Thursday 4 April 2013

Quick Gluten free cheat sheet for London - if you are also dairy, egg and soy free!

I just had an email from a lovely gluten free American lady who is coming to visit London with her daughter. Unfortunately for them they also have to avoid dairy, eggs and soy!

I wrote them a quick cheat sheet email back, and I thought I'd post it up here in case any of you share the affliction.

It shouldn't be too tricky, if you go to the right kinds of places. Places where the food is fresh, clean and simple, where they wouldn't use pre-made sauces or soy. There are plenty of these around London nowadays. 

For convenience while on the go for lunch I would recommend Leon, as everything is labeled for gf, dairy free etc. It's a chain and there are a few of them about. Similarly Pod is good for lunch food, and there are several locations also. 

Also certain cuisines are going to work well for you. For example indian food - curries don't have flour in the sauce and wouldn't contain egg or soy. You would have to ask for it to be made without ghee (indian butter), but apart from that it should be dairy free. I love a place called Dishoom, they have a gf menu there also to help things.

Vietnamese food also works well, as they don't often (or shouldn't really) use soy, and there's almost no dairy or wheat. I love CayTre, in Soho. Most of the menu at Pho is gf and df, so worth a look there too.

Thai also works, as the curries are made with coconut milk. Just check they haven't added soy (again, if authentic, they shouldn't) - there are lots of good thai curries around. I like Busaba Eathai. A sure fire dish and a place, if you are out and about, is Wagamama - there are loads of locations, and the chicken Itame (with rice noodles) is tasty and gf, df and egg free.

The supermarkets here in the UK all have sections called "Freefrom" where you will have allergen friendly foods. You will have to go to the slightly larger locations, but there are loads. Best is Waitrose and Sainsbury's, tesco's will do if it's the only one! 

In terms of escaping the tourist areas, Hampstead is a beautiful place to visit (easy to reach on the tube), and I love the fresh seasonal British food (such as roasts, fresh fish etc) at The Horseshoes, and at The Old White Bear

Oh, and if you fancy great food and you want a beer - try The Truscott Arms in Maida Vale (Warwick Ave tube), where you'll find 3 bottled GF beers, and plenty of food options.