurant or for residential use, if there was a sign we couldn't see it at night, however we eventually found a space and all other car's didn't have a parking badge/permit, so we were good to go!
(Whilst writing the review I checked their website and found that it is their customer car park)
Although you can walk in and eat, I wanted to make sure that they'd have a table (we travelled 50 mile's just to eat here) so I had booked a table for 4 by phone. I had also emailed earlier in the week requesting opening times around the Christmas holiday's and they responded a day or two later. I didn't want to ask via their facebook page incase it wasn't checked in time. When we arrived it wasn't "booked" per say because when we told two waiter's our name, there was no book to be checked at the door and their faces looked blank which was a little odd but there were table's available downstair's alhamdulilah; upstairs had been reserved for a party.
We were shown to a large table which had a full view of the kitchen and the chef's in their white's, which is something I quite enjoy when going out to eat, I reckon any 'foodie' would. I believe it puts alot of faith in customer's when they can see what's going on 'behind the scene's'. It's a sign of quality, in my eye's, and I told my husband this too. However we changed tables as it was a large table and there were only 4 of us, plus I didn't want to be sitting next to the pathway where the waiter's were bringing food out of the kitchen to other customer's. So we sat in the corner at the front of the restaurant.
La Favorita specialises in Italian food and with being located in the 'balti triangle' they also offer Asian food (Asian being Indian and Pakistani food, not Chinese, Japanese etc) so are able to cater to the majority. With saying this it didn't reduce the quality in food in the slightest. Looking around there were couple's, a group of sister's having a meal together, brother's and families. They cater for birthday's too, there was 3 or 4 in one night! The first time we wondered what had happened as all the main light's went off but it was just for one group to sing 'Happy Birthday' with the glow of candle's from the cake. It was my husband's birthday too, but that's really not his thing as he doesn't like that attention. Plus by the fourth time it was starting to grind the gear's of other customer's.
La Favorita is a dry restaurant, meaning that they do not serve alcohol, it's completely halal which is fantastic. Plus you know when you're in a halal restaurant when the bathroom's have hand held bidet sprayer's! It's the little thing's! There's not much choice around where I live, so I thought that was good as i've only seen them in public in the middle east!
The decor is really clean and modern, with exposed brick wall's and contemporary foodie painting's. I also spotted a high chair, so little ones are welcome too.
Now, onto the food!
3 of us stayed with the Italian and my husband had an Italian Starter with an Asian lamb and chicken curry for his main (That's not on the menu, you choose one or the other, but one of the waiter's was an Arab, they got talking and you just know how that goes down, hehe!). Personally I was spoilt for choice, I had 2 or 3 option's in mind and had heard great thing's about the canneloni. So I asked the waiter which he'd recommend out of that and the risotto di carne and he said the risotto. It was a perfect choice!
Gamberoni Fritti - King prawn's
Filetti de pollo fritti - Chicken goujon's
Bruchetta Con Pomodorro
Insalata Mista - Mixed salad
|Good reviews from all. That salad was huge. However the prawn to dip ratio needs some adjusting as there was far too much for just 3(!) prawn's, which is wasteful (right plate).|
I hope they notice these thing's when the plates return to the kitchen.
Risotto di carne - beef risotto w/ mushroom's and pepper's
Pollo Alla cacciatora - boneless chicken in tomato and herb sauce
T bone steak w/ salsa dolcelatte
Methi gosht murghi (asian side of menu)
|Delicious melt in your mouth beef. The plate should have been wiped |
of that drop of sauce before serving to enable maximum points for presentation
|Sides of roasted vegetables, naan and basmti rice. The steak was a great size, we ordered a side of chips to join it too|
|Generous sized portion's, I couldn't finish mine! Perhaps if I skip the starter next time...|
My dessert was a ferrero rocher cheesecake. I forgot what everyone else had!!
They also do a non alcoholic tiramasu and other dessert's. Coffee's were ordered, I don't drink coffee so can't comment, but there were no complaint's.
Good service overall even though they were short staffed that night, the food does really stand out.
I enjoyed my time there, I would definitely recommend it to all - try something new!
I hope to visit again, very soon.