Help: Dining Gluten Free in Kuwait Campaign

By | June 20, 2011

A comment was left on my Prime & Toast Breakfast post by a reader, Madame C, who is gluten intolerant because of she had Coeliac disease. This comment led me to remember last July when I was suffering from severe unexplainable abdominal and stomach pains so I was put on a gluten free diet myself.

Do you know how hard it is to try and dine gluten free in Kuwait when all we do is hang out in restaurants and gorge ourselves with the top notch culinary delights? When you suddenly crave a hot bubbling piece of fatayer to the point of aching for it but you cannot have it? To sit in a table full of happy people extending their arms to lip smacking golden croissants and bread slices, slathering them with butter, making them into sandwiches, or heaping them with scrambled eggs to go with that steaming cup of coffee for breakfast?

When I was on gluten free, I had to chase Kuwait Flour mills to know when and where they would sell their gluten free toast. It tasted like rubber, was only sold in two branches and only on Mondays. If you didn’t get there fast you would be left with nothing. You know how happy I was to sneak my slices of gluten free toast and bread into restaurants and enjoying them with my meals like every one else on the table?

Then I went to Dubai. I was sad when I walked into the lime tree cafe for breakfast because I really wanted a full English breakfast. Guess what? Here is what I wrote in my post (link)…

“Given that i was on a Gluten Free diet right now, i was thinking to my self that it would be sad to have an English breakfast without toasts :( That’s my full English Breakfast… WITH two slices of toast! Why? Because they care! Because they offer gluten free toast for their customers… because they have a wide range of gluten free desserts and options… A gluten intolerant person can happily have breakfast like a normal person there… something we deeply lack in Q8 lel asaf.

Same thing happened in Carluccio’s Dubai who offered gluten free menu (post). Also they have an amazing organic food store in Dubai Mall with freshly baked bread, cakes, muffins, and such all gluten free!

What needs to be done?

I was lucky to be taken off the gluten free diet. Others are not as lucky. In Kuwait Al ra7a store would make gluten free bread that can be frozen also fresh fatayer and pizzas that are all gluten free though a tad expensive. Shopping for gluten free pasta is possible too especially in Carrefour even though Dubai has much more variety and I had stocked my cupboard well with it.

Restaurants in Kuwait could become a bit more considerate of people’s allergies and intolerance. Take for example Carluccio’s, the branch in Kuwait offer a gluten free menu, yes menu, with rice based pasta that tastes exactly like the original wheat based pasta! According to my reader Madame C she went to Tatami and the chef Danah Al-Tourah was really considerate, so was Chef Raj of the Marriott Courtyard Indian Restaurant. Sadly Dubai is more considerate than Kuwait in this issue since more restaurant there offer Gluten Free menus and menu options for their dinders.

If you are a restaurants owner, or a chef, or a homemade food business, or know someone in the food industry who would listen, then on behalf of the gluten intolerant people in Kuwait we ask you to please just print a little piece of A4 paper pointing out which menu items are gluten free and inform your waiters about them. Also you can always add a gluten free rice based pasta in the back of your restaurant and use it whenever a gluten intolerant person wishes to dine in and have some hearty pasta. Flourless desserts or ones used with gluten free flour as well as bread can also be used in menus, for example baking one loaf of gluten free to be used during the weekend and freezing it would be very helpful indeed.

I am not going to stop at this post. I am going to email it to every one I can think of. Please, Allah la ywarekom a day when you are taken off a certain food item for life, please spread the word and do the same, on your blogs, on twitter, facebook, by word of mouth… People diss blogs all the time accusing them of becoming media outlets who only promote food and products for freebies, well here is your chance to make a difference, take it!

P.S. If you know any gluten free restaurants or food suppliers please do not hesitate to share.


29 Responses to “Help: Dining Gluten Free in Kuwait Campaign”

  1. Om Pingu says:

    Bravo! Thanks for writing this wonderful post. I really hope this is a start of something big and will have more restaraunts/bakerys with gluten free menu.

    • danderma says:

      I I have a feeling I am only a ripple of wave in the ocean but I really want to try. really do!

  2. OmPingu says:

    Gawach Allah, wish u all the best:)

  3. Madame C says:

    Oh my God!! Thank you thank you thank you :) and oops I forgot to mention the wonderful Candy Al Sultan and her sugar and spice (and everything nice) bakery as I always send her gluten free flour and she makes the best cakes and fatayer :)
    Thank you so much for doing this Danderma :)

    • danderma says:

      That’s really considerate of her! God bless her! Let me update the post with this information :)

      You are most welcome. I really don’t want thanks, I want change :(

  4. […] مطروح في مدونة Danderma وراسلتني كي أقوم بمساعدتها على معرفة هذا الداء وقامت […]

  5. Hadeel says:

    ee wallah 9ajjaaaah! Allah ya36eech il3aafya sweets :*
    Inshallah all concerned will read you loud and do something about it

