8 A Culinary Journey is a nice concept. There are eight different “roads” or stations – Silk Road (Asian) Spice Road (Indian) and so on. They have a fish station, a meat/ grill station, a dessert station, and a French including a creperie and cheese and breads and a salad station. Your meat, fish, crepes etc are cooked to order. At heart, it’s a really flash customised smorgasbord. The quality of the food is excellent, there are lot of unusual items, and your plates and cutlery are swapped out regularly. The staff are pleasant and efficient and it is a nice evening out (especially if you like to eat a lot!).
But how is it if you are gluten-free? I was pleased that when we sat down, the waiter said “so someone is gluten-free?” so they had looked at the booking form. They said “everything is labelled and the chefs can tell you if there’s gluten in anything”. A great start. So we began wandering around the stations looking for the food we were going to eat. The grill station was good in its labelling, noting the items which were gluten-free. However, I was concerned about cross-contamination, because not only was GF meat sitting up against non-GF, but they were all cooked on the same grill and plate. Not a problem for me, but would be for a coeliac.
The salad station wasn’t labelled at all, so I don’t know if any of the little antipasto platters with salami were gluten-free, or even what some of the items in the salad bar were. There were additional items (condiments and vegetables) which were wrongly labelled – probably had been moved around during the course of the evening. Some of the curries were incorrectly labelled. And then I got to the dessert station. A HUGE number of desserts, including a chocolate fountain, Movenpick ice cream and a vast number of cakes and puddings. Most of these were labelled. According to the labels, TWO items (out of 15 or so) were gluten-free: creme brulee and fruit salad. I was sadly disappointed. Due to my issues with egg yolk, I can’t eat creme brulee. So fruit salad? Seriously? I ended up dipping fruit in the chocolate fountain, and having a small piece of Opera Cake.
So overall? There was no ambience to the restaurant. It wasn’t as sociable as it might have been because the four of us were all going up and down at different times to get food. The food quality and service were awesome. But for someone coeliac or even just gluten-intolerant? I wouldn’t recommend it. The $85 per head price tag is fairly pricey, and if you can only be sure of eating a few items, it’s really not worth it. I was a bit disappointed to be honest, and once again thanked my lucky stars I wasn’t coeliac and could tolerate a bit of cross-contamination and a little gluten. Try harder please Langham.