I am having a good experience with gluten free dining in the new St Andrew Square restaurants. The south side of the square has emerged as a glamorous, sparkly row of places, all worth seeking out. This week it was the turn of The Refinery – the venue for a birthday celebration.
The Refinery is big and glitzy, with a bar / cafe part which serves cocktails and is good for a daytime coffee meeting, and then a downstairs restaurant and another space upstairs for when things get really busy. It has a nice vibe and I love the blankets and hot water bottles on the outside tables – though I am still not tempted to sit there!
We started out with some seriously tasty cocktails (it was a birthday after all), then ploughed into the menu. I had booked online and mentioned the coeliac issue, so was really happy that with no prompting I was brought the fully GF menu. And there is plenty of choice! There are delicious, generous salads, steaks, burgers (including GF bun AND chips), mains – all gluten free.
I enjoyed a starter of beetroot with whipped goats cheese and walnuts. This was tasty and came as a pretty tumble of colours, with two kinds of beetroot. The beetroot was light and tasted good – my only issue being a slight hold-back on the goats cheese, which could have been a bit more generous! Other than that, it was a goodie and my gluten-loading companions also had delicious looking prawns and bread.
The choice of gluten free mains really is good. As it was Monday night, I went slightly easy and went for a salad, allowing me to taste the (gluten free!) chips too. My tuna salad was packed full of flavour, with beansprouts, tomatoes, papaya and cashew nuts. It was generous in size too. The chips come in little buckets and are good! Others enjoyed halloumi burgers, steaks and a couscous salad (which obviously, I could not have), but I chose well and was happy with it all – particularly the very zingy celebratory Albarino….
We side-stepped the puddings, though we did spot GF options and good looking coffees and teas.
The south side of St Andrew Square does not represent budget dining – but so far I have found them to be excellent for gluten free, good value for the quality of food, and they bring a great buzz to the square. Dishoom, Wagamama, Gaucho, The Refinery – a swathe of gluten free goodness and glamorous dining.