The last thing I expected to see at a local hotel was a Gluten Free Corner at the breakfast buffet. The Rasa Sentosa Shangri-La is a really thoughtful hotel. The breakfast buffet not only had a gluten free corner, it also had a long toddler sized buffet table where little ones could serve themselves like big ones do. It made me smile to see a fridge with an array of baby purees. Even the pre-verbal have buffet choices!
Just outside the restaurant, there was a kick ass big tree house, all of 3 storeys tall (with fireplace too). The morning servers lead the sleepy kids to their seats with giraffe and lion hand puppets. No wonder every table at breakfast had kids!
At dinner, every dish in the dinner buffet was labelled for allergies (gluten, nuts and dairy). How thoughtful is that?!
When I decided to order from the à la carte menu, the Executive Chef Jeno Friedl actually came out to chat with me about which dish I could eat and which I could not. Then, he assured me that he would ensure that my dishes would be prepared according to strict protocols to prevent gluten cross-contamination. The desserts on the menu were all gluten-y. So the dear man made me a flourless chocolate cake.
Actually, earlier in the afternoon (when I did not know he was the Executive Chef), he had found me perched precariously atop a wooden fence. I was stuck in some tree branches whilst trying to climb the fence to get back into the hotel. You wonder why Petunia (at her mature age) is still climbing fences? Frankly, I wonder too. Anyway, this nice chef handed me down from the fence. Nice man!
To me, this celiac friendliness is an unbeatable competitive edge that the Shangri-La has over all other hotels on Sentosa Island. They have proper kitchen processes to deal with allergies. The entire kitchen and wait staff are trained to deal with allergy suffers.
Most hotels don't care. Some hotels, which are way more expensive that the Shangri-La, don't care. So please, fellow celiacs, spread the word! Here is a hotel you can eat at safely.
Best of all, I ate a meal that was as good as Taberna Luque, Cordoba. There are so few safe places for me to eat in Singapore that I would probably bother to drive to Sentosa just to eat stuff that Jeno Friedl prepares. If you stay the night and eat the breakfast buffet, whether celiac or not, you MUST eat the appam. It is the BEST appam ever!
Chef Jeno Friedl
Flourless Chocolate Cake with a melty centre.
Director Food and Beverage, Kamal Silva. He was the
one who put in the baby food and added the gluten free section. Such a
clever man to create a niche competitive edge for his hotel!