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Gluten Free Living – Gilgamesh, coeliac heaven!

28/10/2012

First of all I’ll start by saying I am by no means a food critic. I know absolutely nothing technical about food, and literally couldn’t be any less of a food snob. Take me to Nando’s and I’m happy (classy bird…I know!) But I am going to write about a restaurant today because not only was the food absolutely incredible, but the staff’s knowledge of gluten free food and coeliacs – to put it in the cheesiest way possible – blew me away.

In case anyone has missed previous posts or the title didn’t give it away – I love a ‘does what it says on the tin’ title – I’m Coeliac, which in layman’s terms means I can’t eat any Gluten. I don’t want to bore you all off to sleep as thankfully (and at long bloody last) Coeliac disease is something that’s becoming more and more spoken about but in the quickest sentence ever – bearing in mind how much I ramble – gluten includes wheat, rye, barley and oats (100% oats are fine but I won’t go into that right now) which basically means avoiding gluten in restaurants is an absolute nightmare!

Picture courtesy of thirtyoneseventyfive.com 
This is where Gilgamesh comes in. Gilgamesh is an amazing and extremely popular pan-asian restaurant and bar based in Camden. I actually went there as part of a shoot at work and like most last minute restaurant stops I had a sudden panic that there wouldn’t be anything suitable for me to eat. As any other coeliacs out there reading this post will know, it’s not even worth visiting a restaurant without phoning ahead or stopping in first to see what gluten free items they have on offer, and if I’m being completely honest, I totally expected the “huh? what’s gluben” “gluten, oh it’s fine we use soya milk” and basically any other quotes that prove the person you’re asking has absolutely no idea what gluten is. Please don’t think that’s me being ignorant, but unfortunately from my experience, it’s more common that people don’t actually know what gluten is, or they have no allergy information available to advise you. And this is where Gilgamesh stands out from the crowd….

As soon as I got the chance I managed to find a waiter to talk to about what items on the menu were safe for coeliacs. They immediately bought the manager out to me, who I literally cannot praise enough! He asked me every item on the menu that I might be interested in, then disappeared out the back. A matter of minutes later he returned with a whole list of items that were completely gluten free, and then what adjustments they could make to dishes to make them suitable for a coeliac. I ended up with a whole tuna and salmon sushi platter (including gluten free soy sauce), chicken and mango salad (that had been prepared especially to avoid cross contamination) and a Thai red curry that I still dream about to this day. (And yes, in case you were wondering, I polished off every last bit.) The manager even went on to say how sorry he felt for me, bless him!

I still haven’t grown enough balls (plucked up the confidence for anyone whose never heard of that phrase before and therefore went right over your head) to take pictures of the meals I had. I’m sorry, I know that’s ridiculous for a blogger but I can’t quite deal with the “oh my god what a loser, she’s taking pictures of her food” looks yet. But all I can say is that it was presented as beautifully as you’d expect from a restaurant with a reputation like Gilgamesh has.

Amazing food and lovely atmosphere aside, I was just completely shocked and overwhelmed by how knowledgeable and attentive the manager was to my needs. I actually bored the life out of everyone who was with me by gushing for about an hour how rare it is for restaurants to know that much about gluten free food. So to wrap it up, because I’m even boring myself now, if you’re coeliac or simply like to eat gluten free and miss Asian food…you have to visit Gilgamesh, you will not be disappointed!!

Hope you enjoyed this post and found it even vaguely interesting/helpful. Thanks for reading 🙂
xx

16 responses to “Gluten Free Living – Gilgamesh, coeliac heaven!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi elle, I came here from gluten free community. I've heard of this restaurant but unfortunately its not near to where I live. Please carry on writing about the subject.

    Ali x

    • Ellie Adams says:

      Hi Ali,

      That's a shame, if you ever are around Camden you should definitely check it out 🙂

      xx

    • andrea says:

      HI Ellie, sounds great, its unusual for a restaurant to be so clued up, usually they just say what you want to hear, wish I lived closer.
      Andrea

    • Ellie Adams says:

      Hi Andrea, thanks for your comment.

      Honestly I was so shocked, not only did they know exactly what I was talking about but the manager was actually apologising because he felt so bad for me ha!

      It's so worth checking out if you do ever venture into London 🙂

      xx

  2. Prakash says:

    Sounds like a great place Ellie. I'm hoping to take my wife to Camden Market one Sunday, might drop in there.

    Prakash
    Cambridgeshire Coeliac Group Organiser
    http://www.cambridgeshire coeliac group of Coeliac UK
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CambridgeshireSillyYakCoeliacGroup

  3. Kate Sarah says:

    i'm not a coeliac myself, but there is a great blog called lookbook cookbook (http://www.lookbookcookbook.com/) you might want to check out. It has loads of amazing and simple gluten free recipes 🙂
    -xo
    http://www.bleached-mort.blogspot.com

    • Ellie Adams says:

      Kate thank you so much for the recommendation, the lookbook blog is amazing. I've already picked out the first thing I'm going to try 🙂

      Thank you!!

      xx

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