U China Travel team, always very careful with the special requests of its guests, is happy to share good tips with you.
It might be tricky and a bit challenging to travel overseas when you have food intolerances or allergies.
Thanks to an increasing awareness of allergies, China is more and more an easier place to explore, even for those have special food requests and need extra care by choosing their food.
If you are worried about how to handle food allergies when travelling in China, here are my useful tips to make your travel in China totally worry-free and more enjoyable.
Are you sensitive to gluten or even allergic to it?
Today, some 3.1 million people across the United States follow a gluten free diet and the number of Americans going gluten-free has tripled since 2009. Europeans are also concerned and affected by this allergy.
Gluten is a protein that is found in grains such as wheat, oat, rye, barley and spelt. As this protein is not present in rice or corn, China is a perfect place to travel!
Nevertheless, wheat is often added to rice dishes and is commonly added to soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce and other flavourings.
Either you have booked a Private Tour with U China Travel or one of the newly designed Small group Tours – you are more than welcome to share your food restrictions with your dedicated tour operators and guides. All aware and informed in advance about your special request, we will be happy to arrange the special preparation of dishes you need or help you find alternatives.
We can also prepare for you a written request in Chinese to show before ordering any dish:
‘I must follow a strict gluten-free diet’
‘If I eat food containing wheat, rye, oats or barley, I will get very sick’
‘I cannot eat food containing soy sauce, flour, starch, batter, bread or MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)’
‘I can eat rice, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat and fish’
In the big cities you will travel to, a wide range of restaurants and hotels propose menus with gluten-free options.
Here is a short selection of restaurants U China Travel can propose to you. These restaurants have clearly labelled gluten-free dishes and will ensure an anxiety-free trip.
Tribe Organic: Tribe Organic has made ‘Holistic Health’ its mission without losing great taste or originality. A large variety of healthy grain bowls, deserts and flatbread is proposed.
Moka Bros: with a variety of superfood bowls, Moka Bros is where the hip and cool crowd in Beijing hang out.
Bistrot B in Rosewood Hotel: Bistrot B is one of Rosewood Beijing’s most innovative dining venues, serving French dishes in a contemporary bistro style. The showcase of this interactive restaurant is an expansive open-island kitchen, featuring wood-fired oven, grill and large wok. The atmosphere of Bistrot B is warm and relaxed, extending to its serene outdoor terrace.
Hunter Gatherer: wholesome pre-designed or made-to-order grain and salad bowls that are blissfully filling yet healthy and organic. Similar to Moka Bros and Tribe, it’s an easy and casual dining spot.
El Willy: is a contemporary Spanish restaurant specialized in modern tapas and Barcelona-style rice. The structure of the menu follows the Chinese Yin Yang structure of a meal.
Green and Safe: in the former French Concession district, it offers an enticing combination of both fresh organic produce and casual eatery options.
The Commune Social: The food concept is a fresh and modern take on Spanish tapas, where the small dishes served are refined interpretations of the tapas genre with an international twist.
Grassroots: my favourite one!….they welcome those in search of wellness, good food and excellent service in equal measure. Sourcing unprocessed, sustainable and organic ingredients of quality at every turn, they cater for dietary restrictions and wholeheartedly believe that healthy eating doesn’t have to mean a compromise in flavour.
La Crêperie Sheung Wan: Legit French crêpes that are gluten free? Yes ! While the sweet crêpes here are made with wheat flour, the savoury crêpes -les galettes- are made with gluten free buckwheat flour. Nutty, crispy and with more filling fibre than a wheat crêpe, these make a healthier lunch option too.
Posto Pubblico: All pasta dishes have a gluten free option and all of their pasta sauces are naturally gluten free and made from scratch
The two chains Element Fresh and Wagas (present in many cities in China) also propose a vast choice of gluten-free and healthy meals in the form of yummy salads. For the salad dressing, just don’t forget to ask for olive and balsamic vinegar just to guarantee no hidden gluten.
For those craving more Chinese flavours, it is always possible to make a stir-fry or fried rice without any soy sauce or to stick to veggies, vermicelli, meat and fish. Otherwise, Yunnan-style Chinese food is also often cooked without gluten ingredients.If you are sensitive to gluten or even are allergic to it, please let us know while confirming your travel with us. We will be able to inform your guide in advance regarding this special request to make your trip in China totally anxiety-free!
And for further information and any inquiries, feel free to contact us at: email@example.com
* all images are credited to the respective restaurants, and authors on TripAdvisor and Pintrest