Peaches Chinese, Newcastle-under-Lyme

Since moving to Newcastle-under-Lyme I’ve been keen to try our local Chinese takeaway, Peaches, who offer gluten free options in their menu. Chinese cuisine is one of the trickiest when you have to follow a gluten free diet because soy sauce usually contains gluten and is in so many dishes. As most food is prepared in the same woks, you also have huge risks of cross contamination. Fortunately for me though, Peaches offer gluten free options for many of their dishes, and cook any gluten free meals separately. Peaches offer a buffet menu and an a la carte menu, but we chose to get a takeaway.

The menu is available online (current menu available here) and all the options that can be adapted to be gluten free are clearly marked. The majority of the menu can be gluten free, which I was very pleasantly surprised by. Obviously any of the deep fried dishes are out, and quite a few of the starters (spring rolls, dim sum etc.), but many of the main meals and accompaniments can be made gluten free.

I decided to go for Peppered Salt Mushrooms as a starter/side, and for my main I went for King Prawn and Scallop with Cashews with Egg Fried Rice. I also had a little bit of the Roast Crispy & Char Sui, Cantonese Style (which I asked to be made gluten free). The prawn crackers are unfortunately not gluten free so we bought our own and had those instead!

Peaches Chinese Takeaway, Newcastle-under-Lyme

Peaches Chinese Takeaway, Newcastle-under-Lyme

I ordered over the phone and was very reassured when I placed my order as I was informed that my food would be cooked separately and even stored separately. When we collected the food we were given a crate, and on the top was a plastic bag which had the gluten free dishes in (it did also have a crispy potato basket in which I was told wasn’t gluten free, but as this was in a separate bag and the gluten free items were all in sealed containers there were no concerns for cross contamination).

The food itself was lovely. I’m not that experienced in Chinese cuisine but I very much enjoyed the dishes I tried. I particularly enjoyed the scallops in my main dish, and the flavours of the mushroom dish. One thing others pointed out was the variety in flavours – each dish had very different flavours (all of which were delicious!). I don’t think this is necessarily the case at all Chinese restaurants/takeaways so Peaches got a big thumbs up from us!

I’m sure I’ll be trying more Chinese cuisine now we have somewhere so close (walking distance!). I’d like to eat in too though I’m not sure I’d be able to have the buffet as I imagine that isn’t gluten free. I’ll happily work my way through the a la carte menu though!

Peaches is on the outskirts of Newcastle-under-Lyme and offers eat in and takeaway options. For more information see their website.

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Gluten Free Eating at Centre Parcs – Dining In

This is part of a series of blog posts based on my experience eating gluten free at Center Parcs (Woburn Forest) in September 2015. The first blog post on Gluten Free Eating at Center Parcs gives an overview of my experience, and will link to the other posts when they’re available.  

On the second evening we had a late takeaway after swimming in the evening (the rapids at sunset was lovely!). I was very impressed with the service at the takeaway – I’d been in earlier in the day to find out what options would be available and when I came in later to order I was asked if I had any allergies without having to say. I think this is the first time I’ve been asked as I order rather than having to raise it myself and it was so refreshing to see that this was really taken seriously.

As I’d already eaten quite a lot that day I just went for a ‘small’ portion of the singapore noodles which are rice noodles with chicken, prawn and vegetables. This was great and I was so glad I hadn’t gone for the larger size as there was plenty! It wasn’t too spicy, but definitely had some heat. I also shared some prawn crackers – great to be able to have these. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Chinese takeaway as they’re usually out for coeliacs so this was a nice treat!

 

Later on in the week we decided to have another takeaway as I’d been keen to try the gluten free pizza which has apparently won awards. They only have the gluten free base in 12″ size but we only wanted a light dinner on this particular evening so we shared a pepperoni pizza on our last night before packing. I’m not going to sugar coat this, we were very disappointed when we opened the box. My partner had already been mocking the decision of the pizza as we carried it back to our hotel room and walked past Strada which he suddenly decided he wanted to eat at, so I was really hoping it would prove him wrong with a delicious looking pizza. Sadly we got this…

Gluten Free Pepperoni Pizza from Dining In

Gluten Free Pepperoni Pizza from Dining In

Admittedly he’s used to the double pepperoni you get from Domino’s but I was definitely expecting more pepperoni than this! So it didn’t start well. However, when we tasted it he soon stopped his mocking. It was actually really good pizza. It was crisp round the outside but still a little doughy in the middle, and just the right thickness. I really enjoyed it. More topping would have been nice though!

The one thing we did find a little unusual with the Dining In was not being able to go in and order when you want the food. The whole system is based on pre-ordering, which I can totally understand if you’re getting it delivered to you, but we were collecting it and it felt a little strange to have to pre-book a time to collect it. We were given a 30 minutes slot though so we were able to plan our evening around that, and as it was opposite the pool we ordered on our way in and collected on our way out which worked well.

The other thing to note is that is you aren’t self catered (and therefore don’t have plates and cutlery) Dining In provide you with these. Well, they did when we had our Chinese – we got plates and cutlery to take to our hotel room, and then the maids took them back. With the pizza we didn’t get a pizza cutter; it arrives not sliced to keep it fresh, but of course as we weren’t self-catering we don’t have anything to cut it with. The staff did offer to cut it for us when we asked as we were leaving, but I didn’t want to risk cross contamination. This time we were given plastic cutlery which didn’t make it easy to cut the pizza! It would have been good to have included a pizza cutter to take to our room with us (even a plastic disposable one if they don’t have any metal ones).

Overall the Dining In experience was fairly good – I can definitely see it’s a good idea if there’s a large group of you wanting to eat in but all wanting something different – you can order Oriental food, Indian food, pizza, tapas and salad all from the same place and of course get it delivered if you wish (we didn’t see the point at Woburn Forest as everything was so close to our hotel). They also offer banquet deals which may be good for groups. The full menu with allergen information is available online (though of course this may change so worth checking for up-to-date information when you visit).