No GF dice for Ace

Ace Pizza is the newest kid on the Mt Lawley block and in the name of research we tried it out on Friday night. Yes I know, alarm bells should have been ringing when I read the name, however I bought into the idea that this potential new local would be coeliac friendly just like it’s sister restaurant El Publico up the road.

The new fit out – of what was formerly Barolo – was oh so edgy and had a great atmosphere. We sat at the bar, which was perfect because we just wanted to grab a quick bite to eat and head home to watch Suits (we’re hooked on this show!).

The service at Ace was well, ace! The waitress took our drink order, a wine for me and for my date, a Peroni beer in a can imported from Italy. This of course was not GF, but it was a nice touch and left the avid beer drinker with a smile on his dial. The waitress also ran me through the five GF menu items, chop chop beef ($14), occy with potatoes and olive ($18), mussels with lemon and dill ($17), beets and ricotta ($16) and rib chop with bone marrow and potato ($79), but there was no GF pizza on the menu at all. This is something I assumed Ace, with the owner’s great GF track record, would have but I should have called to check first!

I ordered the occy which came out first and was more a jack than an Ace with only four pieces of “occy” on the plate mixed with a lot of potato. It was then on to the mussels, which the waitress had said were quite large but when they arrived they were really only another starter dish, a precursor to the hero dish, the pizzas!

After these two dishes I watched delicious looking pizzas being gobbled up around me and encountered a lot of gluten envy (apparently the pizzas are as tasty as they look). So, I  spent a while trying to get the waitress’ attention to order more food and fill my still rumbling belly. I began to get hangry (the emotion you feel when you’re really hungry, a cross between angry and hungry) so we folded and headed out to San Churros for strawberries dipped in chocolate and macaroons! All gluten free and they filled me right up.

All in all, I think Ace is great for others (read another review here if you’re not on a GF diet), but a bad bet for us coeliacs. I’m eagerly awaiting the day that they get on the GF train so I can eat the equivelant to my body weight in those Ace pizzas!

MEXICAN HOT SPOT

Firstly, I must apologise for not posting in a while, I have been away with work and collecting lots of content on eating gluten free while travelling the Pilbara…let me assure you, this was no simple task. However, today’s blog post is just a quickie to tell you about El Publico, a Mexican restaurant in Mt Lawley aka coeliac paradise.

I have to admit, I had eaten here pre diagnosis and didn’t enjoy it at all, but we thought we’d give it another go last night in a smaller group of just two people and therefore could choose our own dishes. This was definitely the better way to experience the gluten free friendly menu – only four non gluten free foods are listed on the menu and they are marked clearly with an asterix, meaning I didn’t have to feel like a total pain constantly asking the waiter questions!!!

We ordered the street corn and cuttlefish for starters, these were the highlight dishes of the night. We followed with a lamb belly taco, with Aunty G’s sauce and a chicken taco each. The waiter (who was fabulous by the way!) placed some house made hot sauce on the table with the famous last words ‘It’s really hot… in case you want to party!”. How hot could it be I asked myself, well, with only three drops of the hot sauce on my taco I was sweating up a storm! Beware of the hot sauce, it is in fact, HOT sauce!

Overall I was really impressed with the service and food at El Publico, they make it so easy for coeliacs, you almost forget you have any special diatary needs – that is until your date orders a crispy pork role (Torta ahogada), which had my mouth watering!

On another note, the Coles gluten free and healthy living expo is on this weekend 16 -17 March, 2013 at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre. According to a lovely lady at the Coeliac Society, the expo is a must for coeliacs as you can experience all things gluten free. You’ll find me there, taste testing my way through the expo booth by booth 🙂

GLUTEN FREE WHAT?!

I don’t know about all you other coeliacs / gluten intolerant people, but I have really struggled to find good and easy, gluten free take away. I have found myself less inclined to pop out for lunch during the week and I have noticed that the language barrier at cheaper eats is a big hurdle (gluten free what?!), making the task of picking up a quick feed on a week night almost impossible.

This was most definitely the case last night at a Japanese takeaway place in Subiaco. I was left a little red faced and not to mention hungry, after a gluten free altercation with the people behind the counter. I could tell they weren’t well versed on gluten free foods, especially when they said a big fat “NO!” when I asked to check the ingredients on the miso paste they use – I wonder what they were hiding in that backroom, it sounded suss.

