All posts filed under: Restaurants

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La Polenteria – 100% Gluten Free Restaurant in Soho, London

Another addition to the Gluten Free in London food map, La Polenteria. I’ve been meaning to visit La Polenteria for yonks, but having been away from London (I’ve been camping out in lovely Bath) it’s been difficult to sample as many places as I would like. I finally bit the bullet when I won a voucher to eat there at last year’s Allergy Show. I took it as a sign that the universe wanted me to eat (even) more gluten free Italian food. The Food The food is Italian with a twist; polenta, otherwise known as cornmeal, serves as the base for most of the meals. Having endured several disastrous polenta-themed meals as an exchange student in France (I think polenta was the only gluten free thing my host-mother knew how to cook *memory vom*), I have not been polenta’s biggest fan. However, since my FODMAP ordeal, pickiness over food is a luxury I cannot afford. I am now game to try pretty much anything. I was happy to find that though polenta is ever-present …

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Cote Brasserie’s Gluten Free Christmas Menu *

*This meal was free for review purposes from Côte Brasserie. I have dined at Côte on my own dime plenty of times, and would not write about it unless I was happy to recommend to fellow coeliacs. In many restaurants, the ‘gluten free options’ are meals with an element missing; a burger without a bun, a salad without croutons or a roast without gravy. The same cannot be said for UK chain Côte Brasserie. Their gluten free meals are as good as anything ‘regular’ on the menu, probably due to the fact that there is not a lot of difference between the two. There are always plenty of gluten free options and you don’t feel like you are having a ‘lesser’ meal than anyone else. I was therefore very happy when Côte invited me to come and review their gluten free Christmas menu. I visited the Bath branch with my friend Sian, and we enthusiastically got to work. For those that don’t know, I have had some previous involvement with Côte Brasserie. Last year, I …

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Niche – 100% Gluten Free restaurant in Clerkenwell, London

Niche is a 100% gluten free restaurant in London, an independent haven for coeliacs serving ‘Best of British’ food. Located just down the road from Sadler’s Wells, Niche is nestled in one of London’s loveliest and poshest neighbourhoods. I’ve been wanting to visit ever since I read Wandering Gluten Freely’s rave review, and I finally managed it a couple of weekends ago with my friend Mel. The Food Deep fried gluten free things are still a novelty to me. As such, I feel duty-bound to try them all. I had the ‘NFC’ (Niche Fried Chicken). “Free range buttermilk chicken coated in millet flour spiced crumb, with aioli & BBQ dips”. It was divine. The basket is deceptively small-looking – you actually get a lot of fried chicken for your £. I love ketchup and mayo as much as the next person, but it made the meal a bit more special to have homemade sauces. I had a basic side salad with the chicken (not pictured), which was fine. Mel went for a Chicken Burger with Superfood Salad instead of a bun …

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Gluten Free Doughballs at Pizza Express!

This is not a drill – Pizza Express are finally doing gluten free doughballs! I’ve eaten at Pizza Express many times over the years (it is one of my recommended places to grab a coeliac-friendly meal in London), and the doughballs have always given me serious food envy. It may seem like a small thing, but it sucks to be the one eating salad when everyone else is tucking into doughballs and garlic bread! (I’m sure my fellow coeliacs will know what I’m talking about). It will be great to have a decent gluten free starter to share…or keep all for yourself. 😉 I am so glad Pizza Express have listened to the feedback of carb-crazy coeliacs like me. Read more about the doughballs here. They should be available in restaurants as of now – I hope to try them ASAP! Have any of you tried them yet? Issi x P.S. Check the offers section of the Pizza Express website before visiting – you can usually get some sort of discount. Sign up for your FREE printable Coeliac Guide to Eating Out Gluten …

Let’s Do Lunch: 8 Places to grab a Gluten Free lunch near Oxford Circus.

