Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Recipes: All GLUTEN FREE!
Located on the Mezzanine level of luxury Hotel One Aldwych, Indigo is an interesting restaurant for any Coeliac. Their Executive Chef caused a storm earlier in the year by changing the Menu so it’s all GLUTEN FREE and DAIRY FREE and not telling any of the diners. Yes, it’s an exclusive experience to receive a Menu and know everything on it is a selection you can make, and there’s no need to explain my restrictions and condition and hope that they fully understand the specific requirements that I have. On their website, they state ” In creating his menu for Indigo, Executive Chef Dominic Teague brings a culinary expertise that bridges respect for British tradition with gentle invention. He is committed to careful sourcing and his menu includes an array of foraged foods and forgotten flavours. As Executive Chef at One Aldwych for three years, Dominic has brought culinary expertise to the hotel. With the recent refurbishment of the Indigo kitchen, he has quietly cut both gluten and dairy completely from his lunch and dinner menus, and diners haven’t been able to tell the difference.” And the selection changes everyday.
Indigo has already won a prestigious discretionary Pathfinder Award to Executive Chef Dominic Teague and Indigo for their ground breaking work in catering for those on FreeFrom diets to celebrate the opening of the 2016 competition, the FreeFrom Eating Out Awards. A year ago Indigo at One Aldwych hotel, Covent Garden, after brief closure for a kitchen refurbishment, launched a brand new, entirely gluten and dairy free menu – but the team did not tell anyone what they were doing. And…. Nobody noticed! None of their regular customers who had been using the restaurant for years; none of the new visitors who came to see what the revamped menu had to offer. All they talked about was the deliciousness of the food! In October, Indigo ‘came clean’ and the ‘FreeFrom’ world went wild – and Indigo’s bookings shot up by 30%.
So back to my special meal…
Time for Bread…
GF Bread (Onion and Walnut with rapeseed oil)
On the side, we were served GF mini-loaves which were very tasty. It was warm and had a sweet onion flavour and for a GLUTEN FREE Bread, it was light and airy. Indeed, they offered more and I couldn’t resist enjoying another one.
Indigo Starter: I really fancied the Starter on the Indigo Set Menu (Pea Soup) which I really adore. It wasn’t any problem to borrow from the Set menu and return to A La Carte for my main Course selection. It is served with a Hens Egg but as I don’t do EGG YOLK, I requested that this was left off.
It is presented well with a beautiful porcelain bowl with a few peas in it before the soup broth is poured in. The fresh flavours were amazing and such a simple but amazing tasting dish, even in the height of summer. I did note that a neighbour had chosen this dish (with the Egg) and that was poached and added to the colour of the dish.
For my main course, despite the wide variety of interesting dishes, I really wanted the very straight-forward GF Fish & Chips. It’s something which I crave sometimes as it’s such a great British dish which is no longer widely available for me.
This fish was meaty and a good solid portion with crisp batter, sat on top of crushed peas (which would have been better if these had been traditional mushy peas but in this kind of London establishment, that was unlikely!), a bowl of solid chips and a small dish of home-made tartare sauce. I really enjoyed this main course which was just what I needed and a good portion of everything so I finished, feeling full and well-fed.
I was tempted for a dessert but after a good Starter and excellent Main Course, I knew I didn’t have any room for yet more delicious food. The restaurant had done their job well.
Even with the bill, they presented us with GF and DF Chocolates: another sign of the excellent service and attention to detail. Whilst it isn’t an intimate setting (sat on the Mezzaine level overlooking the Hotel’s Bar, the service is very good: all dishes arrived together and were served simultaneously by two waiters rather than one diner, and then the next meal. All food portions were very good and whilst it isn’t overpriced, what you are paying for is the service and the fact that as a Coeliac, you can eat out in an environment where you know they’ll understand your condition and food concerns as the whole menu is GLUTEN FREE and DAIRY FREE!
There are many luxurious restaurants in London which willingly and happily cater for Coeliacs, some I have reviewed on my blog including The Hawksmoor, The Wolseley, The Ivy, Searcy’s (up the Gherkin),Ting (up the Shard), Hunan, Skylon, Galvins alongside some who go beyond for the Coeliac (including Niche: which is 100% GF) and Truscott Arms (which is a gourmet pub with yet amazing food!)
Other Chain restaurants reviewed on my blog includes: Chef & Brewer Pub: The Bulls Head, Ed’s Diner (which I love because of their Cheesy Fries), Honest Burgers (with GLUTEN FREE Onion Rings!) and Pizza Express (including their new GLUTEN FREE Dough Balls).
If you are a member of Coeliac UK, they produce a comprehensive directory which covers over 16,000 food and drink items (including GLUTEN FREE Chocolate Bars). This is available in a paper-based Manual and online FREE to members of Coeliac UK. Our charity are working with many restaurants and once Coeliac UK are satisfied, they are accredited by Coeliac UK: Click Here. Accredited Restaurants reviewed on my blog includes Carluccios, La Tasca and Ed’s Diner.
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This information was correct as of August 2016.
But as I am learning, ingredients do change and therefore you should always read the label and check for yourself whether it is GLUTEN FREE or not!