Galvin Café a Vin, Spital Square

Back to my old haunt – Spitalfields- oh what a change! The city creeps east, gentrifying the hovels, smothering grubby newsagents with gleaming design shops and contrived FroYo concept stores. Even the graffiti has a new respectability: it’s ‘street art’ now don’t you know!

It’s not my first time at Galvin, but last time was at the formal and beautiful La Chapelle. Michelin stars are a little much for a Tuesday lunch though, so I booked the more informal bistro – Cafe a Vin which offers an excellent value prix fixe menu.

What can I say? This is gluten free dining as it should be- simple, fuss free and leaving you to worry only about the French ambience, tempting menu and people-watching from your alfresco table. The menu isn’t marked, but the waitstaff know the ingredients and suitable options (as well as what can be adapted). Gluten free bread is offered automatically, and delightfully there is communication between the different servers who remembered about the coeliac on table 4 throughout the meal.

I polished off a beautifully fresh cod fillet with a light butter sauce peppered up with slivers of zingy ginger and detoxed with satisfying bright runner beans. Joy of joys, there was a choice for dessert- the cherry parfait I chose was sweet, melty and tangy; although the ice crystals were a little large and gave a bit of a crunch. Damn I’m spoiled if that’s the only complaint.

I’ll be back to Galvin for sure, and also back to Spitalfields soon to share with you some of the best Street Eats in E1.

Gluten Free-ability: 9/10
Service: 8/10
Food: 9/10

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