Halal Foodie on The Rock, Halal Food in Newfoundland
Halal Food in Newfoundland. Special Feature by Kaif Khan.
To end off this week’s “thank you” to Halal Foodie readers, I received a special surprise; one of my favourite young writers agreed to write a piece on her own halal foodie adventures. A Toronto native, Kaif now resides in St. John’s Newfoundland where she attends university. Thank you Kaif! — Salima
I knew what I did not want. I did not want to stay in Toronto any more. It wasn’t the city or the people. It was the lack of stimulation. Toronto and I had become husband and wife stuck in an arduous marriage. It was time for us to separate for a little while. It was time to rediscover ourselves. Me, more so than Toronto.
I wanted to romance a new city. Now most people would go about this decision in a logical manner. Thankfully, I am not one of them. I enlarged the map of Canada and skimmed through all the provinces. No, no, noooo, too near, too far, easily accessible by road, no, THIS!
THIS — was Newfoundland (AKA: The Rock). An island (because we all secretly have always wanted to live on one) requires a four-hour flight at the least — therefore no surprise visits and near the Atlantic Ocean.
Thus ensued Operation Mom.
“Mom, I am moving to Newfoundland”
“Go read Qur’an. Shaitaan is whispering in your ears again”
“University is cheap there you know”
“But you will have to pay for your living, eating and travel expenses. You might as well attend York. Or UofT”
“Na-uh. Low cost of living”
“There are no Muslims there”
“I Googled. There is a masjid there”
“But there won’t be any Indians! What will you do? Who will you speak to?!”
“Erm. Indians are everywhere mom.”
“Halal meat. You won’t get any halal meat.”
I love my meat. And I love it halal. Dhabiha halal. But I was ready to give it up. I was ready to eat fish and eggs for the next four academic years. I was finally able to convince my parents to come with me and explore Newfoundland before they would say yes or no.
We spotted four “brown” people throughout the duration of our short stay. One of them was a Moroccan hijabi. Allah had my back as always. There was one halal/desi store. My mother’s jubilation knew no bounds; “If you find a Moroccan boy at the university, you can marry him”. Thus began the journey with my parents blessings.
Newfoundland had been waiting for my arrival. Beautiful friendships were formed, my Deen grew — Alhamdulillah — due to the many hours spent in seclusion and reflection of the natural beauty Newfoundland has been blessed with and so did my obsession with halal food.
Toronto had something to offer that Newfoundland presently doesn’t. The choice in halal food. We have one proper Halal restaurant that opened recently, called Shalimar.
Taste East, the desi/Halal meat store offers a small variety of desi dishes as well.
India Gate, the best spot for fine dining Indian food in Newfoundland, caters halal meals if the meat is provided to them.
Often we are blessed with basics that we tend to overlook. Accessibility of halal food is currently high on my list. So this summer, Toronto and I reunited. We forgot about how much we have been missing each other. Our love blossomed once again. That is when I decided that I was going to try out as many halal restaurants I can. This blog was my halal food bible. I managed to try Kara Mia (Loved the Rosé Penne Steak) and T-buds lounge (Roast beef sandwich all the way). I exploited the Zabiha app on my iPhone thoroughly.
It is consoling though, to think that there are many fellow halal foodies such as myself, living in far off lands and dreaming about halal food. Marrying a butcher has never been this tempting before.
May your lives be blessed with halal food.
Kaif Khan is counting down days till she graduates from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is looking forward to stopping in Toronto for a while before she embarks on another adventure to another province where Halal Meat is aplenty. And when she isn’t dreaming about far off lands, she is dreaming about food. She tweets regularly about nothing in particular at @kaifoom