Catering to special diets (1) Gluten free

This is the first in our brand new series of blogs on how to eat in Brixton and also cater to any special dietary requirements you may have. First up we are tackling a diet that has plagued one of us for many many years – how to eat gluten free.

With gluten free diets now being synonymous with celebrities, for our youngest writer her childhood was full of the struggle to steer clear from the dreaded wheat. Although home cooking meant meringue birthday cakes and rice krispie treat eggs for Easter (mum was a proper hero) when it came to eating out, gluten free never appeared as an option on menus. However this has drastically changed in the past few years with it being given the same status as vegetarian and vegan in some restaurants.

In Brixton of course there is the obvious Vozars which provides a fantastic set of dishes which are all gluten free so you don’t have to study the menu too carefully. But there are several other restaurants that provide low gluten meals without really advertising them, so we have made a short list and would be happy to add to it through suggestions from our readers. We have mentioned those dishes that are definitely low gluten or no gluten but there are always pitfalls, so we cannot guarantee no wheat. We also mention if they sell gluten free alcohol – this is beer as, of course, wine is fine!

1 Vozars – has a wide range of gluten free offerings from a Venison burger to Risotto cake. They also have desserts, like the best Victoria sponges I have ever eaten! They are light and smooth but not too sweet. The also offer gluten free beer too.

2. Ichi-ban Sushi being a Japanese restaurant there is always a problem with soya sauce, however you can avoid this or ask if they have a low gluten option. This is one of our favourite restaurants which is now open on more days since Ichi-ban boy has taken over from his Dad. We particularly like the Donburi dishes and their homemade Teriyaki sauce as well of course as all the sushi.

3. Mama Lan – is Chinese so has the same soya sauce problem and there is an overall shorter series of dishes on offer to those who are gluten intolerant. We would recommend the spicy chicken wings and the ribbon tofu.

4. Honest Burger – now do a gluten free burger bun which you just ask for when ordering your burger (there is a slight price difference). It’s definitely one of the best gf burger buns we’ve ever had, and it doesn’t fall apart in your hands (horray!). We aren’t certain whether the chips are covered in flour – so please ask about that.

5. Wahaca  have a policy of telling you what to avoid if you have a high gluten intolerance level. This is completely different from providing a limited choice and we hope that others will follow this policy. They tell you to avoid the guacamole and the sweet potatoes (I think they coat them with flour when they fry them) but there are loads of things left to choose from. So try the steak and the corn tacos.

6. May Foods – It is easy to eat gluten free here as the main starch is cassava or yam. So be brave and try the Banku, the Kenkey (fermented corn dough) and the Jollof rice

Do let us know if we have missed any!

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