It is fair to say Mediterranean food is the food I have enjoyed eating for most of my life, I have been very fortunate to have lots of friends and family friends cook dishes for me that have remained firm favourites to this day. This does however mean that my expectations are slightly higher in restaurants as I know the flavour combinations like the back of my hand.
Visiting Haz for lunch I had this in mind, as well as the great things I had heard from friends who had visited their previously, however, none of them are vegan, so naturally I had to check it out for myself. Firstly let me say this is a beautiful restaurant, the decor is simple and classic and the staff are wonderful. Never did my water go below half full and every member of staff had their own personality, which is so nice in a restaurant, especially in the City of London, where restaurants can be very formal and the staff very impersonal, this was not the case, the staff were of course professional but in a very friendly way, I liked this very much.
As soon as we arrived we were served water and some olives, served with some peppers, gherkins and other mixed vegetables, these were very nice whilst deciding on the courses. It was a really great suggestion to order a selection of the mezzes as they were all delicious and exceeded my expectations. It may be noted at this stage unashamedly, I did require second table to fit all of the food!
The tabule was exactly how I remembered it as a child, fresh and slightly tangy with bursts of flavour running all the way through it. The pomegranate made sure that it was balanced in taste on the palate and it was a great place to start this journey of flavour.
The hummus was so smooth and rich, thick enough to coat the back of the spoon which is always a good sign! It was so decadent and made such a great dip to go with the rest of the mezze. The falafel wonderfully crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside served with extra hummus. Bread served with it all to indulge in all of the flavours.
The show stopper has to be the globe artichoke, I am a huge fan of artichoke. I could eat it everyday, though preparing it at home can take a long time and so I retired from doing so not long after I started, relying purely o restaurants and family friends to make it for me. So it is a really special dish for me and this artichoke was exceptional. It was perfectly cooked, seasoned well and served with some delicious vegetables on the side to make this dish outstanding. I will order this every time I revisit Haz, this is a must if you are eating here.
For mains I had a blueberry and avocado salad, which is usually made with goats cheese but on this occasion to make it vegan, this was left out. The dish was absolutely beautiful, the flavour combinations worked so well and this was a fresh salad that was easily devoured. The blueberries and avocado were perfectly ripe and made this dish look stunning as well.
The pasta dish was so moreish, I felt I was full but then found myself eating more and more as I simply could not stop. This was a simple dish that could afford no errors, and it had none. The pasta was cooked perfectly the sauce soaked into the penne and coated the pasta wonderfully, the black olives added that extra edge of savoury element to the dish to cut through the slightly sweet sauce. It was simply scrumptious.
After eating so much food it was time for a Turkish coffee and tea to finish the meal. Turkish coffee is a drink very close to my heart, as family friends used to drink it when I was very young and can remember the first time I ever had a sip at around 10 years old, trying to like it as it was a sophisticated drink, some years later, it is one of my favourites and I like it to be as strong as possible. This was noted by the wonderful gentleman who took the order and he made sure it was just how I like it.
The Turkish tea was aromatic, as expected, perfect for after a late lunch, served so simply with a Turkish delight on the side which quickly devoured also.
I had such a wonderful afternoon in Haz and would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a high quality Turkish restaurant with superb attention to detail and incredible food! They have restaurants througout the city so be sure to check them out!