If you think that going gluten-free means that you’re going to have to stop eating out, you’re wrong! Dev Goswami & Pooja Salvi tell you about a few popular restaurants in Mumbai that offer gluten-free preparations
Deciding to eliminate gluten from your diet is all well and good, until you realise that it drastically reduces your meal options — especially you’re eating out. However, eateries in Mumbai are slowly waking up to the demand for gluten-free food. We bring you a list of the best that the city has to offer.
Silver Beach Café
Silver Beach Café has always been our first choice for a quiet, intimate evening out with family and friends. And, even though what impresses us about the place is their ambience, we’re big fans of the Shaved Green Apple, Walnut and Feta Salad, which is drizzled with mirin lemon dressing (Rs 310). The flavoursblend well with each other and the dish itself is so well-presented that you wouldn't want to dive in without clicking a picture first! Although the restaurant doesn’t have a separate section for gluten-free food, you can customise your dishes according to your dietary preferences. Remember that some processed feta cheese is not gluten free, so ask the servers before picking the salad!
Where Gandhi Gram Road, Juhu
The Sassy Spoon
The Sassy Spoon has a wide variety of dishes that are not only interesting, but also make for delicious indulgences. The South African Soya Bobotie with Sweet Paprika & Garlic Rice (Rs 525) and the Coffee & Pepper Crusted Steak with Scallion Mashed Potatoes, Sautéed Vegetables & Balsamic Coffee Dressing (Rs 845) are our go-to gluten-free recipes here.
Where Near Holy Family Hospital, Hill Road, Bandra (w)
We love good salads, and although the city has plenty of options, we sometimes want one at our doorstep! One of the best meal kit concepts available in the city right now, Haute Chef gives you the Italian Garbanzo Salad (Rs 199) as a good gluten-free option.
A quaint place that is tucked away amidst intimidating skyscrapers at Bandra Reclamation, we like this restaurant because it’s a laidback place for an afternoon lunch. They offer up a Great Greek (Rs 300) which is a fragrant, tangy pilaff with spinach, dill and lemon zest. Order a glass of chilled flavoured iced tea and you’re all set for an appetising, filling gluten-free lunch.
Where Chapel Road, Reclamation, Bandra (w)
The Nutcracker has received several accolades for being the best place for unplanned visits, and quite rightly so! The restaurant, which serves an interesting mix of American and European cuisine, is just the right place for an evening soiree. Marinated in a spicy chilly marinade, The Cottage Cheese Steak (Rs 240) is served on a bed of quinoa and grilled vegetables and is the perfect gluten free dish. It’s high in protein too, making it a healthy choice. Another gluten-free dish that they serve is the Salli Eggs (Rs 190). A popular, traditional Parsi dish, Salli Eggs are a spicy egg mixture cooked on top of a bed of crispy potato sticks. Even though the menu doesn’t mention the gluten-free dishes, you can ask for these dishes when you’re there.
Where Opposite One Forbes building, Kala Ghoda, Fort
The Captain’s Table
Located in the quiet bylanes of BKC, The Captain’s Table has an impressive mix of fine Italian food and Indian seafood delicacies. The ambience resembles any other fine restaurant — perfect yellow lighting for your Instagram pictures, a confusing number of forks and spoons laid out on the table — the place is worth a visit. The Quinoa pomegranate salad (`450) is our favourite dish off the menu. Completely healthy, with a wholesome mix of pomegranate and quinoa, the dish may not sound spectacular, but it thoroughly impressed us with its outstanding medley of flavours.
Where B-wing, Pinnacle Corporate Park, Bandra-Kurla Complex
For a complete gluten-free meal, Sofitel is where you should be heading. As part of its low-calorie De-Light menu, they have a few main course options as well as desserts that avoid using gluten in any form. The Chicken Basquaise, is a flavourful preparation that includes tomatoes, red and green peppers, white wine, garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs and is priced at Rs 1,000. The Eggplant Involtini is another dish worth trying. Priced at Rs 700, it includes eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts, ricotta, lemon zest and fresh herbs. For dessert, they have an Aero Chocolate Mousse, priced at Rs 550, which is made using vanilla and unsweetened chocolate.
Where C-57, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (e)
The Rolling Pin
Make your breakfasts and snacks a hearty, gluten-free affair with The Rolling Pin’s gluten-free bread. Priced at a decent Rs 100, this is great item to pick up. You will have to pair it with a few other gluten-free ingredients for a complete meal, but the fresh bread will make it worth the effort.
Where Janta Industrial Estate, Senapat Bapat Road, Lower Parel
Icing on Top
Just because you’ve decided to eliminate gluten from your diet, doesn’t mean that you have to skip out on enjoying decadent desserts and sweet treats. Known for their bite-sized cookies and crackers, the brand has recently launched a new range of gluten-free cookies that are made using ragi. You can pick from flavours such as Lemon, Chocolate Chip and Cinnamon (Rs 275/ jar) and Orange Cranberry, Roasted Almond and Hazelnut Chocolate Chip (Rs 350/ jar).
Where Available at Godrej Nature’s Basket outlets, Foodhall (Lower Parel) and JW Marriott (Juhu)
Another great dessert place, Kala Ghoda’s The Pantry offers a couple of chocolate-based preparations that don’t use gluten in any form. The 70% flourless chocolate cake, priced at `225, uses dark chocolate that contains 70% cocoa and is a flourless version of the classic chocolate cake. The 53% chocolate ganache, on the other hand, is perfect to gratify your sweet cravings and is priced at Rs 245.
Where Yashwant Chambers, Military Square lane, Near Trishna, Kala Ghoda
The words north Indian and street food don’t generally make you think of healthy food, let alone gluten-free items. However, Lower Parel’s Spice Klub, which has made a name for itself with its fusion preparations, does offer something for those looking for gluten-free options. For Rs 90, they offer a gluten-free roti basket — it’s not enough for a complete meal, but allows you to try something different. Spice Klub is a great place to sample popular dishes in a unique, funky avatar and if their reputation is anything to go by, you can expect to have quite a memorable meal at the restaurant.
Where Janta Industrial Estate, Opposite Phoenix Mills, Senapati Bapat Road, Lower Parel
For affordable, quick, gluten-free treats, check out Ellipsis Bakery’s cookies, brownies and breads. The cookie is priced at Rs 160, while the brownie costs Rs 160. You can also pick up gluten-free bread for Rs 500. And, that’s not all! Their gluten-free section also includes blueberry muffins and sorghum bread.
Where Recondo Estate, Sudam Kalu Ahire Marg, Worli
One of the things that we love about Indigo is that they take their food very, very seriously. And, that is apparent in their gluten-free picks, where they have tried be very innovative. The Vegetable Spaghetti, Soya Bolognaise and Peas & Edamame, priced at Rs 925 (exclusive of taxes), for example, doesn’t use pasta; the spaghetti is made with fresh vegetables. Before you get around to the main course dish, however, you can start with their gluten-free appetiser — a Shredded Kale Salad with Red Grapes, Prunes & Apricots, Balsamic Maple Vinaigrette (Rs 545 without taxes), making Indigo the place for a complete gluten-free meal.
Where Mandlik Road, Behind Taj Mahal Hotel, Colaba
What is Gluten-free?
A gluten-free diet is a diet that does not incorporate or use of gluten at all. Gluten is a protein that is easily found in wheat, barley, rye and their hybrids. Low on nutritional value, gluten proteins can be excluded from your diet, usually without side-effects. It is important that your gluten-free diet include naturally occurring gluten-free foods such as meat, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, fruits, vegetables, rice and maize.