My Path to gluten intolerance
As a gluten free blogger my mission was always to find amazing coeliac friendly feeds and help people like me remove the stress that comes with the worry of catering for dietary requirements. Click To Tweet

My Story – Why I started this gluten free blog

I have always been slightly sensitive to gluten. For as long as I can remember I would feel bloated and nauseous having eaten too much pizza or overindulged in other gluten-filled foods. But in my early twenties, I was hit with a nasty case of food poisoning from a business trip to Paris – I suspect from the dodgy Croque Monsieur I had in Gard du Nord station while rushing back to get the Eurostar to London, but who knows. The obvious side effects continued for about a week and a half, including a mortifying experience at Southwark tube station whilst going home sick from work the following day where I collapsed on the platform. I would never have suspected the following nightmare 12 months and the permanent damage to my digestive system.

2 months later I was still being ill after every meal (symptoms included bad skin, bloating, nausea, constipation, diarrhoea, drowsiness and brain fog) and I was also suffering from anxiety following the tube station incident which made it difficult to travel on any public transport, let alone commute to work. Enough was enough, I took myself to the doctors numerous times, undergoing many blood tests, urine tests, ultrasounds, poking and prodding. I was prescribed Buscopan, Peppermint Oil Capsules and Fibre Supplements, diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and severe gluten intolerance and referred for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy  (CBT) and nutritional help to do the FODMAP elimination diet. In other words, I was a total mess!

Almost 3 years later and I’m finally feeling human again. A large part of this is down to self-help for my anxiety, quitting my job in London and going travelling and doing the FODMAP diet. At first, I worked out a full A4 page of foods that were causing problems, but now I’m down to just 3; gluten, onions and garlic. Travelling was one of the experiences that I feel had the most positive impact on my life and recovery, but it also worsened my anxiety at first as I constantly worried about being ill while travelling and catering for my dietary requirements in different countries. I researched every place I went but often found it difficult to find reliable gluten free recommendations, so I decided to record my gluten free travels here to help others with gluten intolerance and coeliac disease.

Following a gluten free diet shouldn’t be a burden on your holiday or stop you from enjoying new countries and cuisines. As a gluten free blogger my mission was always to find amazing coeliac friendly feeds and help people like me remove the stress that comes with the worry of catering for dietary requirements.

I live by recommendations and research so if you know a great gluten free place, let me know about it!

Happy Gluten Free Travelling!

Singapore sling and gluten free things in Singapore
Singaporeans are very friendly and keen to help. We even managed in the wet markets in Little India, which on first impression ,seemed like an allergen nightmare. Click To Tweet

After spending 4 days in Singapore on a stopover to Australia, I can admit it was a little tricky at first to find gluten free dining. Despite most speaking perfect English, it was common to meet a confused face when using the words gluten free or coeliac, however being a little more descriptive and asking if foods contained wheat, soy sauce etc. made the conversation much easier. (It may be helpful to carry some restaurant cards in Chinese, Malay and Tamil just in case.)

Singaporeans are very friendly and keen to help so it wasn’t too much of a struggle to find gluten free eats everywhere we went, we even managed in the wet markets in Little India which on first impression seemed like an allergen nightmare.

Just be wary as yet there is no gluten free certification board in Singapore. Proceed with caution as food allergens are not well understood, possibly due to rice being the main grain used, and ask lots of questions.

For an easy gluten free trip to Singapore here are my top dining selections by area:

Central Gluten Free Restaurants and Eateries

  1. Soi 60 – Fantastic Thai restaurant on Robertson Quay, with a lovely riverside atmosphere. Their menu is marked up GF (gluten free) and GFA (gluten free available) for super easy ordering. Do always check with your wait staff though. Try the delicious Duck Pancakes and Salt and Pepper Squid to start and the Pad Thai and Gai Nang (chicken with green curry cream) for main.
    60 Robertson Quay, #01-04 The Quayside, Singapore 238252
    Tel: +65 6635 6675
  2. Super Loco – Mexican street food restaurant next door to Soi 60, you’re spoilt for gluten free choice along Robertson Quay. Their menu is also labelled up with gluten free choices making for an effortless ordering experience.
    60 Robertson Quay, #01-13 The Quayside, Singapore 238252
    Tel: +65 6235 8900
  3. Raffles Hotel – A trip to Singapore would not be complete without sipping a Singapore Sling and tossing peanut shells on the floor of the famous Long Bar at Raffles. Given 24 hours notice they also provide a gluten free version of their afternoon tea.
    1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673
    Tel: +65 6337 1886
  4. The Soup Spoon – Outlets exist throughout Singapore and they clearly state which of their soups, salads and stews are gluten free, dairy free, egg free and vegetarian.
    Tel: +65 6835 7086
  5. All Good Things – This cute little bakery has a small selection of freshly baked gluten free cakes available. The favourite is the flourless chocolate cake. These guys are currently moving location stay tuned…
    7 Rodyk Street#01-30 The Watermark, Singapore 238215
    Tel: +65 6238 1086

