Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Recipes: All GLUTEN FREE!
Chinese food has always been a real challenge for Coeliacs. Primarily, it is because one of core ingredients (soy sauce) is derived from Wheat and used extensively in many different sauces and dressings in Chinese cooking. Recently, M&S launched two new Chinese Meals (Sweet & Sour Chicken & Black Bean Beef Ready Meals) which I have tasted and can confirm they to be rather tasty and authentic as well as several Gluten Free restaurants offering Chinese food including the very exclusive Chinese restaurant Hunan in Belgravia (which is not priced at an everyday level but definitely for a special occasion), the Central London Chinese option in the heart of Chinatown: Shuang Shaung, Ping Pong (in both 2014 and 2015 who now offer a “Gluten Free Banquet” and a few new Dim Sum selections as well as 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 what is the new Menu like at Ping Pong? Can you really have a Chinese banquet? The new Menu items include: PURPLE POWER CHICKEN SALAD: This is a really good portioned dish which by itself would be a meal unto itself. It is a concoction of textures with soft chicken pieces, crunchy nuts and beans as well as leaves and a sweet bursts from the rice berries. It is a great salad which means it is great and health for you with a good fresh dressing. SEAFOOD DUMPLINGS: These soft warmed parcels of joy have a mix of seafood and have a very light flavour. I personally don’t eat much crab but this was mixed up with prawn pieces and scallop slices so it had a good delicate flavour. BLACK PRAWN DUMPLINGS: These look really interesting with the dark black squid ink skin. The filling is a whole King Prawn with a kick of garlic which is not too powerful. And despite the photographic evidence below, a portion is made up of three pieces. HAU GAU: One of my favourite Dim Sum dishes as it is just so simple (prawns and bamboo shoots wrapped in light white parcel. As you can see, these are dipped in GLUTEN FREE soy Sauce and are delicious. I usually have at least one order of these (which also come with three pieces). The saltiness of the soy sauce balances with the richness of the prawns. CRAB & PRAWN DUMPLING: Another strange one but with such a limited GLUTEN FREE selection, I think I have ordered almost one of everything that is GF! This had a strong ginger flavour to the crab and prawn filling which wasn’t too powerful but provided some warmth to the mix. CRUNCHY GOLDEN DUMPLING: The filling inside is purely vegetables but a ty have been stir-fried, they have retained their firm texture, hence the name crunchy, despite being in a soft encased dumpling. This is quite plan in taste but the vegetables (carrots, bean sprouts, pak choi and peas are stuffed into this shaped dumpling.
So it is still a shame that none of the fried Dim Sum are able to be enjoyed by a Coeliac but there is a good selection of largely Steamed GLUTEN FREE Dim Sum which will satisfy a Chinese urge!
Other culinary delights and charming restaurants in London which willingly and happily cater for Coeliacs, some I have reviewed on my blog, include Heston’s Dinner @Mandarin Oriental Hotel, The Scott Gilbert @Renaissance Hotel St Pancras, Indigo @One Aldwych, 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!)
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 May 2017. 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!