Reviews

Eating out 10 times in 6 days…

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And on the seventh day, God rested. As I lay in bed on a Sunday morning, I realise there’s no food in the fridge. It’s raining, again and I don’t fancy moving. It’s been a busy one, and having a day where I have nothing planned sounds absolutely heavenly. Maybe I can make something like off the egg advert that creates a wonderful dish out of a few ingredients? Except I can’t, because the eggs are off.

The truth is I haven’t done a food shop in well over a week, and when I say that, I literally mean I haven’t bought a thing from the supermarket. Instead I’ve been eating out. I hear you, first world problems and that, but it’s true. No, I haven’t suddenly become flush with cash, nor have I become lazy, but somehow I’ve eaten out ten times in the last six days.

The majority have been for work meetings & research, and for the good of the team I was happy to take that one under my wing (smirk emoji). One was for a review, another I managed to have a free meal coupon, and the remaining two for catching up with family and friends.

What’s great about this last week is how much more I’ve learnt about food. How many more gluten free options I now know about. It’s really getting better and better. True, sometimes it can be a struggle and you feel like you’re thrown pillar to post, bouncing from one cafe to another in search of just ONE DISH that’s gluten free. C’mon guys, just make gf bread available and you’ll solve a lot of problems. But all in all, more often I glance at a menu with a little smile.

Everywhere I’ve eaten this last week surprised me for the good in some way, so I thought I’d share my week of findings with you.

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Day 1
Where: Milk, Balham
Nearest tube stop: Balham
What: Young Betty (eggs royale) with cornbread and a side of smashed avocado
Purpose: Work meeting
Verdict: When I say this is the best brunch I’ve ever had, I well and truly mean it. I cannot stop thinking about it. I’ve told everyone about it.
When you first read the menu, it’s not that clear what’s gluten free, but as soon as you speak to staff, you realise so much is available. That’s mainly down to Milk’s signature cornbread, that’s light, fluffy and almost cake like.  Cutting my poached eggs in two, the rich orange yolk was perfect, topped with an almost caramel like hollandaise. Easily the best Eggs Royale I’ve ever had in my whole life.
Don’t be put off my the queue. They get you seated pretty quickly. Also good to note, Balham has a tube and main line station. I found the mainline route (which goes from London Bridge to Victoria, the quickest route).
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Day 2
Where: Wawa, Bermondsey
Closest tube: London Bridge
Reason: Work meeting
What: Avocado & salmon + aubergine sushi rolls
Verdict: A quick word the waitress, who checked with the chef and it was simple to see quite a few dishes were able to be gluten free, just by serving with tamarin instead of soy sauce. The sushi was so fresh and light, served with side salads.
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Where: The Mae Deli
Closest tube: Marble Arch
Reason: Dinner after a long day
What: Salad bowl with sundried tomato falafel.
Verdict: I’ve been wanting to try The Mae Deli for so long and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve been a big fan of Deliciously Ella, for her simple recipes that also happen to be gluten free, and likewise her and her husband’s deli also has lots of options. Other than some of the sweet treats that are made with standard oats, all salads and hot items are gluten free, with lots of veggie and vegan options. I had a huge salad bowl, choosing four options from the counter. A little expensive at almost £12, but worth it for a one off treat.
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Day 3
Where: Pho, Oxford Circus
Closest tube: Oxford Circus
Reason: Work meeting
What: Ca-Ri Vietnamese curry, with summer rolls and prawn crackers
Verdict: Pho is the one of the best when it comes to gluten free. Their whole menu, bar beer and a brownie, is 100% gluten free and accredited by Coeliac UK. It’s always a toss up between a huge bowl of traditional pho, or the Vietnamese curry, but this time the curry won me over. Find various spots around the capital and beyond.
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Where: Shoryu Raman, Carnaby St
Closest tube: Oxford Circus
Reason: Work meeting
What: Miso Wafu Chicken and Shoyru bao bun
Verdict: At first we were heading to Bone Daddies, but after waiting 30 minutes, when I asked about the menu, was told there was nothing gluten free. Such a let down after reading such good things online. So instead we headed to Shoryu in Carnaby St in much need of a big bowl of ramen. Although only two of the ramen were gluten free, the menu was very clearly labelled. I had the Miso Wafu Chicken , which was deliciously creamy and made from soy milk. The chicken was perfectly crispy, and after triple checking, I was reassured it was coated in potato starch. The big surprise was actually being able to order my own bao bun!! These have been huge, but I’ve wherever I’ve been, there’s been no gf options. Low and behold, this beauty came out, and was as perfectly squishy and fluffy as expected.
 
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Day 4
Where: Newbury Race Course
Closest tube: Mainline train from Paddington
Reason: Agency away day
What: Buffet
Verdict: Now for something a little different. Before heading to the races for a work away day, I was pleased to see lots of areas on site offered gluten free. Our office manager double checked, sending an email, as we were in a box, so the buffet could have been a little different. Luckily fresh salmon and potatoes were served and they even were kind enough to bring out pre-wrapped gluten free rolls! Very impressed.
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Day 5
Where: Chipotle, Soho
Closest tube: Tottenham Court Road
Reason: Lunch, with a free burrito coupon
What: Veggie burrito bowl
Verdict: The perfect Friday lunch stop. Who knew Chipotle did gluten free?! It turns out both their bowls and tacos are gluten free, however if you’re coeliac, beware this is an open kitchen, where all meals are made up from a counter as you queue. The queue, which was out the door by the time we arrived, was so worth the wait, and I was extremely full by the end! Find Chipotle all over London.
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Where: Honest Burger, Soho
Closest tube: Tottenham Court Road
Reason: Family meal
What: Cheese burger with a gluten free bun, served with fries
Verdict: These guys know their gluten free. Owned by a coeliac, they never fail to offer anything you could possible fancy. From buns to onion rings, beer and fries, this is the place to go for a good gluten free burger. You can read more in my full review here.
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Day 6
Where: Tiosk, Hackney
Closest tube: London Fields
Reason: Catch up with a friend & visit to Broadway Market
What: Salmon and smashed avo on gluten free toast, topped with dill
Verdict: After popping in countless cafes on a trip to Broadway Market, we finally found Tiosk, which served lots of gf options, whether it be times on toast, breakfast bowls, salads and sweet treats. Their jasmine and elderflower ice tea is also the dream, and the two worked well in combatting my hangover from the night before.
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Where: BIRD, Shoreditch
Closest tube: Shoreditch High Street
Reason: Review visit
What: Fried chicken, slaw, jalapeño and corn cheddar bake.
Verdict: Here’s just a little sample of our wonderful meal at BIRD. My first fried chicken in almost 3 years! More on this and lots more photos to come in a full review, but I’ll leave you with this – it’s 1000% better than KFC.
And we’re done. *breathe* Who’s hungry?
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