Coeliac Friendly China Town

  1. Artemis Grill – A mediterranean roof top restaurant has a good selection of gluten free options marked up on its menu and a spectacular view.
    138 Market Street, #40-01 CapitaGreen (Rooftop), CapitaGreen – Office Space, Singapore 048946
    Tel: +65 6635 8677
  2. Tiann’s Bakery – Cafe just west of China Town, serving gluten free savoury waffles, cakes, ice cream and fresh juices.
    71 Seng Poh Rd, Block 71, Singapore 160071
  3. The Soup Spoon
    120 Maxwell Rd, TG Pagar MRT Stn, Singapore 069119

Gluten Free Eats in Little India

  1. Jonathan’s – Singapore’s first completely gluten free kitchen, specialising in cakes and bread. They also serve breakfast and brunch.
    17 Dalhousie Lane, Singapore 209685
    Tel: +65 6291 3396
  2. The Tekka Centre (wet market) is a must visit in Little India. However it is tricky for gluten free diners, the nature of the markets means there is likely to be an element of cross contamination. My advice would be watch how the stands prepare the food and what sauces they use. We stuck to Hainanese (chicken rice) or duck rice and asked for no sauce. Dosa is usually a good gluten free option from the Indian food stalls but again be wary of cross contamination in the cooking process. If in doubt there is always the fresh produce stalls.
    Tekka Centre, Bukit Tina Rd, Singapore 
  3. Crust Pizza Bar – This well-loved Australian pizza franchise has gluten free pizza bases available. Not all pizza toppings and sauces are gluten free though so it’s best to chat with the staff prior to ordering.
    Serangoon Outlet
    1 Maju Avenue, My Village @ Serangoon Garden #B1-23/24, Singapore 556679
    Tel: +65 6636 7666
  4. Delcie’s Deserts – A little further out from Little India is this baker of organic, allergen free, diabetic friendly and vegan goodies. Awarded the Health Promotion Board’s Healthier Choice Bakery Certification, they even make customisable cakes to order.
    34 Whampoa West #01-83, Singapore 330034
    Tel: +65 9789 2309

A little further from the centre:

  1. The Line – A little further from the city, not too far from the Botanic Gardens, this buffet style restaurant at the Shangri-La Hotel has a gluten free section.

    Tel: +65 6213 4275
  2. Baker & Cook –  Claim to have the best gluten free bread in Singapore… baked fresh on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. However you can still pick up frozen gluten free bread on other days.
    77 Hillcrest Road, Greenwood, Singapore 288951
    Tel: (+65) 6469 8834
  3. Crust Pizza Bar
    34B Lorong Mambong, Singapore 277691
    Tel: (+65) 6467 2224
    215R Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574349
    Tel: (+65) 6456 1555

Gluten Free Dining at Singapore Changi Airport

Eating gluten free in any airport is a always a nightmare, although I recently experienced Wondertree at London Heathrow which served a great gluten free breakfast/brunch and even had a separate gluten free menu.

Needless to say we struggled to find gluten free options at Singapore Changi Airport and we were stuck their for 6 hours! Here is what we found:

  1. Nandos (Terminal 2) – International Portuguese PERi-PERi chicken restaurant chain originating from South Africa.
  2. Boost (Terminal 2 Departures) – Australian juice and smoothie bar
  3. I wouldn’t usually recommend these two but worst case scenario the chips at Burger King are gluten free and you can get grilled chicken and chips at KFC.

It is easy and quick to travel between terminals for free using the Skytrain.

And a quick mention about Singapore Airlines, we flew with them from London Heathrow to Singapore and the gluten free meals on board were the best I’ve had by far. They have a really good range of meals for different religious and dietary requirements.

Coeliac friendly self catering options:

