Both Jaime and I, along with a surprising number of other women, suffer from gluten intolerance. I’m rather naughty with my intolerance and most of the time I ignore it tempted by too many goodies, but wouldn’t it be nice to know where in Hong Kong you can go, knowing that you can still eat delicious food but won’t be in agony afterwards? Well, Jaime and I have done the research for you! Here’s our Gluten-Free Guide to Hong Kong.
P.S. Remember to always double check with every restaurant regarding their gluten-free dishes, especially in regards to issues like ingredient preparation and cross-contamination with other non gluten-free items.
ALREADY ON THE MENU
This healthy fast and extremely tasty lunch spot is a favourite amongst Central workers looking for some lunchtime nourishment. Vegetarian food is the main focal point but for anyone with a gluten intolerance, the chance to have bread for lunch is too good to be true. Simply order one of MANA!’s signature homemade gluten-free flatbreads with your choice of fillings for an incredibly delicious wheat-free lunchtime wrap. Don’t forget to give their scrumptious gluten-free desserts and even beer a try too.
Check out our full review of MANA! here.
Mana! Fast Slow Food G/F, 92 Wellington St, Central
2851 1611 www.mana.hk
Life is a much-loved veteran of the Hong Kong dining scene. Everything is vegetarian, earthy and rustic… but most importantly, there are tonnes of dessert offerings jam-packed with gluten-free goodies. Our personal favourites are the gluten free flapjacks and the delicious quinoa cake – perfect for satisfying a gluten free sweet tooth!
Read our full review of Life Café here.
Life Café Organic Restaurant & Bar Soho, 10 Shelley Street, Central
2810 9777 www.lifecafe.com.hk/
Life Deli 50 Johnston Road, Wan Chai
A new addition to the Sheung Wan lunch scene, Noodlemi prides itself on its healthy and delicious Vietnamese menu, stuffed full of gluten, wheat and MSG free delights. This is a great place to bag a quick takeaway lunch (especially with their awesome packaging) and would also make for a cool chilled-out dinner option too. Sassy faves: the turmeric white fish vermicelli, summer rolls, simmered beef with tomato and anise, vanilla berry terrine… oooh basically everything!
Read our full review of Noodlemi here.
Noodlemi G/F, 2 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan
2253 1113 www.facebook.com/noodlemi
O Green Café
This cute little café in Sheung Wan prides itself on serving organic and nutritious food. It also offers several delicious gluten-free, as well as sugar-free and dairy-free, dishes and incredible guilt-free desserts. Although their pasta isn’t gluten-free, they do use whole-wheat pasta, to make it that little bit healthier.
Check out our full review of O Green Café here.
O Green Cafe Shop E, G/F, Fu Fai Commercial Centre, 27 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan
2850 6996 www.ogreencafe.com/
Baking is more than a hobby for 16 year old Ankrish; this boy is a culinary genius, making some of the most delicious cakes and cupcakes in Hong Kong for parties and events. He did his food science exam on gluten-free baking, which we were lucky enough to try… and it was divine! These are the only cakes and cupcakes gluten-free eaters should be ordering in Hong Kong, and the fact that Ankrish can tailor-make designs just for you means they’re perfect for celebrations (or just some good old-fashioned indulgence!). He can also do gluten-free pastry, chocolates, biscuits and cheesecakes and is just as good at vegan products too! There is no physical shop to go to; simply order online whenever you need your cake fix!
Check out our full scoop on Baking Maniac here.
A whole range of health foods and snacks are on offer in their two stores, catering to healthy eaters and those with food intolerances. There are plenty of gluten-free goodies in store too – and even a stores on Lamma and Discovery Bay for you island-dwellers!
Just Green, 7 St Francis Street, Wan Chai, 2528 9969
– 52 Graham Street, Central, 2801 5611
– 75 Yung Shue Wan Main Street, Lamma Island, 2982 2325
– G33C, G/F, Block C, Discovery Bay Plaza, Lantau, 2448 1180
A convenient pit-stop location to pick up some gluten free staples for your larder; good for basic items like pastas and snack bars.
Nature’s Village, 36 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 2121 1637
– Shop 54, G/F, Elizabeth House, 250-254 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, 2575 0188
– Shop 106, 1/F., Tai Yau Plaza, 181 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, 2111 0683
– Shop 122, 1/F, The Elegance at Sheraton, 20 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2770 5098; see all other locations here
A whole shop filled to the brim with all sorts of gluten-free delights. There’s no fresh produce here, but it does stock every store cupboard ingredient you might need, especially some of the more obscure baking flours needed to whip up your own gluten-free treats at home. They also do online ordering and delivery. Handy.
O2H, Shop A, G/F, World Trust Tower, 50 Stanley Street, Central, 2523 3123
– Stall No. K3 at Level 1, Pier 3, 11 Man Kwong Street, Central, 2523 3280
– Shop 136D, Level 1, Park Central Shopping Arcade, Tseung Kwan O, 2523 3993
Oliver’s, ThreeSixty, great Food Hall
These deli-style premium supermarkets stock almost every product under the sun, including a wealth of gluten-free options. There often isn’t one dedicated section (that would make life too easy!) but we’ve spotted plenty of gluten-free products on the shelves, including flour bases, pancake and cake mixes, cereals and grains, snack bars, bagels and bread (in the freezer, as well as on shelves), pastas and more. Be sure not to miss the La Rose Noire gluten-free products, so far spotted in Oliver’s and ThreeSixty – they do a delicious brownies and a pumpkin bread that really tastes like cake (it’s only 99% gluten free so eat with caution!).
