Category Archives: Restaurant Reviews

[REVIEW] Pizza Express Gluten Free Pizzas

If someone had told me when I was first diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in 2007 that I’d be able to get gluten free pizza from many established restaurants I’d have told them to get on their bike!

But now, we can literally order gluten free pizzas pretty much anywhere now and one of those places is the amazing Pizza Express!

PIZZA EXPRESS LOGO Before my diagnosis, I loved going to Pizza Express! I loved their thin, crispy pizza bases and their unique pizza toppings which is no surprise that I was a little deflated when I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, knowing that I would no longer be able to enjoy their pizzas.

However all this changed when Pizza Express made it available for us Coeliacs and Gluten/Wheat Intolerants to enjoy their pizza again – by bringing out their own gluten free pizza bases! Now I go as much as I can!

My favourite pizza base is their gluten free Romana pizza base – a thinner, crisper base inspired from Rome –  with the Padana toppings (goats cheese, mozzarella, tomatoes, caramelised onion, red onion, spinach and garlic oil) Trust me, it’s absolutely delicious and because of the spinach and goats cheese, it seems somewhat healthier then your usual pizza topping! Alternatively, if the Romana Pizza Base isn’t your thing, their Classic and Piccolo pizza bases can be made gluten free too!

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The pizza arrives uncut – giving you the confidence knowing that your pizza hasn’t been cut with the same pizza cutter used to cut a wheat/gluten base.

If you don’t fancy trying their Pizzas and want to try something different, Pizza Express also offer gluten free pasta dishes!

My only complaint (and this is such a minor complaint) is that I wish Pizza Express had a wider selection of starters. Usually I opt for their Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato Salad (which I may add – is amazing!) but sometimes I want their famous Pizza Express Dough Balls! However, you never know! Maybe one day Pizza Express will surprise us!

But if Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato Salad isn’t quite your thing, they are also offering other gluten free starters such as their Melanzanine – layered marinated Italian aubergine, passata, mozzarella, basil and Gran Milano cheese – Or their Risotto Fresco

ALSO – For Coeliac Awareness Week 2015 (May 11th – 17th) Pizza Express are offering 2 Gluten Free courses for £11.95. Simply download this [VOUCHER]  (courtesy of Coeliac UK ) and with your Coeliac Membership, present it to your waiter before booking. (Terms and Conditions apply)

 

 

 

TEA 42 A LA CARTE MENU LAUNCH

It’s no secret that I love Tea 42 in Manchester. It’s the only place I feel ‘normal’ in. I don’t have  a little panic attack whilst looking at the menu hoping there’s at least something apart from a salad that  I can eat, because most of Tea 42s menu is gluten free – and it’s flipping delicious!

I was super lucky to be invited to their launch of their new a la carte menu which would be cooked by Matt Smith, (a Michelin star restaurant trained head chef, along with his talented team!). Not only was I going to sample the most finest foods in my most favourite place, but I was also going to see my lovely friend Pam , who I had not seen in a while. So naturally, we pushed our tables together, introduced our other half’s and did some major catching up!

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Me and the lovely Pam aka SpamellaB

 

DISH NUMBER 1

TEA42 a la carte menu

Amuse Bouche – Cauliflower Puree accompanied with freshly baked gluten free bread and creamy butter

 

Our first dish was an Amuse Bouche; a cauliflower puree accompanied by two little flowerpots of freshly baked bread.

Being a sucker for all things cute, I was already won over by the little flowerpots but the bread itself was lovely. It wasn’t too dry or crumbly, like you’d expect from gluten free baked goodies, it was just right, especially with the light and fluffy cauliflower puree. I gave dish number 4/5

P.S – for the non gluten free peeps, this is also available with gluten laden bread (which Mike really liked)

 

DISH NUMBER 2

Now I’m not gonna lie, I was nervous about my starter. Usually I would have stuck to something I knew I’d enjoy but something made me try the squid – and I have never in my life had squid – so you can understand the nerves.

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Thai Spiced Squid with Rice Noodle Salad

 

However, this probably became one of my favourite dishes (the main, which I shall get to, did blow this one out of the water) but I couldn’t believe how delicious it was. The squid wasn’t chewy and each bite was pleasantly spiced with Thai seasoning. I would definitely ask for this dish again. I give this dish: 5/5

 

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Ginger and Yuzu Cured Salmon

 

Mike had the salmon for his starter which came as three generous sized portions of salmon. Mike said it was really nice (which I’ve stated before is the highest praise from Mike!). It was also very fresh with good, generous portions. Mike gives this dish: 4/5

 

 

DISH NUMBER 3

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Tangy Citrus Sorbet

 

The third dish consisted of a citrus sorbet that cleansed the pallet before the main course. I do love sorbet, so naturally this could do no wrong and the citrus wasn’t too sharp! I give this dish: 4/5

DISH NUMBER 4

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Roast Lamb Loin with warm carrot salad, carrot purée, savoy cabbage and lamb hot pot ravioli

 

I’m still dreaming about this dish. This dish has to be one of the greatest meals I’ve ever had. Everything about it was absolutely perfect, so much so that Mike said I went quiet whilst eating it! Not only did you want to frame it because it looked so damn pretty, but the lamb, the carrot, cabbage and the lot was cooked to perfection. It’s the dish that is making me want to go back again and again. I give this dish: 5/5 (wish I could give it more!) 

