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Posh nosh that's fully Halal
Finally there's a fine dining restaurant that serves gourmet food and it's fully Halal. I stress 'fully Halal' because no alcohol's served or used in any of their dishes and all the expertly sourced meats and ingredients are 100% Halal. Cona is a much talked about place not just because of the food but its a high end restaurant in the middle Bradford. A place of this standard wouldn't be out of place in central London.
You can tell that quality is more important than quantity here. This is evident in their minimal menu, which is seasonal and can change more regularly according to what ingredients they get in. Just from reading ingredients like 'Truffle', 'Trompette' and 'Wagyu', which are some of the most expensive in the world, you know it's of a different standard and quality.
I entered a minimalist, dimly lit dining room
The dining room is surprisingly big. The decor is simple and minimalist; lot's of grey's, dark woods and modern art work on the walls. The dining room is low lit. There's a lovely relaxed atmosphere as soon as you enter. You can feel it. The thing that shocked me was the dining room didn't smell of food instead it smelt really fresh. The service was great and the waiters didn't crowd round asking every five minutes if everything was okay. They were attentive but let you get on with it.
Six plump king prawns were sat on the plate
I'll be honest, I was expecting a teeny tiny portion but boy was I wrong. The starter was huge. Sitting before me were six juicy, plump king prawns. I almost thought they'd forgotten the tempura batter, it was that wafer thin. It was delightfully crispy and the initial crunch was followed by the soft, succulent flesh of the prawns. They were fresh and sweet. Instantly you can tell the difference because of the cooking methods used and the taste of the food. The miso sauce was smooth and tangy with a slight background heat from the chillies. I loved the small flecks of chilli in the sauce. It looked great.
The lamb was so tender and the best I've ever tasted
I enjoyed every moment of the main course. The lamb was really well cooked and it had a nice sear on the outside and beautifully pink from edge to edge. I got it medium. What makes this meat so special is its distinctive flavour and meltingly tender texture. These lamb are bred in Wales and feed on the salt marshes there.
I could taste the quality of the meat in the first bite, the little fat in the meat tasted sweet and nutty. It made it so moist. My eyes was drawn to the sauce because it looked so unusual and wow. It was dark in colour and salty which worked well with the rich tasting meat. The kale was crispy and literally disintegrated in my mouth. I liked the taste of garlic too. The pickled onions added a tartness which again cut through the slightly fatty meat.
The lamb had the perfect amount jus made from the cooking juices I assume because it had a strong meaty flavour. The mash was buttery, light and airy. It wasn't just a taste sensation but I loved the texture combinations from the soft meat, to the crispy kale and the smooth mash.
I didn't want my experience to end so I stayed for dessert
What a way to finish off the meal. I don't normally get desserts but with Cona I made an exception. This was a rich, delectable chocolate fondant with salted caramel ice cream on a bed of crushed chocolate. The ice cream was so creamy and I loved the contrast of the salt against the sweet caramel flavour.
The star on the plate was the fondant. I mean as soon as I broke into it, the runny chocolate middle just oozed out. This dessert was serious foodporn! I got a hit of chocolate that nearly knocked me off my chair. It was such a rich, concentrated taste of chocolate. Yum!
Cona are definitely making their own mark on the Halal restaurant scene. It's differnet which I love. I can't think of another fully Halal restaurant that serves this type of food and of this quality. If a birthday or anniversary is coming up, treat your loved one and give Cona a try!