When it comes to picking a restaurant for our next meal, most of us simply make our decisions based on accessibility and price. After all, we are spoilt for choice with Singapore’s smorgasbord of cuisines.
But not everyone enjoys that same luxury of just stepping into any eatery, ordering its signature dishes and hoping the food turns out delicious. For those with food allergies or even serious ailments such as celiac disease (which leaves them intolerant towards gluten, a component found in wheat, barley and rye), dining out typically involves doing some prior research on whether a restaurant has suitable food options. There’s also the added inconvenience of checking with the establishment’s staff if certain dishes contain allergens (and occasionally getting brushed off by impatient ones as “fussy”). Such dietary restrictions can make dining out a stressful affair, especially if consuming the wrong type of food leads to health complications.
To cater to this niche group of foodies, a number of eateries in Singapore have rolled out special menus that exclude common allergens such as dairy, eggs, artificial food colouring and gluten. From hearty pasta dishes to dainty desserts and colourful cakes, here are 5 restaurants where conscious eaters can indulge without fear.
Located in Tiong Bahru, this bistro has introduced a fully dairy and gluten-free menu of pastas, salads and meats designed by executive chef Ryan Clift. Guests can look forward to innovative concoctions such as a vegan macaroni pasta topped with a portobello bolognese gratin, slow-cooked celeriac with watercress purée, and a celery and almond soup. The establishment has also spruced up its space with a new indoor edible garden.
Open Door Policy, 19 Yong Siak Street (Yong Siak View), Singapore 168650, +65 6221 9307, www.odpsingapore.com
Opened by homegrown pastry queen Janice Wong, this restaurant boasts a variety of desserts and savoury fare spanning dim sum and noodles. The items on its menu are helpfully labeled with tags such as “low gluten” and “corn meal”, so patrons are aware about the gluten content and type of flour used in the food they order. Those avoiding gluten, for instance, can easily opt for dishes containing corn flour and potato starch.
Janice Wong Singapore, 93 Stamford Road, #01-06, National Museum of Singapore, Singapore 178897, +65 9712 5338, www.janicewong.com.sg
Tuck into sweet confections without worrying about artificial food colouring and flavouring at this cosy patisserie along Teo Hong Road. All of its exquisite cakes and desserts are preservative-free and baked from scratch with unbleached organic flour. Noteworthy offerings include Elise St Augustin, a combination of red fruits with basil confit and vanilla choux sponge, and the Jardin du Massialot, a custard-like mix of French cream, egg, fruit liquor and fruit.
Mad About Sucre, 27 Teo Hong Rd, Singapore 088334,
+65 6221 3969, www.madaboutsucre.com
This Australian franchise offers a wide repertoire of pizzas, all of which can be customised to exclude gluten. Its scrumptious toppings include wagyu beef, Moroccan lamb and roast duck, along with vegetarian-friendly options spanning roasted beetroot, mushrooms and spinach. These are presented on a crisp dough base layered with tasty sauces such as hummus, sweet chilli and garlic oil.
Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar, 34B Lorong Mambong, Holland Village, Singapore 277691, +65 6467 2224, www.crustpizza.com.sg
Targeted at the health-conscious and those with food intolerances, this bakery offers cakes that are free of eggs, dairy products, whey protein and emulsifiers. It also has a range of vegan, diabetic-friendly and gluten-free confections. Some of its flavours include hazelnut fudge, banana white chocolate and black forest. Delcie’s also does bespoke cakes, which can be tailored to suit any dietary restrictions.
Delcie’s Desserts and Cakes, #01-83, 34 Whampoa West, Singapore 330034, +65 6282 2951, delcies.com