Indian food is usually a fairly safe bet for a coeliac what with all that lovely gram flour, but there’s always a niggling suspicion with any sauce, so I still begrudgingly ‘make a fuss’ and ask what is suitable. The most frustrating thing to be told in a restaurant is “pick something and we’ll check”. This not only indicates the staff do not have a good knowledge of the menu, but then we either end up with a lengthy cat and mouse menu selection process while my friends get frustrated, or I’m ok first time and am left with a lingering suspicion that they won’t actually check and I’ll get glutened.
The India was one of these restaurants. The vaulted ceilings of the building just off Canon Street make for a perfect location for either a muted candlelit dinner or a rowdy work party, with neither able to hear each other. Unless like us you are sharing your vault with one of the latter. This combined with the uneven lino on the floor, the flakey black paint and the way that the toilets were seamlessly integrated with the cleaning cupboard earns The India few marks for ambiance.
Decor aside, things started well with the staff confidently telling me the popadoms contained wheat. Unusual, but ok as i suppose they may have fried them with the bhajis. I glanced on hungrily whilst we waited for our mains, or rather whilst I waited to find out if my sag paneer or tarka dhal were suitable. The dishes arrived ahead of the confirmation and when I double checked I got a flustered nod. I was done making a fuss, and hungry, so tucked into to what turned out to be a deliciously sweet and creamy spinach dish. Pilau rice was nice, but unremarkable, and whilst the lentils had their characteristic nutty smokey flavour, they were somewhat watery. On the whole not bad, but glad to be getting 50% off with our Taste card.
The morning after, the familiar bloating and stomach pains had kicked in, and tell tale red lumps were up on my hands. I’m pretty sure I got glutened. Minus points for The India.
Glutenfreeability 4 – could be good if the staff were more clued up
Service 4 – friendly, but not the most knowledgable
21 College Hill, Cannon Street, London EC4R 2RP