Picture this: you’re standing in Leicester Square. Throngs of people-crowds push past you. Probably going to see a film I expect.
And quickly, unbeknownst to the hundreds, even thousands of people around you, you start to shit yourself. What a terrible dream.
But this was no dream for Tobes, it was a very real reality that happened to him (me) not so long ago.
Since then I have been diagnosed, among other things, with a gluten intolerance. I simply cannot tolerate gluten.
So with that in mind, I was delighted to find out that a mere stone’s throw from my place of work (I do digital) was a gluten free restaurant by the name of Niche.
Its promise? All the normal comfort foods you love, but completely free of the “wheaty terror,” as I call it.
So, I got on the phone to my digital girlfriend (she also works in digital, she’s not a virtual girlfriend but sometimes I think it’d be easier if it was hehe!) and said “can we go to this restaurant one day? It’s in Angel.”
Well, I don’t need to tell fellow Londoners that the words “date,” “restaurant,” and “Angel,” are like catnip to women. So off we went.
We started with a small cocktail (not pictured, I was spending this time scouring the menu for wheaty errors.)
One of the things I’d missed since becoming gluten free was the humble burger. Some people have pointed out “just get it without the bun,” but that’s missing the point.
The burger was absolutely fine, if a little bland. Having paid around £13 for it, I did expect a little more.
The dessert, however, was much less disappointing. It was, if anything, appointing.
You’re looking at a blurry photo of a chocolate mousse, with a salty caramel base. I’ll say this for niche; they may hate gluten, but they’re absolutely fine with dairy.
Unfortunately, dairy (or “creamy terror,” as I call it) tends to upset my stomach as well, so this was not a wise choice.
Luckily my girlfriend lives nearby in trendy Hoxton so it was a short journey back to relieve myself on her toilet (which is handily near the bedroom so I could pop out in the middle of the night when the cramps and bloating troubled me.)
All in all, I enjoyed Niche for what it was, a restaurant that absolutely detests gluten.
My girlfriend was more critical, complaining that it was a little expensive for a restaurant that served basic stuff. Sometimes, though, you can’t quantify the value of a meal that leaves you with a healthy stomach.
Three and a half boys out of five.