  6. Mohamad says:

    Hi Danderma, Thank you sooo much for the post, never expected any restaurant would offer a Gluten free menu. I’ve been on the diet for over 14 years. My dad used to special order gluten free products from Germany, we have come a long way from back then.
    Gluten free products are over priced and you would end up paying over 30KD for a 6 item grocery pick.
    For bread, I’m going Amir El Omara facing hawalli park that has rice bread (gluten free) and for 0.3kd only. The bread is very nice and soft and tastes better than regular mill flour.
    I would buy rice flour from coops that sells for like 0.5kd instead of 4kd for 1kg of flour and use it for cooking, and use the expensive kind for baking.
    Instead of buying 8 cookies for 3kds I buy coconut cookies, a box of like 20 cookies for 1kd.

    I’m not implying to be cheap or making any advertisements, just want to have a few pointers for people that have this disease and can’t afford to pay the full price.

    Another thing, for burgers, I go to Hardees that offers the low carb burger, wrapped in lettuce instead of bread and is a nice fast snack for us.

    If i’m looking for desert from someone that doesn’t offer gluten free products, I go for cheesecakes that mostly never have wheat except for the bottom part which I scrape and throw away.

    Do let me know if you want more info.

    Thanks.

    • danderma says:

      Thank you for your comment. 14 years! That must have been tough in the beginning!
      I really hope that with this post and this initiative I would make life a tad easier for you and other gluten intolerant people.

  7. Om ALzain says:

    My Comment=My email 2 u :)

  8. Sqabazard says:

    Schar products at Sultan Center.
    Its an italian brand.. which offer gluten free and lactose free Pasta, salty crackers, biscuits and rusk..
    they actually taste really good too!

    also contact Js Bakery i remember the owner made me some gluten free oatmeal cookies that were too good to be true.

    • danderma says:

      The schar are the ones in purple packaging right? They even have toast. I remember the first time I heated a couple of slices of their toast o spread them with kiri cheese <3 They even have muffins!

      J's bakery! That's great! I need to update my list of gluten free restaurants… thanks!

  9. Thanks for supporting the gluten free family.

  10. […] Oh and its made without soy, lactose, cholesterol, and GLUTEN (specially dedicated to Danderma’s post) […]

  11. I’ glad someone spoke about this. You won’t believe how many people are gluten intolerant though Coeliac disease is not as common. Even on daily basis when you know your stomach will hurt with another piece of white bread, you won’t find gluten free options in Kuwait. Its not only for the people who have a problem but even if we reduced gluten in our regular diet, it does wonder to the body! Apart from restaurants, even cooking gluten free at home isn’t very difficult.

    P.S. some cuisines are naturally gluten free – like South Indian cuisine (not north ofcourse)

    • danderma says:

      I totally agree. Choosing non gluten options whenever we can even if we are not really gluten intolerant is healthy as well. Ever since I tried the gluten free pasta I have been hooked, its exactly the same!

      I love the Indian Cuisine! Plenty of gluten free options + vegetarian options!

  12. May AlNajjar says:

    im so glad u wrote about this! i just discovered that my body cant handle gluten dairy products and eggs :( im also a vegetarian so that doesnt leave me with many options…
    im so glad some restaurants have that option! can u pls email me all the places that offer gluten free stuff
    thanks a million!

    • danderma says:

      Hi hon, I am so sorry I know what you must be going through. Give me some time and will see what I can do.

  13. David McKienzie says:

    The One restaurant in Marina Mall offers Gluten free pasta that is amazing. You choose the sauce you want (best to ask if it’s gluten free just in case) along with other things (like meat or veggies)

    Would you mind emailing me a list of the gluten free stores and restaurants you have compiled?

    Thanks so much!

    Dave

  14. Dana says:

    Hey there ,
    Could I trouble you by sending me a list of the places in Kuwait that offer gluten free anything.
    Thank you
    Dana

  15. ak says:

    Could I trouble you by sending me a list of the places in Kuwait that offer gluten free anything.
    Thanks

    • danderma says:

      I have posted about it once, you should find it on my blog if you search Gluten Free and it should come up

  16. badia says:

    Hi dear
    I Just see u r compain i like u r email i’m living the same experience with my 6 years Old son. after we discovered That he is coeliac our life changed and my Journey with gluten free started looking left and right for any foods, restaurant,stores, recipes to help me to give my son a tasty meal that he get used to eat before
    i’m triying to experience some receipes ( croissant, cheese pie, quiche, crêpe, muffins )and soon i’ll share it with u

    • danderma says:

      I’m sorry about your son’s celiac, it must be tough explaining to a little boy why he cannot eat like other children. If you are living in Kuwait then I’m proud to say that the amount of gluten-free options in the past couple of years have increased rapidly both in quantity and variety.