Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Recipes: All GLUTEN FREE!
Described on their own website as “the First Italian restaurant in London 100% Gluten Free. Located in the heart of Soho, at La Polenteria History meets Modernity together with the pure Passion for Good and Healthy food. Polenta is a popular dish from North Italy becoming even more famous through the centuries: cornmeal flour cooked in hot water with a pinch of salt and twisted in many exciting, very tasty and healthy dishes. A natural gluten-free dish, polenta got very popular amongst Londoners who, soon, learned how eating well doesn’t mean renouncing to a tasty and great meal. As the demand for gluten-free products increased, we decided to meet our customers’ needs enlarging our offer in a concept which, we are proud to say, is the only Italian one, in the all United of Kingdom, with a food menu entirely gluten-free and certified by Coeliac UK. Our cuisine is the perfect synthesis between tradition and modern fusion style showing that the healthiest food can be even the tastiest. La Polenteria is not just like any other restaurant but it is a whole new concept where Ethic, Quality and Passion are the main ingredients of what, we believe, it’s gonna be an experience you won’t forget”
It’s located on Old Compton Street, in the heart of London’s Soho it is quite a simple restaurant with no over-the-top sculptures or WOW artwork but well spaced tables with all dishes 100% GLUTEN FREE. It was a busy lunchtime although without any working air-conditioning (on the day I visited), I would recommend staying close to the door: just to catch a brief refreshment of fresh air.
There was only one staff servicing all the tables, I had hoped to be offered a cool drink whilst reading the Menu but until my fellow diner arrived, they kind of ignored me, but with one member of staff, it wasn’t ideal. The drinks menu is not extensive and offer a choice of Fresh Water Infusions (£3.00) or Fresh Juices (£4.50), and they do disappoint. It is as described so water in a sealed jar with some fruit pieces. Overpriced when you consider other drink offerings at many central London restaurants and for what was water with a few bits of fruit.
The Food Menu is very extensive with a selection of Polenta-based Italian dishes. They also offer little dishes (a bit like tapas) which could prove quite interesting although the small tables would naturally limit the selection you make as there might not be room to have them if they’re served at once.
I have to confess that I am so not a fan of polenta. Indeed, it is one of my least favourite elements of Italian cooking but when you’re in a Polenta restaurant, it can not be avoided. I opted for “Home made Pasta with bolognese sauce” which one of the other tables had and they were making enjoyable noises about this dish.
And I wasn’t disappointed. It was a little salty for my taste but the pasta was firm and balanced by a generous portion of bolognese sauce. This was definitely the best bit of the dish as it was meaty, fresh and well-flavoured. Of course, it took a while to eat but I almost finished the whole plate before reviewing the Desserts.
It was a pleasant surprise that they had further polenta based puddings (a Polenta based Chocolate Brownie and a Polenta based Cheesecake!) but I have to say, these didn’t appeal to me!
Another 100% GLUTEN FREE restaurants reviewed on my blog includes Niche (Islington) which had a great menu for Coeliacs. Some central London 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 September 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!