Oliver’s, Shop 201-205, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2810 7710
ThreeSixty, 3 & 4/F, The Landmark, Central, 2111 4480; Shop 1090, 1/F Elements, Kowloon Station, 2196 8066
great Food Hall, Basement, Two Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2918 9986
Little Giant HK
Not only do they have a fully stocked gluten-free store in Causeway Bay that also offers other “free from” products, but they also do online shopping if you’re too lethargic to battle with the Causeway Bay mobs. We’ve not yet managed to check it out in person yet, but it’s high on our hit list – let us know if you’ve been already!
Little Giant HK, 15/F Chung Wai Commercial Building, 447-449 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2573 3610
We are yet to visit this store but their website seems to list every gluten-free product possibly ever imported into HK, including the wealth of American brands that so perfectly cater to our gluten free needs. You can also shop online, or place orders by phone, fax or email too!
Health Essential, 8/F, Hung Tak Building, 106-108 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2545 2286
This sweet little shop on Caine Road sells delicious gluten-free cereals and snacks, as well as other special products such as dairy-free milks and even eco-friendly home products. It also sells special gluten free goodies for kids. You can also buy online or over the phone and get free delivery (dependent on a minimum spend).
Nature’s Blessing, G/F, Shop 3A, Midland Court, 60-62 Caine Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong, 2517 2135
A fab suggestion by one of our Sassy readers! All of Welspring’s products are natural, organic, gluten free, fair-trade, vegetarian or raw – with eco-friendly beauty, skincare and home cleaning products in addition to their extensive range of food and beverage. Their gluten-free section boasts bread, pasta, snacks, cooking ingredients and sauces, They also make holiday hampers (great Christmas gifts for any gluten-free friends and family we reckon!) and host special cooking classes (yes – there’s a gluten-free one sometimes!) and wellness workshops too.
Welspring, Room 303, 3/F, Keen Hung Commercial Building, 80 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 3622 1287
An organic pantry filling store that also stocks a wide range of gluten free products including gluten-free flours, grains and even cookies.
Spicebox Organics, 72 Third Street, GF Shop K, Fook Moon Bldg, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, 2568 2728
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ASK
On the whole, asking someone to provide you a gluten-free meal can be a scary affair (cue cries of ‘What’s gluten?!’)! We have learnt that the best places to accommodate this request are more upmarket restaurants, hotel restaurants and private kitchens, which create everything from scratch everyday anyway. The below list is by no means exhaustive but includes places where we have successfully (and deliciously!) asked for a gluten free meal and been impressed with the results:
The lovely couple that run this ever-popular private kitchen near Kennedy Town are more than happy to cater for gluten intolerant diners. They will create a special separate dish for you to replace any dishes containing gluten so you needn’t miss out on their amazing Spanish fare!
This innovative private kitchen is booked up months in advance, but they happily created a yummy gluten-free meal for us… where some of the options were (shhh…) tastier than the “real” options. [Check out our full review here.]
TBLS Kitchen Studio 7/F, 31 Hollywood Road, Central
2544 3433 www.tbls-kitchenstudio.com/
Mandy’s Private Kitchen
With enough advance warning, Mandy substituted her mainstay Caribbean-inspired dishes with gluten free alternative and even made a delicious alternative to her famed corn bread.
Another private kitchen (this time with hearty Cajun cuisine) that happily created alternate delicious dishes – and yet another scrumptious corn bread!
Magnolia 17 Po Yan Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
2530 9880 www.magnolia.hk/
Four Seasons Hong Kong
We have already sampled and reviewed their gluten free afternoon tea, which was exceptional (read the full scoop here!), but their chefs can do any meal gluten-free given advance notice. If you’re staying, they’ll even go to the effort of creating in-room gluten-free treats!
Four Seasons Grand Ballroom 2/F, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central
As you would expect from this world-class hotel, all you have to do is ask and they will serve you up their homemade gluten-free bread and ensure your meals are gluten-free (as I discovered on my very lovely staycation there!).
The Upper House 37/F, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Central
2918 1838 www.upperhouse.com/
We have already asked and successfully received delish gluten-free dishes when dining at Felix (see our review here), but we’re confident they could whip it up in any of their dining outlets too.
The Peninsula 19-21 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
2920 2888 www.peninsula.com/Hong_Kong/en/Dining/Felix/default.aspx#/Hong_Kong/en/Dining/
There are all the hotels we have specifically asked, but we’re pretty sure most of the other hotels in Hong Kong will be able to keep gluten off your plates and make you gluten-free bread too!
The essence here is vegan (meaning no meat and no dairy either) but the food-conscious chefs are fully au fait with gluten intolerances, and a lot of their dishes are naturally gluten-free. They can advise you on what from their seasonal menu is suitable for you to eat on the day. [Read our full review here – we loved it!]
Grassroots Pantry 12 Fuk Sau Lane, Sai Ying Pun, Western District
2873 3353 www.grassrootspantry.com/
This restaurant is a must-visit for most Lantau visitors, but the exclusively pizza and pasta focused menu should be any gluten intolerant person’s worst nightmare! Luckily, you just have to phone in advance to get a gluten-free pasta dish that is on par with the main offerings.
Lantana 40 Lower Cheung Sha Village, Lantau
5465 5511 www.facebook.com/pages/Lantana-Hong-Kong/442261295798196
Hong Kong’s only Nordic restaurant will happily cater to diners with all kinds of dietary requirements, making sure everyone has an enjoyable and delicious meal there. This place goes through over 6,000kg of salmon each year, so be sure to try some of that! [Check out our full review here.]
FINDS The Luxe Manor, 39 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2522 9318