Restaurants – Sponsored by Riso Gallo
Click here for images from this year's presentation.
Oscar & Bentley's, Canterbury
'This is a restaurant that understands allergy and gets it right. They deal with it without fuss or alarm, there is no need to call the chef or check ingredients in the kitchen. Our server knew the menu and all allergens inside out, was able to describe and recommend dishes making us feel completely confident that we were in safe hands while treating us no differently to any other table.
And the food was delicious. I had cassoulet with the lightest, fluffiest gluten-free dumplings. For dessert I ordered the fruit crumble – excellent. The server asked me if I’d prefer the nut-free topping so that my nut-allergic companion could taste some – again, a lovely understanding of allergy and how it affects the whole party.
A role model for other restaurants wanting to attract a loyal free-from following.'
For a short video of Chef Mark cooking his totally 'freefrom' Ghurka curry, see here.
2 Oxford Place, Leeds
'2 Oxford Place was a joy to visit. From the very first phone call to the friendly farewell from all the staff as we left – this was the ultimate free from experience. The restaurant is 100% gluten free so the menu is huge for the gluten free diner. But they also have separate dairy free and vegan menus plus a full allergen list for all other allergens. We felt totally comfortable that they really knew what they were at and could look after us safely.
The food was great! A huge range of classics that I rarely get to enjoy, the best gluten-free bread I have ever eaten plus starters and puds to die for – like dairy free creme brulee?! A really exciting menu.'
For the second year Pizza Express come out at the top of the 'chain' pile! We were very impressed with the care and attention from the staff – both chefs and waiting staff.
Excellent choice of safe gluten-free options – thanks to them only using gluten-free flour to roll out the pizzas and thereby eliminating that contamination issue. A rather more limited dairy-free offer but my boys found plenty to eat. So great to be able to go and have a pizza with your friends or family without being made to feel in any way awkward.'
'From the moment I booked the table to the end of the meal we were looked after in a friendly and professional way. We had told them that we were both gluten and dairy intolerant but the waiter knew every dish and as it was all cooked freshly we were able to substitute where necessary.
This is a Tapas restaurant with a Peruvian twist – comprehensive, varied and plenty of choice for nearly every allergy although the kitchen is not nut free. We even had 3 desserts to choose from – and everything was delicious! So delicious that I am actually booking a party there for Christmas!'
Niche Food & Drink, Central London
'The whole restaurant is gluten free – what a treat! In terms of other allergens, the menu is laid out brilliantly so that you can see what is vegan/veggie/lacto veggie and therefore egg and dairy free also. And the staff are definitely on top of it; we felt really comfortable dining there.
The main food idea is burgers/steak/salads but there are some exciting dishes, such as 'Cauliflower Steak' with onion rings (delicious!) or gluten-free bagel with salmon and cream cheese (bagel a little disappointing) - and a gluten-free fried chicken to die for! Also a good range of gluten-free beers.'
La Polenteria, Central London
'Lovely hearty Italian fare, majoring on polenta and with proper coffee at the end of the meal! The staff were very proud of their Coeliac UK accreditation but they had a wide range of vegan options and the relevant 14 allergens are marked against all the dishes in their normal menu. The staff clearly have excellent knowledge of their ingredients and sourcing. Good selection of desserts (including a vegan cake that my dairy and egg-free daughter positively inhaled!) and gluten free beer.
A cosy and convivial little family restaurant – and most of the other customers were Italian! Always a good sign!
The Rainbow Café and Restaurant, Cambridge
'Lots of great gluten-free options many of which are also vegan, so, effectively dairy and egg free too. Inventive and imaginative dishes and pleasantly 'home made' in style; lots of great desserts but a bit short on starters and not a lot for children.
The staff were friendly and helpful – and seemed to understand about allergy and contamination so I felt very comfortable eating at the Rainbow. Would definitley go back!'
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