 

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Roast Sea Bream with Kombu Quinoa, Samphire and Cockles

 

 

Mike chose the Roast Sea Bream for his main dish. He said the dish was very nice (again – the highest of praises from Mike) and the Quinoa, which he’d never tried before, went really well with the dish. The particular highlight for Mike was the crispy skin. Mike gives this dish: 4.5/5

 

DISH NUMBER 5

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Pina Colada; coconut parfait, caramelised pineapple and pineapple carpaccio

For our last dish, both me and Mike went for the Pina Colada. I went for this because it was named after my favourite cocktail but Mike was swayed because of the recommendation from one of the lovely waiters. Usually me and Mike won’t go for a dessert but this was just the perfect size and so refreshing! We both give this dish: 4.5/5

 

Overall, I had one of my favourites nights at the TEA42 launch. Not only was I in great company but the food was just perfect. I was slightly worried at the thought of 5 dishes but they was so perfectly sized that I wasn’t too ‘pogged’ (as we say in Yorkshire – which means full) or too hungry. Not only was the food to die for but for less then £25 for 5 dishes, it doesn’t break the bank!

Will I be going again? Damn right I will, especially if it means I can get the Roast Lamb Loin again.

 

 

To read my first TEA 42 Review [click here]

For Pam’s aka SpamellaB’s Review [click here]

For Tea42s website [click here]

For Tea42s a la carte menu [click here]

 

 

 

TEA 42 Review

Hey… it’s been a while and I apologise.  Things are finally getting better and I promise I will do a little update of all my shenangians and where I am health wise, but before I do, I must tell you about the greatest place known to any Coeliac or Gluten Free’er (is that a word?)…

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Tea 42 is a haven for people who have to stick to a gluten free diet. Not only does it serve amazing teas and crazy cocktails, it also serves a large array of gluten free beers and pretty much everything on the menu is gluten free! and I mean EVERYTHING! There’s over 60 things that are gluten free !!!

Not only do they serve gluten free beers, pies and cakes, they also serve gluten free sandwiches which we peeps know is a rarity. Sometimes when we dine out for lunch we have to make do with soups, salads or jacket potatoes but it’s nice to know that I can pop into TEA 42 on an afternoon and grab myself a gluten free sandwich.

So me and Mike decided to scope the joint out ourselves!

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We decided to share the oven baked Camembert with red onion marmalade and gluten free toast.

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I apologise now for the crappy picture quality. I was using my phone as I wasn’t expecting to take any photos! The light bite/starter was amazing. The only downside for me and Mike was the fact we ordered one to share and wished we didn’t! The Camembert was lovely and gooey and the red marmalade was the perfect match but it was the bread that stole the show! It was so light and tasted just like real bread that Mike couldn’t even tell the difference!

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For our mains I had the gluten free ‘cheezy’ leek and potato pie with home made mushy peas, mash and gravy! It was the first time since I was diagnosed with coeliac disease that I’d had a pie and I absolutely loved it! The filling was so cheesy and creamy but so full of flavour. The mushy peas got my seal of approval and the mash was a little dry (I like my mash super creamy) but it did come served in the cutest little pot that I want for myself!

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Mike went for the gluten free slow cooked pork belly in white wine with English herbs served with honey glazed root veggies, chive potato purée and a cider creamed sauce. Basically it ticked all Mikes boxes; pork [check] mash [check] and sauce with alcohol in [check]. Not only was it presented well but according to Mike it tasted pretty good (which is the highest of praises from Mike). The only downside he could find was his mash potato did not come in a cute little pot like mine

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When it got round to trying the desserts me and Mike were stuffed! Usually when we dine out together we’ll have a starter and main, but never a dessert which is probably because there never is anything nice that’s gluten free – but all that changed at TEA 42! All their desserts were gluten free and for the first time ever I got to share the biggest slice of Red Velvet Chocolate cake!

All in all, me and Mike had a lovely date at TEA 42! It was refreshing and a relief to finally find a place that does so much gluten free food that you don’t have to worry about it! The last time I had this much freedom dining out was when I was in New Zealand and it was nice to be able to chill out and not worry about it! It’s so pretty and sophisticated inside that you’ll either have afternoon tea and cake with your friends or get dressed up to the nines and have those crazy cocktails on an evening! Seriously you need to try this place and spread the word because TEA 42 gets 4 thumbs up from me and Mike!

 

Disclaimer: Tea 42 did not ask me to review them nor did they know I was going. I simply had such an amazing experience that I wanted to spread the word!