Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Recipes: All GLUTEN FREE!
M&S have always been pretty good to Coeliacs with their extensive literature on their website, listings of stores with GF Products as well as lots of good quality products that are part of their “Made without Wheat” range. Many I have reviewed including Sweet Treats: Mini Hazelnut Praline Cakes, Rhurbarb Crumble, Blackcurrant Ripple Loaf, Extremely Strawberry Triffle & New York Cheesecake,Victoria Sandwich, Lemon Drizzle Cake, Mince Pies, Hot Fudge Pudding and Triple Chocolate Cookies) Savoury Items (Quiche Lorraine, Chicken & Mushroom CrispBakes) and M&S Bread products (Soft White Baps, Sliced White Boule, Soft Brown Baps and Fruit Loaf) and their sandwiches. (M&S Products also appear in my Chocolate Bar listing, Chocolate Box listing, Easter Egg listing, Mince Pie review and my 2015 Advent Calendar listing) so it is exciting when they launch a new product, and you find it!
And Chinese food seems to be a challenge for Coeliacs. Since I was diagnosed as a Coeliac, I have struggled to enjoy good Chinese Food whilst eating out. 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 COMING SOON: a 2016 UPDATE of PING PONG), 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 and a Central London Chinese option in the heart of Chinatown: Shuang Shaung but this M&S option gives me a quick and easy ready-meal at home:
This is a straight-forward ready meal which can be heated in the oven and /or microwave and is then ready to eat. It comes in two separate trays (one of rice and one of the chicken in sauce) and the sticky sweet sauce hits you when you pierce the film covering. Once it’s been heated you can really smell the sauce. It is quite thick with pieces of red peppers, onions as well as chunks of pineapple in it alongside a generous portion of chicken. It is both sweet and sour (although not too sour!) and the plain white rice goes well with the meat dish.
A great addition which means you can enjoy a decent Chinese dish without the risk of cross-contamination and in the comfort of your own home as this type of culinary food is a difficult one to obtain when you’re out and about. Simultaneously, they’ve launched another Chinese dish:
This beef is served in a rich Black Bean sauce which has warm spiciness to it but it’s not too much and not too spicy! The sauce and the beef is thick enough to mix with the white rice and there are some onions and red peppers in there as well. The strips of beef are thickly cut and they really contrast well with the Water Chestnuts which retain their firmness and add a different texture in this dish. Perhaps this dish has too much sauce in comparison to the Sweet and Sour Chicken but still a good quick ready meal.
I have to say that the rice is pretty dull by itself and so this dish really lends itself to being mixed up and enjoyed:
So it can be microwaved or oven-heated. And surprisingly, I would prefer the Black Bean Beef over the Sweet and Sour, now that I’ve tasted both of them. I think the richness of the flavours (of the Black Bean sauce) was more exciting than the Sweet and Sour and made it a tastier dish.
This post was correct as on publication in April 2017.
And remember I love my revised Chocolate Box guide (based upon Chocolatier Producers, Chocolate Boxes on the High Street and Luxurious Chocolate Boxes), Chocolate Bars, Chocolate Bags, my Chocolate Easter Eggs (based upon Chocolatier Producers such as Cadbury & Nestle, High Street Own-Label including M&S, Lidl & Tescos and Decadent Department stores including Fortnum & Mason & Harrods).
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