Need to avoid gluten? We’ve got you covered.
For people with Celiac disease, gluten is the enemy. Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. When people with Celiac eat gluten, their body goes through an immune response that attacks the small intestine. When this happens, this damages the part of the small intestines that promotes nutrient absorption. Over time, this could lead to irreparable damage where nutrients can no longer be absorbed properly into the body. Unfortunately, the only treatment for Celiac is to go on a strict gluten-free diet.
However, it’s not just Celiac sufferers who opt to go gluten-free. Of late, many have jumped onboard the gluten-free bandwagon for a variety of reasons – humans are unable to fully digest wheat (which leads to that gassy, bloated feeling), refined wheat has little nutritional value, and wheat is one of the top eight allergens as well as a pro-inflammatory agent.
Restaurateurs have taken note of this trend, and increasingly are tweaking their menu to include gluten-free options. Some, like the newly-revamped Open Door Policy, have even swung firmly into the No Gluten camp. Here, we list the newest dining spots to enjoy your gluten-free meal.
Going gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to give up on pasta! At Open Door Policy (better known as ODP), the kitchen team (helmed by Executive Chef Ryan Clift) has created a slew of gluten-free pasta options, with all the pastas made in-house. For example, the pasta dough for the King Crab Orecchiette is made with a mixture of arrowroot flour, corn flour, rice flour, and xantham gum. The menu at ODP is 100 percent gluten- and dairy-free, and the ingredients are sourced from a variety of organic suppliers as well as grown in-house. Literally. There’s an indoor vertical farm in the restaurant itself, where a wide variety of leafy vegetables are being grown.
Start your meal with the warm chorizo and sautéed octopus salad, served with a heap of baby spinach as well as house-made rosemary thin pita. The pita is made with a universal gluten-free dough and cooked to order with olive oil and rosemary, which lends the bread a beautiful aroma. Another great appetiser is the Celery and Almond Soup, which sounds bland and boring but is anything but. It’s a thick, fragrant soup served with Hokkaido scallop and cauliflower.
From there, dive into your mains. The pasta options are all delightful, but a standout would be the King Crab Orecchiette, which is served with a rich saffron and corn sauce, and topped with sugar snap peas and fresh basil. The sweetness of the crab paired with the earthy flavours of the herbs and vegetables, mixed into a hearty, creamy dish makes for a super comforting meal. For meats, we recommend either the ribeye steak or the braised veal ossobucco, which is served with carrot risotto and smoked paprika, as well as watercress that is harvested in-house.
Don’t forget to leave room for desserts! My favourite was the Why Sundae, which is every bit as delicious as your regular ice cream sundaes. It’s a soy and palm sugar gelato with peanut butter brittle and honeycomb, served with gluten- and dairy-free chocolate brownie and chocolate custard, topped off with a chocolate snap and wild flowers from ODP’s indoor garden.
Open Door Policy is located at 19 Yong Siak Street, Tel: 6221 9307
From the guys that brought you the wildly popular Super Loco Robertson Quay and Lucha Loco at Duxton Hill, comes their first foray into the heart of the CBD. Christian Tan, co-owner and director of The Loco Group says, “With the newly opened Super Loco Customs House located in the CBD area, we appeal more to the corporate crowd in the vicinity; people who are looking for a spot to go for business lunches and/or dinner. There are not many F&B options available in the CBD that caters to diners with gluten intolerances and food allergies, which is why we decided to go for delicious gluten-free dishes. The menu at Super Loco Customs House features 28 vegetarian menu items and is 90 percent gluten-free.”
Wait, gluten-free tortillas and quesadillas? How is that possible? At Super Loco Customs House, the tortillas are made with masa flour, which is corn based and gluten-free, so you can stuff your face without worrying about getting that painful, bloated feeling in your belly after dinner. And stuff your face you certainly will! Much like their other two outlets, the food at Super Loco Customs House is sincere, unpretentious, and packs a whole lot of flavour. My favourites were the seafood dishes – incredibly fresh produce prepared with vivre and ingenuity. Atun Tostadas, which is unique to this outlet, is a mouthwatering dish of torched sashimi-grade tuna and fried onions served with lime mayo and avocado. Barbecued Octopus is another stalwart creation, where fresh octopus is braised for two hours in a cooking liquor with achiote (a paste made from annatto seeds) until soft and tender. From there, the octopus is cooled before being marinated again in achiote. The barbecued octopus is tender with slightly charred skin, and served with tomatillo mayonnaise, toasted chorizo, and garlic. I swear, you’ll polish off this dish in seconds!
For desserts, Tostadas Dulce De Chocolate is a vegetarian, gluten-free creation constructed with a chocolate tortilla, chocolate avocado butter, Mexican bitter chocolate ice-cream, and cocoa nib candy. Served with a chunky pecan crema lovingly prepared with creme fraiche and chopped pecan nuts, this dessert is heaven on a plate. Pro Tip: Super Loco Customs House is often packed to the rafters, so do go early or call ahead to make reservations!
Super Loco Customs House is located at #01-04 Customs House, 70 Collyer Quay, Tel: 6532 2090
Claudia Sondakh, the founder and owner of Plentyfull, believes in creating a place of restoration by providing honest, hearty meals. This is why you’ll find a wide variety of gluten-free options on Plentyfull’s dinner menu, such as the Little Farms’ Vegetable Dip, which comes with carefully-selected seasonal vegetables. If you prefer something meatier, why not opt for the Glazed Mangalica Pork Jowl or the House-Made Smoked Lamb Merguez Sausage? The pork jowl is a savoury, smoky beauty, with meat that is the perfect mix of tender and juicy. On weekends, the brunch menu also includes gluten-free options such as the Indonesian Chicken Porridge, which comes with chicken roulade, sous vide egg, fried shallots, spring onions, and sesame; as well as the Buckwheat Crepes – a dreamy dish served with vanilla goat’s curd and fruit compote from Little Farm.
Plentyfull is located at 01-79/80 Millenia Walk, Tel: 6493 2997
Owner and Head Chef of Pyxiemoss Tim Ross-Watson was diagnosed with Celiac disease five years ago. He says, “Rather than letting that triumph over what I can or cannot eat, I started experimenting with recipes, and turning comfort food into equally delicious gluten-free variations. And because they taste as good, why not put it on the menu?”
Some of the gluten-free items on Pyxiemoss’ menu includes the Seaviche, a refreshing dish of sea coconut served with smoked chips; Coffee Lox; where thinly-sliced Norwegian salmon is cured using up-cycled coffee grinds; and Milk Belly; a lip-smacking dish of pork belly, pork skin, and chayote (a type of edible plant).
Pyxiemoss also offers a mean cocktail menu, with inventive concoctions such as the SRWMC, which is a twist on the classic negroni, and the Poto, which is a house-made fortified wine composed of a grapey Japanese wine and vodka, infused with oak chips for a smoky aroma.
Pyxiemoss is located at 43 North Canal Road, Tel: 6532 2171