On the other hand I do want to share a good experience I’ve had with Thai cuisine. Thai seems to be a great way to go for gluten free takeaway and I was pleasantly surprised when some friends and I ordered Tamarind Thai in Mt Hawthorn. The Menu has ‘gluten free’ scrawled across the front (big tick), and the lady taking our order was more than happy to point out the four menu items that contained gluten (I still double checked all dishes were gluten free at time of ordering). That FOMO (fear of missing out) feeling was nowhere to be seen… coeliac heaven!

I didn’t get any snaps of the food (we were too busy chomping it down!) but click on the image below to see a copy of the menu. The highlighted items are not gluten free.

Tamarind Thai menu, the highlighted items are NOT gluten free.

Tamarind Thai menu, the highlighted items are NOT gluten free.

A COELIAC’S FRENCH WONDERLAND

Over the weekend I was treated to another birthday celebration at one of Perth’s newest restaurants, Bistro Guillaume. Located just off the lobby at Crown Entertainment Complex, Bistro Guillaume instantly transports you to a French wonderland through its modern take on a quintessential French bistro.

The entry sets the tone, with its smashed plate chandelier hanging high enough to direct punters to the bright green doorway and into the restaurant’s impressive foyer. The staff greeted us almost immediately, held up only by one disgruntled guest blasting the maitre d’ because she couldn’t be accommodated (without a booking) in the packed restaurant – even I was shaking in my stilettos…that woman was cray!

We were soon seated and as we were still waiting on one person, we ordered drinks. I decided on a French Martini (when in Rome!), which was almost as good as the  best French martini I have had – it went down way too easy after a long week in the office!

French martini.

French martini.

A few martinis later and with our last guest now present, we began to order our meals. I called the restaurant a few days earlier and spoke to a manager who assured me that most menu items can be made gluten free and our waitperson confirmed this on the night. I was very confident that I would have a wide variety to choose from and I was right.

For entrée, I ordered half a dozen natural oysters and the Spanner Crab salad with avocado, cucumber and capsicum coulis. I absolutely love oysters, but unfortunately these ones didn’t seem to be shucked properly and I had to work hard to get them off the shell – this was a bit of a turn off.

The Spanner Crab on the other hand was delicious, I couldn’t fault it!

Oysters.

The oysters left a lot to be desired.

The delicious crab salad!

The Spanner Crab with avocado, cucumber and capsicum coulis.

Between entrée and main we were treated to Chinese New Year fireworks. I got so distracted by the spectacle happening outside the window that I subconsciously reached for the bread roll, so sneakily placed on my side plate. It wasn’t until my gluttonous side kicked in and I asked for the butter that I realised what I was doing…eeek! The butter saved me from eating the bread (I never thought I would hear myself say that!).  After this little incident it was hard to forget about the doughy fresh bread that I couldn’t eat, but thankfully it was nothing another French martini couldn’t fix!

It was then onto mains for which I ordered Chargrilled King Salmon with roast fennel, oyster mushroom, clams and beurre blanc. It was cooked perfectly and was a great gluten free choice. The serving was fairly big and after my entrée it was a struggle to finish it all.

Chargrilled king salmon.

Chargrilled king salmon.

When it came time to order desert, our waitperson explained that there were only two gluten free deserts, the sorbet and the fresh raspberry and rose macaron. With such a small selection to choose from, I was lucky that I already had my mind set on the macaron. It was like nothing I had seen before, a huge macaron with an amazing creamy centre. It was extremely sweet (even for me and my sweet loving tooth), but I would still recomend it to all you glutards!

THE macaron!

THE macaron!

All in all, the food was very nice however the service (especially the drink service) was not on par with that of neighboring restaurants Nobu and Rockpool. We found we drank less because our glasses weren’t filled regularly (first world problem, I know, I know!), and the significantly pricey Hennesy Paradis ordered by the males at our table was more expensive (and less quantity) than that served 20 metres away at Nobu, this was a bit disappointing.

Although I wouldnt rush back, I would recommend you try it at least once for the decor alone, oh and they cater very well to us coeliacs, which is a big plus in my book!

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