Eating out is always something which involves a little bit of planning for anyone who is on a gluten free diet. Over the last five years I have had the opportunity to eat at a few places in Bangalore, some have become my regular go to place if I crave for something different other than the usual home cooked meals. There are places I have gone back again only because the Owner or the Manager is really understanding and takes the care required to prepare a meal. Sometimes also because the Menu has very many options for a gluten intolerant person. One of the areas I absolutely love in Bengaluru is ofcourse Indiranagar, so most of the places I eat out happen to be in Indiranagar or the vicinity.Do not fret I have taken into account restaurants in other areas as well. I am sure there are so many more than I have listed but my list is compiled on the basis of what is available on the menu, my personal experience and yes I am highly sensitive to gluten, within 15 minutes of accidentally ingesting gluten I show symptoms so taking into account all my experiences I have arrived at this list.
The Good News is I have seen a considerable change over the last few years. I do not know if it is the awareness or Celiacs like me constantly asking numerous questions to Owners/Chefs and Managers it has become an easy city for a Celiac to live in. *does a happy dance*
The Rule of Thumb – Always Ask Never Assume Everyone Knows About Gluten.
Another reason to write this blog post is because I want the information out there so people will not find it difficult anymore.
1. The Black Rabbit – There are options in the menu a Celiac or GF person could have but ask to speak to the manager or Chef they know their allergens so you are in good hands.
2. Nandos – The good thing it is a international franchise and you can have almost everything there because Nando’s sauces are gluten free and the only side you cannot have is Potato Wedges because it has wheat starch,they use McCain’s potato wedges which has wheat starch. You could have the fries but there is likelihood of cross contamination from the oil which is sometimes used to fry the wedges as well. I love my Chicken so I usually tend to order a 1/4 chicken with a side of beans, corn or spicy rice.
3. Chillies – Again another international franchise, know their allergens. Inform the waiter and he/she will get you to talk to the Manager or a Senior staff who will help you. I tend to usually order a grilled chicken or something along those lines
4. BBQ Nation – They know their allergens, senior staff will help you out if you speak to them. All the BBQ stuff is mostly gluten free.
5.The Glass House – Another place which knows their allergens. Order their meat dishes with some lovely sides or their rissotto. Dessert – stick to the panna cotta or their Ice Cream
6. Habanero – Another place which knows their allergens, I tend to stick to a chicken/meat dish. They tend to special requests quite well.
5. Toscano – Know their Gluten and Allergens well. There is a lot of stuff you could order from the menu.
5. Cafe Noir – The know their allergens well and if you are a non-vegetarian there are quite a few meat options that are naturally gluten free.
6. Olive Beach/ Monkey Bar/Fatty Bao – These places the staff, the Chefs know their allergens so you are in good hands. ( Chef Chandra has all this sorted )
7. The Cafe at Max Mueller Bhavan – They know their allergens well and will go out of their way to accommodate your request. The other day they made me a Moussaka but did not add flour.
8. Red Fork/Daddy’s Deli – Daddy’s Deli the Parsi restaurant has way more options for a gluten free person. The Manager Mahendran is a gem of a person and takes your request very seriously. Red Fork has fewer options but whatever you order care is taken that you get something safe to eat. I love the desserts here as well. Zarine Kharas or Sneha Shankar the owners/co -propreitors are mostly around so you can always check with them. However their staff is well trained and you generally do not require to speak to someone in charge.
9. Ginger Tiger – One of the very few Pan Asian places which knows its allergens. I guess it has to do with it being an international franchise.
10. Carrots – Krishna and his team know about gluten and have lot of vegan and gluten free dishes to choose from
11. Smoke House Deli – Here again just speak to the manager or a senior waiter and you are in good hands though peak weekends times might not be a great time to visit unless ofcourse you have reserved a seat.
12. Sunny’s – The absolute favourite of Celiacs. Why you ask? They do a gluten free pizza on request and it is yumm! You can also place an order for take away. Call a day in advance and your pizza cravings will be taken care of.
13. Mast Kalandar – Gaurav Jain the Founder says that the safest option is to have their rice dishes/combo’s and so far I have done so without any problems.
14. Mc Donald’s – what can you have here well nothing except for the fries. It is safe because they use a separate dedicated fryer and their fries are gluten free.
15. South Indian restaurants – It is the easiest place for a Celiac or GI person. You can have Nagarjuna’s meals, Paradise Biryani, Annapoorani and Adyar Ananda Bhavans Tiffin and rice items barring the obvious dishes made out of rava or maida. You might ask why others do not show up here, the simple reason because Kannadiga style Tiffin places tend to add rava to their normal rice dosa and idly batter. Rava is a variant of wheat too so that is why. Achayan’s is a favourite for Keralite food or if you are looking at a Fine DIning Options look at Vembanad at the Paul, Ente Keralam, Fort Kochi. There are so many you can take your pick because we Mallus eat 80% naturally gluten free stuff ( Have I told you how awesome it is to be a Mallu if you are on a gluten free, if I haven’t well it super awesome;-) )
16. Five Star Hotels – All of them are aware of Allergens so it is easy eating out there. Taj makes an awesome gluten free bread. ITC folks are super sweet and careful.
17. Double Tree Hilton Suites – My fellow Celiacs Pavneet’s finding, they do gluten free breads everyday at their buffet. So you are taken care of there too.
18. North Indian Places – Stick to rice. gravies and check with them on kababs. My favourite though is Imli because Archana and Somil Mittal have quite few dishes on their menu which apart from rice you can have. The Cheela’s , the vada’s , the pulavs, kichdee. As for Srinivasan the waiter he will help you out
19. Loft/Hard Rock Cafe/Church Street Social – Places have only a few options make sure you speak to a senior person so you know you are in safe hands.
20. Chaipatty – It is a great place to meet over Chai since we have so many coffee houses and fewer chai places, my friend Chirag runs it and the safe option is to stick to Chai and Pakodas.
21. Puma Social Club – Chef Ashley knows his allergens just call ahead or make sure you ask the waiter to inform the kitchen staff or Chef and you will have something you can eat.
How can I forget the ‘Uru’ dessert places
1. Baskin Robbins – International chain and have clearly listed their allergens.
2. Berry’d Alive – Aljeesh Siddique the owner has helped through the list of desserts I could have and trust me there are a lot. Panna Cotta’s and so many other things that I forget now.
3. Spoonful of Sugar – Flourless Cake and the Walnut Meringue
4. Naturals – My favourite Ice Cream place, it is economical and really preservative and gluten free. The owners have been kind to reply to our requests.
( I am sure there are so many more but this is my safe list for desserts)
I am yet to try so many restaurants but given a choice I love my home cooked meals so unless I really want to eat out or have to meet friends I prefer to experiment on food by myself. So if you are an owner of a restaurant and feel you know your allergens let me know or if you are a Celiac and have had good experiences anywhere do let me know, I will add it to my list.