To be honest I’m still desperately sad that Plymouth lost it’s only 100% gluten free eatery, Clare’s Gluten Free Cafe, a few months ago. In fact it’s been a sad few months with a couple of other local free-from businesses, Traditional Puddings and Love Free From also ceasing to trade. Plymouth of course still has some fantastic local businesses catering gluten free and I am often told how lucky we are from those reading my Facebook and blog posts from afar. The great news though as that we’ve got even luckier! Plymouth now has a brand new completely gluten free restaurant, The Galley.
The Galley is run by Emma Oxland and her business partner Mark Palfrey. Emma is coeliac herself and Mark is an experienced chef who has lived with Emma for a number of years and so has witnessed first hand the effects of cross contamination and how ill it can make a coeliac. You might say Emma and Mark are something of a dream team to open a gluten free restaurant! Rather than open their own premises they have taken over the food franchise within the Maritime Inn on Southside Street on the Barbican. This seems like a smart move and means they have (presumably) less overheads and a ready made customer base, and hopefully means they won’t face the same financial pressures that have seen us lose some other free-from businesses recently.
The Galley opened around a month ago and prides itself on freshly cooked local food. Mark is making everything from scratch so knows exactly what ingredients are going in to all of the dishes. When they first opened there were a couple of gluten containing dishes, but only three weeks in they managed to completely eradicate all of these and the entire menu is now gluten free. I’d had some contact with Emma over social media and asked if she could put together some information for Coeliac UK Plymouth Group members for me. So here’s a bit about The Galley from Emma:
My name is Emma and me and my business partner Mark have recently opened our own gluten free kitchen inside The Maritime Inn on the Barbican.
I am a coeliac myself, and for the past 6 years my dream has been to open a restaurant that caters primarily for a gluten free diet.. And all dietary needs. I believe that no one should feel like they are a burden or doubt whether they should eat out just because a lot of people do not understand the risks or consequences for someone who is gluten intolerant.
The chef that works with me is a highly qualified, experienced chef who has lived with me for years and so is extremely aware of how eating gluten, or being contaminated by gluten can effect people.
We are two very friendly very eager entrepreneurs who really want to make a difference. I would love for people to be able to enjoy an amazing freshly cooked meal without any worries or doubts. Because why should we not be able to go out and enjoy incredible food, as well as everyone else!?
We did have very few things on our menu that contained gluten, but we have now made everything on our menu gluten free, and today we have finally made out own gluten free bread :)
It is an amazingly exciting new venture for us, and I hope to see some of you very soon :)
Go check us out and see the variety you are able to choose from :)
Emma Oxland and Mark Palfrey
I’d heard good feedback from a few friends and this weekend I decided I’d take my nan and granddad out to lunch and make my first visit to The Galley. On Sunday’s the special is always a Sunday roast, which is something that as a coeliac living with a vegetarian can be hard to come by! On arrival we were greeted by the lovely Emma who runs the front of house. It was great to have a chat with her and as a fellow coeliac she clearly gets the struggles we have eating out, and the importance of being able to relax those with allergy and inolerance so they can actually enjoy eating out. It also made my day to hear that anyone who orders without requesting gluten free gets it anyway, and that nobody has noticed the lack of gluten so far.
On to the food and the specials for the day on Sunday were roast chicken or roast lamb. I always think lamb is a good test for a restaurant as it can often be a cheap fatty cut and very poor quality. I love lamb and so went for this as did granddad, whilst nan went for the chicken. I managed to snap this (slightly blurred) pic of my roast before I tucked in. Everything was cooked to perfection, including the lamb which was great quality. The gravy was think and tasty and there was even a GF Yorkshire pud and a side of mint sauce. I really enjoyed it as did the grandparents. Thumbs up all round! The portion size was good without being overwhelming and left enough room for dessert. Most mains on the menu come in at around £8 which is good value in my mind for freshly cooked local food. The main menu includes options such as battered cod and chips, ham egg and chips and an all day breakfast.
Now on to dessert! A choice of chocolate truffle cake, profiteroles or sticky toffee pudding served with cream, ice-cream or custard will have most coeliacs drooling. There is also a choice of ice creams for those who are too full. I went for the chocolate truffle cake, below, which encompassed a delicious chocolate truffle mouse on top of a layer of chocolate cake. I chose to top mine off with ice cream. This was absolutely delicious and it was nice and light being mainly mouse.
However, whilst granddad skipped dessert nan went for this amazing giant profiterole. I was suffering from some major food envy at this point and will definitely be going back to try this one in future. There’s even a scoop of ice-cream in the middle. Emma also highly recommended the sticky toffee pudding, I’m not used to having all of these dessert choices!
Be aware that The Galley doesn’t open late most evenings as the space is shared with the pub which can get busy at night time. The opening hours are:
Monday ~ closed
Tuesday 12pm – 7pm
Wednesday 12pm – 9pm
Thursday 12pm – 9pm
Friday 12pm – 8pm
Saturday 12pm – 8pm
Sunday 12pm – 4pm
I’m so excited to have a completely gluten free restaurant available in Plymouth, and being situated in a pub and in walking distance this will be the perfect place to enjoy a meal with a few pints too. I’m already looking forward to going back again and I am sure I’ll be taking dad in for an all day breakfast soon. Keep an eye on The Galley Facebook page for the menu details and info on daily specials. I wish Emma and Mark every success with their new venture and recommend that you all pay a visit and try some of this delicious gluten free food.
Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea