Gluten-free fish and chips at The Falls

The Falls, HendersonI had begun to forget what fish and chips tasted like. Well OK, not so much the chips. Hot chips and gluten-intolerant people go hand in hand 🙂 But battered fish? Forget it! Steamed, poached, grilled and the like, but never battered. At The Falls, in Henderson today, this lack of fish and chips was rectified – and rectified beautifully!

The Waitakere Multiple Birth Club, of which I am the president, held its AGM today and we decided that Henderson was a good midway point. Someone suggested The Falls as a good venue and after a quick check on its menu, I said sure! We booked a private room, which was a bit of a luxury, but meant that we didn’t have to shout over general dining room noise and no-one looked oddly at our laptops and piles of paper on the table.

According to my fellow committee members, the coffee was nice, and I could see for myself that the wine list was extensive. I began to cast my eye over the food menu, and lo and behold, there were signs – V for vegetarian, GF for Gluten-Free or something which could be made gluten-free. Over half of the menu fell into this category. Better than that though, the second to last item on the mains was Fish and Chips. I skipped past it, as I normally do with fish and chips, then on a second read through noticed the GF next to it, and read a bit more carefully. “Cider and herb gluten-free batter” the description read. So it’s not that they COULD make it gluten-free, it was that they offered it AS STANDARD as gluten-free. How awesome is that?

The meals arrived in due course, and were lovely. The batter was crispy – nicely flavoured and not too greasy. The chips were big and thick cut and the side salad was small but very fresh. It was all beautifully presented and delicious! Even more impressive is that they had a wedding on downstairs, but our meals came promptly, all at the same time and were beautifully put together,

Dessert was a little disappointing, although once again, full credit to The Falls for having TWO dessert options on their menu which were gluten-free – a panna cotta and a pavlova. I adore pavlova, and it’s completely OK for me as it has only egg whites (egg yolks are a little problematical for me) so I leapt at the chance to have some. It was more of a pavlova roulade, which is fine, with passionfruit syrup, which is also OK. But it seemed like there was sugar sprinkled on the top, which made it very sweet. The chocolate pudding was well-received by my dining companions, as was the ginger cheesecake, so it seems it was only the pavlova.

Service was great, attentive without being pushy. The atmosphere was lovely – the room we were in was beautifully done up and we didn’t quite feel flash enough for the room. So all in all, a lovely lunch, and I wished we could have lingered over it, but sadly. 3.00pm came, and I had to leave to collect children from waterpolo next door at Westwave.

Try The Falls out sometime if you’re near Henderson. It was certainly a very pleasant experience for me!


7 thoughts on “Gluten-free fish and chips at The Falls

  1. Hi Lisa, Alan,

    Does this mean they don’t fry anything with gluten in the same oil used to fry the fish? And are the fries also gluten-free (i.e. home made or in the MFD)?



    • Hi Brett.

      I’m not sure about this. As I’m not coeliac, I don’t have to be quite as careful about cross contamination. I’ll send The Falls an email and post their answer once I have it! Thanks for raising the question.


    • To be fair, I’m pretty sure the wording on the menu was that the batter was gluten-free. I’ve emailed them to check! It is interesting that some restaurants aren’t aware of the separation needed.

  2. The problem for coeliacs is that many restaurants and especially cafes like to make an extra buck by “paying lip service” (in the words of Nosh cafe staff) to the concept of gluten-free, and have no concern for how much gluten ends up on the plate.

    It means that you just can’t trust those deceptive letters “GF” on menus, as most of the time they’re false.

    Let’s hope Alan is one of the honest ones!

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