Saturday, July 18, 2015

Celiac-Safe Foods In Thailand Part 2: Restaurants Worth Noting


As previously mentioned, Thailand is a pretty easy country to navigate for Celiacs given the fact that rice is their main staple.  When eating out, sauces should be one of your top concerns as oyster sauce, plum sauce and sometimes fish sauce can contain wheat (see my blog post about this for more information).

Before embarking on our Thai trip, I researched restaurants in the 3 cities we were visiting who had gluten free menus.  I stored each restaurant in an app called CityMaps2Go and it really was a life saver.  I highly recommend downloading this app for both domestic and international travel.  It doesn’t even use WiFi!

I have to admit though that we ate a lot of meals at our hotels.  Both the Hilton Sukumvhit and the Doubletree Phuket made me feel as comfortable as I am in my mother’s kitchen, so it was hard to pass up a meal that I felt completely safe with.  The Doubletree even told me that they could make whatever Thai dish I wanted gluten free, so I had a blast exploring Asian cuisine without any fear of being glutened!

Below is a list of restaurants we ate at along with a few others I had noted. 
Italian food at the Hilton

Bangkok:
  • Hilton Bangkok Sukhumvhit- This is the hotel I stayed in while in Bangkok and both their food and service receive my accolades.  If you stay here as well (which I highly recommend), make sure to alert the hotel of your allergy before you travel.  They had gluten free bread for me every morning at breakfast and walked me through their breakfast foods.  Their Italian restaurant, Scalini, is also not to be missed.  They actually ran to the grocery store to get fresh gluten free pasta for me!  Both my meal, and my non-Celiac friend’s meal, were delicious and one of the highlights of our trip!
  • Hamilton’s Steakhouse – My friend, Callie, wanted to splurge on a nice steak dinner on her birthday, so this is where she picked.  It’s a fun New York style steakhouse nestled in the Dusit Thani Bangkok hotel.  I was surprised to find that gluten free items were already noted on the menu – score! I went with the roasted rosemary chicken and it was delicious.  The best part though was that they offered an assortment of delicious gluten free breads 
  • Other restaurants in Bangkok that I noted to have gluten free selections but didn’t visit included: Cabbages & Condoms (sounds very odd, I know but people rave about their food), Olive ad Mrs. Balbir’s.  (Thanks to Marley’s blog

GF Pad Thai at the DoubleTree

Phuket:
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Phuket Surin Beach – The staff at this hotel were so gracious and extremely accommodating of my allergy.  When I arrived, they told me that they had bought gluten free bread for breakfast and had gluten free soy sauce so that they could make me anything I wanted.  Each meal they’d ask me what Asian cuisine I had always wanted to try and they’d whip up a gluten free version.  I’ve never felt that safe outside of my own kitchen and the DoubleTree deserves a huge round of applause.  Callie and I ate literally every meal at the hotel and I wouldn’t change a thing!
  • Other restaurants in Phuket that I noted to have gluten free selections: Lady Pie Bakery & Café, Aqua Restaurant and the JW Marriott.


View from the Restaurant
Chiang Mai:
  • Country Club near the Oasis Spa Baan Saen Doi resort.  Our lovely boutique hotel was across the street from a beautiful country club.  The club had traditional Thai food and were very accommodating of my gluten travel cards.  If you come here for dinner, be sure to get there early and ask for a table overlooking the mountain.  The views are absolutely gorgeous.  I stuck to curries mainly but the fish and chicken dishes looked to be naturally gluten free.
  • Other restaurants in Phuket that I noted to have gluten free selections: Yummy Pizza, Salsa Kitchen, Butter is Better*, Blue Diamond Breakfast Club*

Red Curry
o   *I found blog posts that mentioned that both of these restaurants offered gf items but there seemed to be inconsistencies with their foods.  One blog post warned against both restaurants.

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