Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Recipes: All GLUTEN FREE!
Since I was diagnosed as a Coeliac, I have struggled to enjoy good Chinese Food. On my blog, I have reviewed a very exclusive Chinese restaurant Hunan in Belgravia (which is not priced at an everyday level but definitely for a special occasion), Ping Pong (in both 2014 and 2015 who now offer a “Gluten Free Banquet”) and Naturally Chinese, a great restaurant in Surbiton which adapts dishes so you can enjoy a good selection from their GLUTEN FREE Menu which I have visited in 2014 and 2015, So finding a Central London Chinese option in the heart of Chinatown was a real treat…
Shuang Shuang is located on the edge of Chinatown, on Shaftesbury Avenue at the junction with Wardour Street and through it’s large windows, it looks like a variation of Yo Sushi. Indeed, it is clear that they’ve taken the Japanese concept (with the conveyor belt, coloured plates of “ingredients” circulating through the restaurant and one large irregularly shaped table) so you sit next to your guest(s) and opposite other parties, divided by the conveyor belt.
It’s a really straight-forward approach to this traditional Chinese Speciality: You select a Broth, which is poured into your own hot pot, which is boiling away (and controlled at your table) and select other “ingredients”: meats, fishes, vegetables and noodles /rice, to also cook in the Broth. The Menu has a “wheat” symbol which clearly identifies which dishes contain GLUTEN and the staff are well informed to advise.
Allergen Information Sheet
They also provided a detailed allergy sheet which outlined all the dishes with a table highlighting the 14 allergens as above.
So the GLUTEN FREE Broths include “Lamb Tonic: Sour and gamey. Inspired by the Mongolians and said to be original taste of Chinese hot pot” with Lamb bones, Pickled mustard, Greens & Chilli in Lamb Oil. I wasn’t brave to try this one so opted for the “Temple Brew: Heart-warming and vegan. Made with soy milk that we brew in house daily” with soy milk, mushrooms, white turnip and dried liquorice root. I was worried that the liquorice would overpower the broth but this was delightful and creamy. They also prepared me a selection of dried ingredients (all GLUTEN FREE) in order to make a dipping sauce. I confess that I didn’t really use much of this but I loved the Sesame Butter (which had a real creaminess and savouriness) and I really enjoyed cooking my Pork Belly slices in the broth and enjoying it with some Glass Vermicelli noddles and Pak Choi greens.
And once it has boiled up, it is time to start enjoying the broth with additional Ingredients: A good selection of well-labelled categories keep going past: on different coloured plates (indicating the price!). They are in sections: (Beef, Pork, Chicken, Fish [including shellfish], Vegetables and Noodles) although even with photographs, I struggled sometimes to identify what I wanted: I had selected what I thought was Glass Vermicelli noodles, but actually had selected Knot Yam Noddles (which are GF) but not what I wanted: so make sure you select what you want and check if you’re not sure.
All the “ingredients” are regular topped up and if you don’t see (or can’t identify what you want): they will bring it over to you. The waiting staff had left a Menu to help us and were walking around to support this unusually dining experience. It took nearly two hours for my broth to boil away to nothing so you can have a leisurely lunch /meal without feeling rushed! And once you’ve had enough the bill is worked out based upon the selected broth, drinks and empty coloured plates (just like Yo Sushi). Unfortunately, they don’t accept reservations and would imagine this would be a restaurant you might need to wait for space at weekends and during some evenings but I will see you in the queue!
I guess if you’re not comfortable handling raw meat /fish, this restaurant will not be for you, and if you’re not into cooking (not that dipping “ingredients” in a boiling broth really requires much culinary skill) than again walk on by, but I found this a great Chinese GLUTEN FREE option in the heart of Soho /Chinatown.
This post was correct as on publication in July 2016.
Other Gourmet Dining experiences in London and rather special-treat GLUTEN FREE meals reviewed on my blog in London include GF Lunch at The Wolseley, Hunan in Belgravia, Afternoon Tea at the Shangri-la Hotel up the Shard, Searcys at the Gherkin, Afternoon Tea at Fortnums & Mason, GF Lunch at The Ivy, GF Lunch at Niche (100% GF), Skylon at the Royal Festival Hall and Galvins at Windows, Hilton Park Lane.
If you are a member of Coeliac UK, they list out their Accredited restaurants as well as produce a Comprehensive Directory which covers over 16,000 food and drink items (available in a paper-based Manual and online FREE to members of Coeliac UK)
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