Lepelblad, Ghent

I recently had the pleasure of spending the weekend in Ghent, a lovely city in Belgium which I can’t recommend enough.

Lepelblad was just around the corner from our airbnb, in a great shopping and foodie area of the city.

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The menu was in Flemish but thankfully the waitress spoke English, so I was able to tell her that I was a coeliac and ask about the food. Amazingly, she said that I could order anything I wanted and they’d be able to make it gluten free (apart from the pasta because they’d run out their gf version). This was the best start to my trip possible!

I ordered lamb meatball tomato curry and rice, not a traditional Belgium cuisine but bloody hell it was nice. One of the best curries I’ve had, ever.

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We didn’t have time for dessert unfortunately but if you find yourself in Ghent, I’d highly recommend trying Lepelblad – the food is great and EVERYTHING can be made gluten free!

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Motu Indian Kitchen – Deliveroo

I’d heard great things about Motu Indian Kitchen from other food bloggers so when I was faced with another freezing night, I thought I’d give it a go.

Indian food tends to be pretty good for gluten free options but it’s rare to find the allergens shown on the menu. Motu does though and all of the mains and most of the sides are gluten free – hurrah!!

I went for the Madras Prawn Masala, plain rice, poppadoms and a side of Kachumber Raita.

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It arrived really quickly (big thanks to the very cold Deliveroo cyclist) so was still piping hot. At first I was a little worried about the portion size as it looked a bit small but I was just being a pig, once I plated it up it was the ideal amount for one.

The curry itself was amazing! Rich, flavoursome with just the right amount of spice. The kachumber raita was lovely – fresh and cooling unlike the usual bright green crap you get at bog standard takeaways.

Honestly this was one of the best Indian meals I’ve ever had, from a takeaway or a restaurant!

Motu is delivery only using Deliveroo and has kitchens in Camberwell and Battersea. So if you live in the area, I’d highly recommend you try it out. If you’re new to Deliveroo, you can get £5 off your first order by using my invite link: . Enjoy! 

Poncho8

I LOVE burritos but sadly there aren’t many places that do gluten free tortillas, so I’ve been sampling the alternatives around London and Poncho8 is the winner so far.

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Unlike the Chilango, Poncho8 has a handy allergens list so it’s easy to choose what to have in your burrito box.

On my most recent visit to the New Street Square branch, I went for spicy pork with tomato rice, peppers and onions (instead of beans), salad, grated cheese, jalapenos, medium and hot sauce, finished off with a sprinkling of fried chorizo bits.

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It may not look pretty but it tastes incredible!

Poncho8’s spicy pork is my absolute favourite filling. It’s so tender having been marinaded overnight, rich in flavour and mildly spicy. I also love that Poncho8  does fried chorizo as an extra, it really adds to the already deep flavour of the pork and even though it’s an extra £1, it’s totally worth it.

I highly recommend Poncho8 if you’re after a really tasty, filling lunch without any gluten worries. The food here also works miracles on hangovers. Enjoy!

Arepa & Co

Ahead of a trip to Draughts with some friends, I was finding it really difficult to source a suitable place to eat around the Haggerston/Kingsland Road area. As much as I wanted to peruse the lovely Vietnamese restaurants of Kingsland, we only had an hour to eat and I didn’t fancy having to work out what I can and can’t eat and risk being hungry for board game fun.

After multiple failed ‘gluten free restaurants in Haggerston’ searches, I turned to trusty Google maps to check the menus of the restaurants nearby and that’s when I came across Arepa & Co, a Venezuelan restaurant right on the canal.

It was the first place I’d found that actually indicated allergens on the menu including cereal containing gluten, celery, eggs, fish, milk, mustard, nuts, and soya beans. Best of all, it turns out Venezuelan food is naturally pretty coeliac friendly so I booked a table straight away.

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We arrived at the small, waterside restaurant and were greeted by friendly waiting staff who seated us and quickly took our drinks order – wine for me and Venezuelan beer for everyone else.

Having never eaten Venezuelan food before I wanted to go for something authentic, so I ordered a starter of Yuka and an Arepa main.

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Yuka – Cassava fingers with granny’s recipe of garlic and parsley sauce

Cassava is a South American root vegetable, which tasted like a cross between potato and celeriac. The Yuka starter is deep fried cassava with a rich garlic dip, essentially like having some chips as an appetizer, which is all good in my books.

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Arepa with shredded beef, cheddar, black beans and plantain

Arepa is like a corn bread patty that is traditionally eaten in Columbia and Venezuela and as it’s made for maize is gluten and wheat free. I opted for the ‘Pabellón’ arepa which contains shredded beef, cheddar, black beans and plantain.

When it arrived I initially thought it was a bit on the small side but once I got started I realised just how packed full of meat, beans and cheese it was. I was completely full afterwards.

The shredded beef was incredible and the beans and cheese obviously went very well with it. The plantain was an interesting addition, adding a little sweetness to the rich beef, which I loved but I imagine might not be for everyone.

Another similar gluten free main was my friend Laura’s one – the restaurant’s signature dish of Pabellón Criollo. Also consisting of shredded beef, cheese, black beans and plantain but layered on rice and with a little flower garnish.

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Pabellon Criollo (thanks for the photo Laura)

Unfortunately there was no time for dessert but next time, and there will be a next time, I’m going to try the coconut ice cream.

Overall Arepa & Co was a great experience – the food is delicious and the service exceptional. Our waiter was very attentive, asking us about our plans for the evening, how we found out about the restaurant and chatting knowledgeably about the food and what does and doesn’t contain gluten. He also came to say goodbye when his shift ended, wishing us a good night. Lovely.

A great find in an area with little or difficult to find gluten free places to eat.