Finding Free from treasures on Lamma island , Hong Kong

On monday we took the ferry to Lamma, an island off Hong Kong island. Sadly the weather was poor. Cloudy with very little sunshine, but still a warm 27c.

It was a far shorter journey than I was expecting about 20 mins which as the sea was quite choppy, that was long enough!

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Lamma island is where many ex pats live. The island has no cars and the only mode of transport is bicycles. Many of which were parked up by the terminal ready for their owners arriving back later.

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As it was nearing lunch we went off in search of somewhere to eat. Now Lamma island is famous for its seafood restaurants all along the road from the ferry terminal. We decided on a small, clean looking restaurant called Beer and Babble seafood restaurant.

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The waiters were very friendly and spoke very good english. As always I had my trusty food intolerance translation sheet with me. Now looking slightly worse for wear! Sticky tape holding it together from an incident a few days ago. The waiter read it carefully and took it off to show the chef. I decided on grilled king prawns with plain boiled rice and broccoli. 

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A safe sensible choice, could of done with some lemon or something to cheer it up but at least I knew it was Free from.

After lunch we had a little look around the shops, only a few and not very exciting. Until we came to, Just Green a health food food with a good selection of gluten free and free from goodies. Now if only I could have found this shop a week ago! Anyway it was good to check it out and it will be useful for future visits to my Brother in law and his wife on Hong Kong island.

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A few doors away was an intriguing cafe, very quirky. I loved the look of it.

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Bookends cafe was a vegetarian cafe which had some gluten free and free from options so I had to try it out!

The blackboard had an array of gluten free, free from cakes written on it . I decided on an english breakfast tea and a slice of their gluten free carrot cake. Sadly they had sold out, so had to make do with some gluten free biscuits I had hidden away in my handbag for such occasions.

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The cafe had a lovely atmosphere and I can see why it is mentioned in the guide books.

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It was soon time to head back to the ferry terminal, I’m so glad we made the trip over. Otherwise we would have never discovered the free from treasures Lamma had to offer.

 

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Life, A vegetarian restaurant in Hong Kong

On Sunday night we decided to give Life a try! It’s a vegetarian restaurant in Hong Kong

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The restaurant is right next to the Central Mid levels escalator. A small 3 levelled restaurant, we were taken to the top floor a lovely little roof terrace with wooden seats and small square tables. We were given a menu and I ordered a homemade lemonade and my husband ordered an organic white wine.

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It was exciting to see gluten free marked on a menu. The first time this holiday! I chose the sweet potato chips and asked them to hold the mayonnaise and ketchup. Stupidly I didn’t explain about the yeast intolerance immediately. The chips arrived with a small amount of vinegar on them. What a fool! Unfortunately then my husband accidentally knocked his wine glass over . Some landing in my chips. Not a great start! I had luckily or unluckily had tried a couple, they were fine nothing special. They didn’t taste like sweet potato or potato so not sure exactly what they were. Very tough when you can’t have a sauce to dip them in to.
Mr S had some polenta triangles which looked nice although he said they were quite dry and couldn’t get through the four of them.

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Unfortunately I couldn’t try them as they had mushroom in them. Vegetarian restaurants don’t actually seem a terribly good choice for me! Being yeast, onion and mushroom intolerant as well as gluten makes eating quite difficult sometimes. This restaurant would be great though if you are gluten and dairy intolerant.

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I was very excited about my main course, gluten free Pizza with sundried tomato and goats cheese. I suddenly panicked and double checked it was a yeast free base too. I was told immediately yes it was. But when it arrived it basically looked like a large slice of toasted gluten free bread. The bread was very spongy like a soft focaccia. I called the waitress over to double check about the yeast. I have never seen yeast free bread like this except when I have made soda bread. My pizza was now sitting in front of me. There was a lot of toing and froing and after 20 minutes of trying to speak to the Only person who knew what was in the ingredients the main chef. Who was not working that night. We finally had our answer Yes it was definitely free of yeast and contained some kind of Japanese gum!?
Now obviously my pizza/ toasted bread was stone cold. Things were not going well. Luckily my husband had chosen a gluten free pasta with a spicy vegetarian sauce which he enjoyed. Although he was terribly stressed about the pizza situation.

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It also turned out that the cheese was actually vegetarian goats cheese so made from some yeast product, so I had to remove that before I could start. Anyway the Pizza was fine, definitely just toasted bread with tomato on , but a tasty snack.
Still hungry I decided to look at the pudding menu.

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Thought I would give the chocolate flour less cake a go. The waitress then brought over a sheet which showed its ingredients and in large letters it read gluten free yeast free! If only they had one of those for the main courses!

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I have to say the cake was the driest crumbliest cake I have eaten in a long time. Nothing like the beautiful homemade gluten free cakes I can make or buy in the UK. Had to ask for some glasses of water to help us get through our one piece to share.
So, not the best of evenings. Luckily we were on our own so it didn’t wreck anyone else’s dining experience.
I think if you are only gluten intolerant then there would be some good choices of food at this restaurant, but if like me you have multiple intolerances better stick to places where you can have fish or meat with veggies.

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Gluten free Kingston

Last week I took the park and ride bus from Chessington World of Adventures to Kingston with the intention of doing some Christmas shopping. But almost as soon as I arrived realised this was more of a gluten free recce!

Firstly I came across a very tempting little shop called sweet revenge bakery. I gazed  longingly through the window wishing desperately that I wasn’t gluten intolerant. I then noticed a sign on the glass announcing that gluten free cupcakes were available at weekends – beyond excited! Sadly it was a Friday and I’m currently avoiding sugar, so maybe just as well!

I found @RevengeCupcakes on Twitter and due to popular demand gluten free cupcakes will now be available everyday. Great news! I also checked that the cakes are baked and stored separately, which they are. However they couldn’t guarantee 100% gluten free as they’re prepared using the same kitchen, which is no different from pizza restaurants etc. I will return in the new year to give them ago. I can’t wait!

Almost immediately I came across a health food shop foodforthoughtuk.com fully stocked with free from goodies, I was like a kid in a sweet shop! I often visit the sister store in Guildford but was even more impressed with the selection here. Deciding to come back later to stock up,  I headed out to the shops.

By this time I was starving, remembering that I had read on Bruschetta restaurant‘s website that they supplied fresh gluten free pasta to an eatery in the Bentalls centre, I scurried over to see if I could find it. Centre view restaurant is inside Bentalls itself. Very excitedly I rushed to the pasta section, I couldn’t see a sign but asked anyway. No problem came the answer, I chose spaghetti with pesto and parmesan.

Gluten free fresh pasta was not a cheap option at just over £7 especially in a canteen style eatery. But I have to say it arrived quickly and although looked a little unattractive on the plate, tasted incredible. Will definitely return again for lunch next time I’m in Kingston.

I also couldn’t help but notice a large sign saying ‘gluten free cakes available’ (also made by Bruschetta restaurant) purely for research purposes I asked what cakes were available, sadly they were all sold out. But was assured that there would be more in the very next day. Temptation number two avoided, phew!

This had turned into a real foodie day and with not a great deal of Christmas shopping done I headed back to Food For Thought. Stocking up on GF savoury biscuits, crisps, buckwheat flour and another Organ pizza mix. There was so much more I could have bought, maybe next time!

I’ve decided Kingston is my new favourite place to shop and eat.

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