Sunday, 23 November 2014

Naturally Chinese new Gluten Free menu

smoked shredded chicken
I had been to Naturally Chinese a couple of times already, and I'd loved the food on both occasions, so I was really happy when Amie invited me over last Monday to try their new gluten-free menu.

It was lovely to come in from the cold into a warm and welcoming restaurant, and share a few hours with Amie and a few fellow bloggers. Who could say no to an evening like that?

We started with steamed dumplings (crystal prawn, prawn and chive, spicy mixed vegetables and salmon) which were fresh and melted in your mouth.Then spring rolls, which were very crispy.
Unfortunately we were so relaxed talking and enjoying the evening  that I forgot to take a photo of both dishes.

We also had shredded chicken smoked with beechwood which was amazing! I had never tried it before, but it's now going to be up there in my favourites list together with their soft shell crab.

 I enjoyed talking with Amie. It was clear how important it is for her to keep all her food as natural as possible, avoiding the use of msg (mono sodium glutamate) or any artificial colourings and flavours. Yes, all the ingredients that go into every dish are natural.

sizzling lamb
This is not something I had realized in my previous visits, as I was just happy to have all this lovely gluten free Chinese food at my disposal.
She was also talking about how they always try to accommodate any dietary needs. Their food is freshly prepared when ordered, so that gives them the chance to do so.

We moved on to the main courses: sizzling lamb with ginger and spring onions, beef and beans (we started calling it Amie's dish, as it's off the menu, but she always has it prepared for her by one of the chefs), mixed vegetables, rice and vermicelli rice noodles.

I loved the main dishes as you could taste the ingredients. I've noticed sometimes in Chinese restaurants the sauces overpower the dish. Here the sauce was delicate enough to let you taste everything else.

mango pudding
And to finish off the meal, we had a mango pudding. Now, I was a bit doubtful about it, as I've had a similar dessert in the past and I didn't enjoy it, but in this pudding you could really taste the fresh mango coming though.
If you are in doubt like me, I'd tempt you to try it, I know it's going to be a must for my future visits.

Overall, I was very impressed with the meal.
I enjoyed all the dishes we tried and was happy to see that Amie has addressed her growing demand for gluten-free dishes thoroughly.
Not only she has created a separate gluten-free menu to make it easier for customers and staff, she is also working with Coeliac UK to ensure her food is safe and is awaiting accreditation.

There is plenty of variety on the gluten free menu to keep your interest on several visits, and I was glad to meet her and see how determined she is to create a new style of Chinese restaurant, where every dish is made naturally and is healthy for you.
I would be happy to recommend Naturally Chinese to any gluten and non gluten eaters, and I know it's going to be one of those places I go to time and time again.

Naturally Chinese
59-63 Brighton Road, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 5LW
Tel: 0208 3995533
Getting there: Surbiton rail (20 mins from London Waterloo)

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Pearl and Grove Bakery

A friend got me these gorgeous cakes after a day out around Marylebone, where she spotted them in a shop with a cafe (I think it might have been Hunter Gather).  They were both fantastic, the one on the left was salted caramel and the one on the right had marshmallow, yum! 
My favourite was the salted caramel one, but just by a hair, both were really nice and I'd be quite happy to recommend them.

I had not heard of Pearl&Groove before so I was clearly interested in finding out more.
They are a bakery started by Serena and all their cakes are gluten-free. 

Although they do not have a shop per se, they sell their cakes at several venues listed below & also are on Fridays (11.30am to 2.30pm) at Granary Square, Kings Cross (Kerb Food).
You can also order online or join their cake club, and receive a new flavour every month.

Find out more on their website:

Current stocklist:
Harvey Nichols, Daylesford Organic, 108 Marylebone Lane Hotel, Hunter Gather, Kerb Food, The De Beauvoir Deli, Angie's Little Food shop, Peardrop London,, The Doodle Bar.
Coming soon to Selfridges.