The Chip Shop Ltd

The Chip ShopI come from what I call a ‘road trip family’. We really get around the place and there are very few parts of New Zealand I haven’t seen. We’ve been known to go from Auckland to Rotorua and back in a day, although we prefer a weekend, and give us a long weekend and who’s to say where we’ll end up. I have to say I haven’t been everywhere in NZ, but not far off and as far as I know – and please comment and correct me if I’m wrong – The Chip Shop on Manukau Road, Royal Oak is the only one to do coeliac safe, gluten free fish ‘n’ chips. And I love them for it! I mean, wow, gluten free fish ‘n’ chips, what more could you want? Well, how about award winning gf fish ‘n’ chips that are prepared and deep fried in a coeliac safe, contamination free space, completely separate to all products containing gluten? Seriously, The Chip Shop delivers on all fronts.

For the record those awards include being named “Best Gluten Free Takeout in Auckland” in the Viva 2010 Takeout Awards and “Best Fish and Chips Takeout in Auckland” in the Viva 2011 Takeout Awards. Not something to be sniffed at.

To be fair, I would go there even if the fish ‘n’ chips weren’t the best as this is one of the things I missed the most over the five years I spent being coeliac and not knowing about The Chip Shop. Even though I hardly ever have this kind of food, the thought of never having it again was kinda depressing and it was such a delight to find this place, especially when you count the fact that these really are the best fish ‘n’ chips I have ever had.

Now if all of that wasn’t exciting enough for you, the good news doesn’t stop there. You see there are other gluten free delights on offer too. Although not everything on the menu is gluten free (the menu clearly states what is and isn’t) there are enough gluten free options to keep you trying new things for a very long time. There are paua fritters and battered mussels, a fish meal and a sausage meal, hot dogs on sticks, a smoked fish pie, burgers and sauces and so much more. As I said I don’t go there too often and I haven’t yet tried everything I want to, but I am dying to try the kumara chips and corn fritters as well as the grilled fresh snapper. There are even two dessert options, a pineapple fritter with cinnamon sugar and a whole battered banana with cinnamon sugar. Honestly, There are so many options you’d never even know you were coeliac at The Chip Shop.

Trevor and Tina are ready to serve you fantastic fish 'n' chips.On top of all that the owners are very friendly and the service is great. If you go on a Friday or Saturday night be prepared to wait a little for your food, just a half hour or so. This is only because they are so busy, a testament to the quality of the food. That is unless you order over the phone, then they have your lunch or dinner ready when you are. Yes, you read right, they do lunch as well.

The shop itself is small and doesn’t provide a dine-in option, but there is a comfy couch to sit on while you wait for your order. The food is always well wrapped to keep it warm while you make your way home or to Cornwall Park which is just up the road and the perfect spot for a picnic lunch or tea on one of Auckland’s perfect summer evenings (or picturesque autumn evenings, or crisp winter’s days or warm spring afternoons). Now I ask you, what could be easier or nicer than a coeliac safe, fish‘n’chips picnic in the park with the best fried goodies you’ll find anywhere? Just add great company and personally I reckon there’s nothing better.

http://www.thechipshop.co.nz/

Dining Establishments That Cater To Gluten Free Diners (part 2)

This is the second installment of my list of places that don’t offer a gluten free menu but provide some gluten free options that are prepared and served in a coeliac safe way. There may not be a lot of choice involved in dining at these establishments but at least it means there is more variety in the places (and areas around Auckland) us coeliacs can eat.

THE CAKE STALL

So inviting!

So inviting!

The Cake Stall at 754 Manukau Road, Royal Oak is the cutest little boutique bakery around. They create beautiful birthday and celebration cakes but also offer brunch and lunch items. Their coffee is good and although they only offer a few gluten free options they are really yummy and are safe for coeliacs.

Yum!

Yum!

The orange and almond cupcakes are moist and delicious with icing to die for and the chocolate and almond cupcake is a nice alternative to the usual orange. If you are looking for something savoury the salmon potato cakes are also very good. They offer a full size gf orange and almond cake and family sized gluten free slice as well.  The shop itself is so lovely with all sorts of cake stands, tins and decorations for sale. It really is worth a visit (especially at Christmas). During busy times (such as the Christmas rush), they do take on extra counter staff so be sure to ask for your waitress to wash the tongs before using them on gf items or to simply pick them up with a piece of the cake paper they use to line the take-away boxes. Whenever I’ve been in and made such a request a regular staff member has appeared to show the ‘newbie’ what to do and they are always careful and accommodating.

http://thecakestall.co.nz/

MINK CAFE

Mink CafeIf you feel like taking a stroll along Parnell Rise, and you should as it is beautiful, then Mink Café is the perfect stopping place. Mink can be found on the ground floor of the historic Exchange Hotel on the corner of Parnell Road and Heather Street and has a sunny aspect and outdoor seating with which to enjoy it. They cater for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, usually have a gf cake on offer, do good coffee and are licensed.  The bar offers, fine wines, beers, spirits, cocktails and even a good number of boutique New Zealand wines. Mink CafeI have only been there for brunch myself, but certainly enjoyed it enough to return and to take them up on the offer of a coffee card.  They offer gf toast or fruit bread and ask that you be very clear if you have any food allergies. I have found the staff to be careful and accommodating and the food is very nice. As I said I have only been for brunch and although the other menus do not state which dishes are gluten free, every menu comes with a request to inform the staff of your food allergies so I am certain they could help you find something suitable which I know will be safely prepared. Mink is certainly worth a visit if you are in the area.

http://www.minkcafe.co.nz/