  1. Major Supermarkets – FairPrice, Market Place, Isetan and Cold Storage all carry their own ranges of gluten free produce usually in the health food sections but sometimes on the same shelves as the non gluten free options.
  2. Little Farms – Stocks organic, farm fresh produce as well as gluten free and refined sugar free snacks.
    491 River Valley Road #01-20, 248371
    Tel: +65 6262 0619
  3. Brown Rice Paradise – A great store for healthy foods and catering for food intolerances in general, you can find all your gluten free flours, cereals etc. here.
    163 Tanglin Rd, Tanglin Mall, Singapore 247933
    Tel: +65 6738 1121
  4. Ryan’s Grocery – 99% of their over 1000 products are gluten free but they also stock other allergen free, free range, organic, and antibiotic free foods. The owners are two parents who wanted to cater for their son’s dietary requirements. Plenty of GF cooking and baking ingredients.
    29 Binjai Park, Singapore 589831
    Tel: +65 6463 3933
  5. SuperNature – Very expensive but has a wide range of gluten free goodies.
    21 Orchard Boulevard, #01-21/23 & 27 Park House, Singapore 248645
    Tel: +65 6304 1336
  6. Mustafa Centre – Open 24 hours and offering a wide range of gluten free products including pastas, quinoa, grains, lentils, and pre-mixes.
    45 Syed Alwi Road, Singapore 207704

Have you been to Singapore? Do you have any recommendations for great gluten free eats?

Gluten Free Venice Italy
With a bit of googling, some trial and error and a lot of saying the words 'senza glutine' (gluten free) and 'Io sono celiaco' (I am Coeliac), we found some great restaurants. Click To Tweet
gluten free Burano Venice Italy

Burano, Venice

Italy… land of pizza, pasta and bread. When my mum wanted to treat my sister to pre-wedding celebrations for a long weekend in Venice I was beyond excited but a little nervous about eating gluten free and getting around any language barriers in restaurants.

True to its reputation Venice was simply stunning. After arriving at the airport we jumped into a private water taxi to our hotel; just around the corner from St Marks Square. The canals, piazzas, art and cathedrals are exquisite. The islands of Murano and Burano are not to be missed for their glass blowing and windy streets with multi-coloured houses.

glass blowing gluten free murano venice italy

Glass blowing in Murano, Venice

But I’ll be honest we found it pretty difficult to find gluten free dining in Venice, a lot of restaurants we tried just said no when we asked about gluten free options. However with a bit of googling, some trial and error and a lot of saying the words ‘senza glutine’ (gluten free) and ‘Io sono celiaco’ (I am Coeliac), we found some great restaurants.

In fact Italy is pretty clued up when it comes to Coeliac disease. Children are routinely screened for coeliac disease and subsidies are available to compensate people with coeliac disease for the higher cost of gluten free food. Italian law even requires gluten free food be available in schools, hospitals and public places. The Associazione Italiana Celiachia publishes a restaurant guide and provides annual reports for the Italian Parliament.

If you are looking for gluten free alternatives to cook your own food, go to a Pharmacy, they are considered medicine for Coeliacs. Supermarkets tend to stock some gluten free pastas and things too.

Here are the restaurants we ate at which had great gluten free options:

gluten free kori restaurant venice

Kori Restaurant

  1. Kori Restaurant – This was the best restaurant we visited in Venice hands down. We were strolling past when one of the waiters approached us, we asked about gluten free options and they assured us they could provide pretty much anything on the menu gluten free. We had the most amazing night our waiters were excellent (and handsome) especially Stefano. Nothing was too much trouble and they were very aware of dietary requirements.
    We had a gorgeous platter of Lobster, Prawns and Langoustines which they prepared and served for us. Finished of course with some delicious Limoncello.
    Calle Larga S.Marco, 280
gluten free kori restaurant venice

Kori Restaurant

  • Restaurant Galuppi – Great seafood restaurant, very accommodating and understanding of gluten allergies, in beautiful Burano. Lots of fresh grilled seafood to choose from, risotto and even gluten free spaghetti. They gave us rice cakes in place of the bread before the meal.
    Via B. Galuppi, 468 (Burano)

    gluten free restaurant galuppi Venice

    Restaurant Galuppi

  • La Zucca – Famous for its Venetian delicacies, fish, meat, and vegetarian recipes. The waiter was able to tell us exactly what was gluten free on the menu and the food was great.
    Santa Croce, 1762

    Gluten Free Pizza Venice AeOche

    Gluten Free Pizza at Pizzerie AeOche

  • Pizzerie AeOche – Great pizza and sports bar, the only Italian gluten free pizza we managed to find in Venice! Huge range of pizza toppings to choose from.
    Santa Croce, 1552/A
  • Grom – Amazing gelato and gluten free (except for flavours noted on a sign which is in clear display). The staff were clued up about which flavours were gluten free and took precautions with cross-contamination.
    Various locations:
    – Salizada S. Giovanni Grisostomo, 5803
    – Campo San Barnaba, 2761
    – Cannaregio, 3844
    – Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia, Fondamenta Santa Lucia, 30100

Translations to help you out:

Gluten free: senza glutine
I am Coeliac: lo sono celiaco
May contain: possono contenere
Contains: contiene
Wheat: grano
Barley: orzo
Rye: segale
Oats: avena

Have you been to Venice? Do you have any recommendations for great gluten free eats?