In The Hot Seat With Halal Girl About Town (@halal_girl)
Here at Brimah and John, we have numerous inspirations! One of which are fabulous women, with a passion and a drive to do what they love and what makes them happy. These women are forging a path for themselves in their chosen fields and are an inspiration to us all. So what we like to do, is sit them down in the hot seat, shine a spot light on them... and get to know them a little better.
*drum rolls* ON THE BLOG. TODAYYY. WE. HAVE. MORE. FOOOOOOOOOOD!!! *crowd goes wild*
Y'all already know i'm a fatty! So ya know, I had to get Layla of Halal Girl About Town on the blog. I spent 2013/14 touring restaurants off her recommendations. I'm sure some of my snapchat buddies remember some of my midnight food hunts *recalls trek to uxbridge for red iron burger, for it to be closed when I arrived*. Saddest day of 2014 y'all.
What inspired your blog?
- Definitely my love for food! I would religiously follow non-halal food blogs and constantly call every restaurant I read about to find out if they served halal meat. Sadly, many of them were not, but I was on a mission to find establishments that not only served halal meat, but were different to the norm. Suddenly it occurred to me, “what if I had an online diary that would show my halal food adventures around London?”, and thus Halal Girl About Town was born!
What would you say has been your greatest challenge if any?
- Trying to find the ultimate halal burger. The quest still continues - dun dun dunnnn.
With the range of food on Your blog, is there anything you're yet to try?
- Ah, I would love to have good, authentic, and obviously halal, Korean food.
I myself have a 'delicate palette' basically, I hate trying new things, any advice for someone like me?
- Oh no! My advice would be to take two or three bites of the dish before you make a decision on whether you like it or not. Also, do not smell your food beforehand; something that may not smell amazing could be the best meal of your life.
If you had to survive on one restaurant for a month, which would it be?
- Tough question! If we’re talking about a London restaurant then the Asian room at Novikov for sure, but if we’re talking about ANY restaurant then the Dubai burger shack, Salt, wins my heart every time with their juicy sliders.
What would you say are the common misconceptions about a food blogger?
- The main misconception is that food bloggers are super fat; I love my food but love working out even more! Another population misconception is that we are exceptionally good cooks, however I happen to be a fire hazard in the kitchen so that definitely is not true!
If you weren't a food blogger, would you have been any other type of blogger?
- A lifestyle blogger that visits lots of restaurants!
What's next for halal girl about town?
- This is just the start for HGAT! I’m afraid I cannot reveal any plans at this very moment but watch this space.
Who would you say is/are your biggest motivators?
- Without a doubt, my husband (BW). He’s believed in HGAT from the start and fully supports me with every opportunity that has come my way; from driving for hours to a restaurant in the middle of nowhere to waking up at a crazy time to sit with me for a radio interview, he is the reason HGAT is where it is today, and for that I am so grateful to him.
For a popular blog, very little is known about you (besides what you choose to share) what would you say is the reason behind your anonymity?
- Having an anonymous profile allows me to waltz into any restaurant and have a true dining experience without any extra attention from the staff. Also, keeping my business and personal life separate allows me to have a tiny bit of a breather now and then.
Your dream chef wants to cook for you, who is it, and what are they cooking?
- Heston Blumenthal for sure, and I would love to try a halal version of the famous “meat fruit”.
What's your biggest pet peeve in the kitchen?
- People who sniff their food to determine whether they like it or not. Grrr.. food has to be tasted, NOT smelt!!!!
We'd love to know a bit about your fashion style, how would you describe your fashion style?
- I live in black, grey, and navy, plus a pair of skinny jeans.
What 3 items in your wardrobe could you not live without?
- Leather jacket, white low-top converses, and my classic blue skinny jeans.
You've gone a week without your phone, laptop, or any other interpersonal contact, who do you miss talking to?
- Wow, my phone is my child - I don’t think I could last an hour without it. But of course, BW, my family, and my best friends would be sorely missed too!
How have you found the transition from single gal to wifey? Has it impacted your blog in any way?
- From burning every meal I made to single-handedly dealing with spiders, the transition was a HUGE shock to my system, but as the months have gone on, I’ve comfortably settled in - no more burnt dinners (sometimes)!! With regards to my blog, being married has had a huge positive impact on the website. Living with BW, who fully understands and supports HGAT, has made my life a lot easier and stress-free; he’ll help me wind down after a long day, whip up a quick dinner when I’m too busy glued to the laptop, and even gives me fantastic ideas. I’ve also found that I’m able to put in 110% effort into the website in terms of research, development, and reviewing (no more wedding diet!).
Your in-laws ring, they're 40 mins out and they intend to stay for dinner but you haven't cooked, what do you whip up?
- My mum’s frozen food! Haha, just kidding. Probably grilled cajun salmon with avocado salsa plus my easy peasy sweet potato and fig salad.
Any advice for all the women out there carving their paths in life?
- Pursue a degree or career that you are passionate about. One of the biggest mistakes I made was that I studied Economics for three whole years and hated every moment of it; I left university with a 2:1 but now I’m doing something completely different to my degree and I love it! Secondly, hard work goes a long, long way; don’t expect to be successful without putting in maximum effort. And thirdly, don’t forget to enjoy yourself along the way!
And lastly our favourite Brimah and John question,
You've got £250 to spend at www.brimahandjohn.com what pieces do you buy?
- The grey lace skirt (£120), floral kimono (£40), pink and gold brocade skit (£85), and the mustard striped trousers (£35). Oops, teeny bit over!
Anything else you'd like to add?
- Thanks so much for featuring me on your lovely website!!
Well guys, you heard it hear first, something is brewing in HGAT headquarters. Who else is excited to see whats coming? Also, anyone else instantly google the "meat fruit"? I definitely enjoyed reading about Layla, I seem to be coming across many economists these days. Is that what we economists do, study for three years then chase our passions lol?
** All pics sourced from @halal_girl **