Tag Archives: steak

The Chancel

24 Mar

My wife and I celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary earlier this month.  I can’t believe it’s been 10 years and she is truly lucky to have me, no wait, that should be the other way round!  We had decided to head out for a meal in Plymouth to mark the occasion, and thought we would head somewhere new for a change.

I’d recently heard good things about The Chancel from Facebook follower Sharon Lewis-King so I emailed them to check their gluten free options.  I had a call back to say they offered gluten free bread, pasta and even pizza in addition to much of the menu being naturally gluten free.  They did warn me that they had a very small kitchen and they did prepare gluten containing dishes, but were able to give me enough confidence that they would take cross contamination seriously.

We arrived at the restaurant in St Andrews Street and when we were seated at our table we found an anniversary card waiting for us, a lovely touch which was much appreciated.  The staff were extremely friendly and immediately came over to discuss the gluten free options with me and the vegetarian options with Abby, without us needing to ask.  Abby was told that if there was something she fancied and she could see the ingredients on the menu they would do their best to make it for her.

Chancel_soupThe option of bruschetta to start was extremely tempting, but we had walked from home on a cold night so we both decided to go for some warming tomato and basil soup to start.  This was extremely tasty and we both loved it, and as you can see from the photo mine came with some extremely impressive looking gluten free bread.  The bread looked so impressive, that I immediately had one of those “is that really gluten free” moments.  However, the waitress had stated it was GF on bringing it to the table and it was suitably different to Abby’s Tiger bread to put me at ease.  The bread was good and overall this was a very impressive starter and perfect for the cold occasion.  The portion size was generous too.

For the main course, I decided to go with one of the naturally gluten free Chancel_steakdishes rather than gluten free pasta or pizza.  I decided to go with my favourite fillet steak, and was extremely happy to be told all the steak sauces were already gluten free.  This meant I could have peppered sauce, something I love and a rare treat!  The only downside was that the chips were not gluten free.  Again I was told this without needing to ask, and received new potatoes as a substitute.  Another enjoyable course, though I have to say the steak was not quite as tender as I usually expect of a fillet, but enjoyable none the less.  I definitely enjoyed being able to have the steak sauce for a change too.

Chancel_dessertFor dessert I was given a choice of creme brulee, or surprisingly sticky toffee pudding.  I am a big fan of creme brulee and was too full for (and maybe slightly wary of) sticky toffee pudding.  The creme brulee was creamy and delicious as you would expect, and a nice light dessert to finish off the meal.

The overall bill was quite expensive, but this was mainly down to myself and Abby making the most of some of the delicious wines that were on offer.  I am not really a wine drinker, but the pinot grigio went down a treat.  Overall we were very well looked after, the food was good and there was plenty of gluten free choice.  I suffered no ill effects so they managed to prevent any cross contamination in their small kitchen with no problems.  I would definitely go back for another meal, and it’s great to be able to add another restaurant to the gluten free friendly list.  Thanks to Sharon for the recommendation.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

The Dolphin House Brazzerie

30 Dec

We recently headed to The Dolphin House Brazzerrie on the Barbican in Plymouth for my wife’s birthday.  Abby queried the gluten free options when booking the table, and was told that this would be no problem and they have regular coeliac customers.  Furthermore, she was told if I ordered in advance I could choose anything from the menu and they would make it gluten free for me with no problem, including gluten free bread.  The Restaurant’s website carries the reassuring statement “Special Diets; If you or a member of your party have any special dietary requirements please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you without compromising your meal.”

The restaurant is very well decorated and overlooks the harbour,  though it was pitch black and absolutely tipping down when we went so we didn’t get much chance to enjoy the view.  Dolphin House serve “Responsibly sourced, and locally where possible” modern British cuisine.  The staff were very friendly and quickly put my mind at rest with regards my gluten free choices.  I double checked the chips were cooked in a separate fryer and they confirmed they were.  The waiter told me he was dairy free and totally understood how it was when I asked the question.


First up I had butternut squash soup, served with gluten free toast.  The soup was absolutely delicious and up there with the nicest soups I’ve had.  Great flavour and the drizzle of olive oil and cream on top really added to the dish.  The toast was great and the chef had done extra so I had an extra slice brought to the table while I was eating.  I polished off all of it.


For the main course I went for the steak.  I ordered the “cut of the day” in advance so wasn’t sure what cut I would be getting.  The waiter informed me today’s cut was a 10 oz rump.  I generally order a fillet if it’s available, and I’ve often found other cuts to be pretty disappointing.  No such disappointment this time round.  The steak was a perfectly cooked medium as requested and was absolutely delicious.  I would go as far to say this was the nicest non-fillet steak I’ve ever had.  When ordering I enquired if any of the sauces were gluten free, and was delighted to be told that all sauces are made to order so it was no problem to make any of them gluten free, and they always keep gluten free flour on-site.  I plumped for my favourite peppercorn sauce, the first time I’ve been able to have this since my coeliac diagnosis.  I was expecting the onion rings to be left off, but they went the extra mile and made me gluten free ones.  I was really impressed by this so a big thumbs up for me.


For dessert I went for the ice cream/sorbet selection.  These were all homemade and very tasty, and a good end to the meal.  I almost did my usual trick and forget to get a photo of this, so excuse the fact there are a few bites missing from the above snap!  I was served lemon and cardomom sorbet, cream cheese and white chocolate ice cream and also cinnamon ice cream.  Unusual flavours and all lovely, I particularly enjoyed the very creamy white chocolate ice cream.

I washed the meal down with a Thatcher’s Vintage Cider which was a cool 7.4%, best to not drink too many of those!  Overall a fantastic meal and I would definitely go back to Dolphin House Brazzerie again.  It wasn’t the cheapest, £17.50 for a steak plus an extra £2.50 for the peppercorn sauce, but given the quality of food I didn’t think this was extortionate.  I was exceptionally well looked after on the gluten free front and suffered no ill effects.  I look forward to going back again in the future.

See also this TripAdvisor review by Happy_Eater66 for a second opinion.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

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