Posts Tagged: gluten free restaurants


14
Nov 13

Meluha, Bristol

1Meluha

 Meluha opened in Bristol earlier this year, and is the second restaurant from Chef Stephen Gomes and Jay Miah. Moksh was opened in Cardiff Bay in 2007, offering a more modern interpretation of Indian food. Stephen’s cooking style is a twist on the classics – traditional flavours and spices, but presented in a more modern way.

Cooking is in Stephen’s blood. He is, in fact, the third generation of chefs in his family, and has cooked all over the world in many top restaurants. The influence of his extensive travels can be found in his award-winning cooking. Stephen has been voted Best UK Indian Chef several times, including most recently, 2012-3.

Meluha is situated on Park Street in Bristol. It is a light, slick and modern restaurant with a few nods to Asia in the decor. We sat in the window, which was a great spot from which to watch the world go by on a Saturday night in Bristol.

The menu offers plenty of choice – from the more adventurous dishes, including a five course tasting menu, which seemed to be the popular choice on our visit, to plenty of choice for customers wanting a more traditional curry. We started our meal with a delicious glass of Malbec. The wine list offers plenty of choice, both of bottles and wines by the glass, which we chose. It is very fairly priced, too. To accompany our wine, we had to have some poppadoms with Meluha’s chutney tray, which included a delicious mint yoghurt, mango chutney, tamarind sauce and sweet chilli sauce packed with kaffir lime leaves. All accompaniments were superb the tamarind and sweet chilli sauces were particularly good, making a pleasant change from some of the more predictable offerings at many Indian restaurants.

To start, we tried a Maya ‘Magic’ starter called ‘With a Little Twist’, which involved three pieces of chicken cooked in different ways: chocolate and orange chicken tikka, Moksh jerk chicken tikka and lemongrass and pepper chicken tikka. The starter arrived beautifully presented with the three different types of chicken on one plate. The flavours of each piece were absolutely delectable and the chicken was superbly tender. The portion was perfectly sized, too – a generous quantity of chicken, but not too much to spoil your appetite.

Moving on to the main course, we shared the Lamb Shank Roganjosh, a Kashmiri curry, made with whole lamb shanks cooked in a rich onion and fresh tomato puree sauce with cardamom and whole spices. The sauce was deep in flavour and the meat was meltingly tender with the shank served whole. It was topped with really tiny baby plum tomatoes, which added a lovely extra layer of texture. We thought it was superb.

We also tried the Ratinagiri Mango Lamb, a lamb curry made with mangoes, coconut milk and black pepper, and loved this too. The meat was generous and tender with a wonderfully flavoursome thick, smooth, tangy sauce.

Rices at Meluha were lovely and a little different.  The Pilau rice with caramelised onions was delicious – very savoury in flavour and complemented the curry very well. We also tried the Green tea rice, which was a basmati rice flavoured with green tea leaves. The rice was dark green in colour and had a wonderfully subtle green tea flavour. It worked particularly well with the sweeter Ratinagiri curry.

Not content with rice alone, we tried the garlic butter naan and garlic butter gluten free naan. There are a wide variety of interesting naan flavours, including Chilli chocolate and honey and rosemary and chicken tikka, which sound delicious. What is even better is that all breads can be made gluten free at Meluha, without even pre-ordering. In fact, as all dishes are made fresh from the menu, pretty much all dishes can be made gluten free. It was a particularly lovely experience being told you can have any dish or bread you like from the menu made gluten free – something we’ve not experienced at an Indian restaurant before.

To finish, we tried a trio of desserts put together for us by the chef. All were excellent. Our meal at Meluha was superb. The food was divine and the service just lovely from everyone who served us. It was, without question, the best curry we’ve ever had.


1
Jul 13

A trip trip to Christopher’s

Christopher's

Christopher’s

Christopher’s restaurant is a firm West End favourite in the heart of London’s Theatreland. It’s been open since 1991, but has recently reopened following an extensive refurbishment. It is famous for it’s America theme, offering a wide range of fish and meat dishes, including old favourites such as steak, lobster and surf and turf and now offers some interesting modern dishes such as ceviche and tuna tartare, and classics such as Caesar salad, and pasta and risotto dishes.

Christopher’s has recently reopened following an extensive makeover and looks wonderful. On the ground floor, you’ll find the Christopher’s Martini Bar, which is very glamorous indeed and offers a very wide range of delicious cocktails and drinks. We particularly enjoyed the strawberry and lychee martinis. It’s a really lovely space to sit in and would be perfect for a celebration or after work drinks. Upstairs is the main restaurant and the tables enjoy the most lovely view looking down over Waterloo bridge to the other side of the river. The dining room is very elegantly decorated and feels grand, but comfortable and intimate with a relatively small number of tables.

To start, we both could not resist the grilled asparagus with truffle oil and parmesan. It was very nice; four short spears of asparagus topped with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil and priced at £11. Starters are priced between £8 and £14 and main courses between £18 and around £40, although you can splash out on a fillet of Wagyu steak for £68 if you wish.

To follow, we shared the grilled lobster and a fillet steak: two of Christopher’s signature dishes. Both were very good – both dishes were clearly made using excellent ingredients and cooked very nicely. The sides of sweet potato mash with maple syrup and fresh vegetables were really very good. Steaks, for example are mainly sourced from the US, but there are some Scottish steaks on the menu, too.

Sadly, we couldn’t manage anything for dessert after our feast, but there were some seriously delicious sounding treats on the menu. We really enjoyed our evening at Christopher’s. It is a great place to meet with friends, and a stylish and romantic place to spend an evening in the centre of London. We can’t wait to return already.


27
May 13

Las Iguanas, Oxford

Las Iguanas

Las Iguanas

Mexican food is enjoying plenty of attention of late. There is so much more to Mexican food than many people realize – it’s full of fresh flavours and interesting ingredients.

Las Iguanas is chain of Latino-themed restaurants that seems to be moving with the times and has introduced a new menu offering freshly made authentic Latin American dishes originating from Mexico and Brazil. It’s a lively restaurant to eat at, with loud music and cocktails flowing, and this was certainly the case on a recent visit to the Oxford branch on a Saturday night to see things for ourselves.

The menu offers loads of choice, from sharing dishes, to more predictable mains, such as fajitas, and a range of interesting Brazilian main dishes, including feijoada. We started with a very good mojito each and a selection of tasty nibbles, including some grilled king prawns and the Las Iguanas deconstructed guacamole which was very good indeed.

It’s great to see so much of the menu is gluten free, and dishes are marked accordingly making ordering easy. For our main course, we tried the fajitas which were cooked in a delicious spicy, smoky blend of spices, and the galinhada, a Brazilian paella type dish with rice, prawns and chicken which was very tasty and interesting to try something a little different.

For desert, we really enjoyed the Mexican mess – a twist on Eton mess made using a sweet hibiscus syrup drizzled over cream, meringue and berries.

Las Iguanas really surprised us by just how good the food was. It is fairly priced and there is plenty of choice on offer, too. We found it to be a great place for an informal, relaxed meal with plenty of allergy-friendly choices on offer.

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