We were recently listed in The Telegraph as one of London’s top ten restaurants to eat gluten free food. Some of you were asking how we got to this point since our initial start in April 2012 to now and defining our place in the community of restaurants in London.
Our initial intention was to serve delicious, healthy food without additives. No MSG slogan on our windows attracted dinners with many different types of food allergies. The most common group were Coeliacs. To make processes easier for staff and customers, I introduced a selection of gluten free options on the menu as a first stage. This created huge excitement within the Coeliac social networks, gluten free dishes became increasingly popular. This led to our need for better understanding of this illness, I interviewed numerous Coeliac dinners, also invited a few to dinner for feed back and suggestions on the new gluten free menu. Realising the severity of gluten contamination, I contacted Coeliac UK for professional staff training, they were very enthusiastic to hear of our commitment to serve food safely that they offered training for free, should we decide to apply for accreditation. In March 2015, we were thrilled to pass their unannounced audit with a straight “A.”
The auditor was deeply impressed with our system.
At the early stages, staff had to take detailed notes, then communicate to each chef in the kitchen, followed by constant checks to ensure that the message was noted.
Observing the flaws in our system that puts customers at risk, I printed a smaller but separate gluten free menu. This came with its own ordering page coded with corresponding letters and numbers that got highlighted to the kitchen immediately. The process took a separate route right from when the order was placed to the specific shape of the plate that ultimately landed at the dinner table. This was a way for us to ensure to the customer and ourselves that we’d served food that was safe and the customer wouldn’t fall ill.
It is in our best interests to ensure customers’ safety. And that is how it developed, more organically with the growing needs of customers. Since then, we’ve been evolving, and we now have a full selection gluten free menu making us a destination restaurant; the first Chinese restaurant to be gluten free accredited.