Working or shopping near the tourist maelstrom that is Oxford Circus? Beginning to develop a thousand yard stare? Preserve your sanity by treating yo’self to lunch. There are so many restaurants, cafes and pop ups near Oxford Circus that you could literally eat something different each day, but I thought I would share my tried and tested gluten free lunch options. I have been working just a few minutes away from the craziness for the last 6 months, and despite the fug of pollution and more tourist-induced-tutting than I care to count, I have actually really enjoyed getting to know the Soho and “Noho” areas in my lunch break. These are my favourites. 1. BEYOND BREAD This gluten free bakery/cafe is my top recommendation for any coeliac visiting London – you can read my glowing review here – their premises are 100% gluten free so there is no need to worry about cross-contamination, and their products are just fantastic. They serve things like gluten free quiche and gluten free danish pastries that you simply don’t find anywhere else. For lunch, I favour a …

Italo Deli : Bonnington Square, Vauxhall

On Italo Deli’s website, they call themselves ‘THE BEST SHOP IN LONDON’. While this may be a bit ambitious, they are definitely the nicest place I’ve found in Vauxhall. This corner of South London is generally not the loveliest of areas (if you want fifty shades of grey, as in literally fifty different shades of corporate grey, come to Vauxhall), but slip down a few side streets to Bonnington Square and you can almost forget where you are. Bonnington Square is a former squatters paradise and has retained a slightly hippy, bohemian feeling, despite the office blocks just a few yards down the road. The streets are pretty and lined with trees and bicycles, and the gardens in the centre of the square are the perfect lunchtime escape for stressed out city workers. There are adult size swings (!!) and grassy knolls on which to sit and read books undisturbed. Italo deli is a tiny food-lovers oasis in the middle of all this. They sell some delicious, posh deli sort of fare: smoked meats, organic fruit and veg, luxury juices and chocolate…all the things I …

Ristorante Ichnusa: A Gluten Free Gem in Lavender Hill

Do you like hearty Italian food, reasonably-priced wine and supporting local businesses? Of course you do! Ristorante Ichnusa is a Sardinian restaurant I stumbled across on my travels around Battersea. I noticed that they had a sign outside proclaiming that they offer gluten free options (restaurants – this is a good thing to do), and after an encouraging chat with the manager Alberto, I vowed to pay them a visit. The restaurant is located on Lavender Hill, a pleasingly-named stretch of shops, cafes and bars (and about 10 million estate agencies) in Battersea. From their website:  ‘At Ristorante Ichnusa we offer the authentic taste of Sardinia, preparing our pastas and main courses in the same traditional way our grandmothers did when we were kids. Strong, bold flavours and the freshest ingredients combine with handmade delicacies and full bodied wine to produce an unforgettable experience for all who grace our tables.’ Upon visiting the restaurant, I was immediately impressed by three things. 1. They provide gluten free pasta and bread at no extra cost. 2. They are willing to adapt …

Flat Iron: Best Steak in London?

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to write about Flat Iron*. A Soho go-to, Flat Iron is great for a quick, sexy dinner date, and is thus far my favourite place to eat steak in London. Steak. Dripping-cooked chips. Cocktails. You can’t go wrong. Let’s get one thing out of the way though: Flat Iron is not one for the vegetarians. May I direct you to one of my favourite veggie places to eat? Anyway, Flat Iron do one thing really bloody well. Steak! They have kept the menu simple, and focus purely on providing the best steak and sides. At £10 for the basic steak and salad, it comes in considerably cheaper (and better) than the steak-themed tourist traps in the area. Food arrives quickly (a benefit of having just a few things on the menu) and you’re given complimentary popcorn while you wait. It is a cosy, intimate atmosphere inside; you can end up jostling for elbow room with strangers, but for me this adds to the Soho charm. Even though they don’t …

Hummus Bros Gluten-free Launch

  Last week Hummus Bros invited myself and a bunch of other lovely gluten-free bloggers, company reps and coeliacs to sample their new GF menu. Hummus Bros is one of those cool London restaurants I’d been meaning to visit for yonks. I may have visited quicker if I had been aware of their super useful interactive allergen menu, or their amazing homemade hummus (Hummus? Houmous? Hummus.), or the extent to which they accommodate coeliacs and gluten-free dieters. Hummus Bros serve up simple, fresh meals, all based around their staple homemade hummus. That evening they had prepared a set menu for us made up of a selection from their new gluten-free menu. I love the start-up story. ‘Hummus Bros was born on a glorious hot day in May 2003, when, as two college friends, we were searching for something filling and healthy that would taste great, and still leave some change for drinks at the Union Bar. Passing on the usual options of pizza or sandwiches, we stumbled out of a small specialist delicatessen with three basic ingredients: pitta bread, hummus and olive oil. In …