Who are you and where are you?
Hi my name is Bilinda Skinner. I am from Mt Eden in Auckland, New Zealand.
Tell me about your relationship with gluten..
Gluten and I are really not friends. Accidentally ingesting gluten (as I am on a strictly gluten-free diet) makes me terribly ill for at least a full week. Â I have never had the biopsy to prove I am coeliac but I exhibit almost all the symptoms of coeliac disease and find living gluten free absolutely necessary. Gluten causes me terrible digestion issues and affects my skin, energy levels, brain function and overall health.
Why should gluten free travellers visit your town?
Auckland or the city of sails is a wonderful place to visit. It is absolutely beautiful with an amazing harbour full of islands and adventures. Our city has many gluten free dining establishments and even a place called “The Gluten Free Grocer” where you can find lunch items, cakes and groceries and everything is gluten free, literally everything.
Tell me something fun about your town..
Apart from the harbour and all the yachts (hence city of sails) we are a city of volcanoes which are fun to climb and explore. The most famous is Rangitoto – this is a name from the language Te Reo spoken by the Maori people who are native to our land, the name means bleeding skies. Rangitoto is both an extinct volcano and an island which can be visited by ferry boat and climbed. Believe me atop Rangitoto it feels like you are on top of the World.
Where is your favourite place to eat out in your town and why?
I would have to say The Library Cafe, which is in a part of Auckland called Onehunga. The cafe is set in a beautiful historical building which was once a library. Their food is amazing and the staff and owners are very knowledgeable about food allergies and they cater to all allergies and dietary requirements and I mean all. Everything from gluten, dairy and nut allergies to low fat, diabetic safe and pregnancy safe. They really know their stuff and yet for all the problematic foods they remove from their recipes they manage to keep all the flavour. Plus I know I can eat there without worrying about contamination either as their kitchen is very carefully designed and operated.
Other restaurants at which to eat gluten-free are The Mezze Bar or The Mexican CafÃ©,Â which are right in the heart of town Â or Tasca which is in an area called Newmarket. All three are fantastic and all three have complete gluten free menus, just ask and they will bring you one.
The Chip Shop in Royal Oak is very good. Very rarely do you find coeliac safe gluten free fish and chips and these are really good. They have a separate vat of oil for the gluten free food and everything.
In the Mt. Eden area, Frasers has some gluten-free options, as does Circus Circus. There is also a deli further down the road which has nice ice-blocks which are gluten-free and really good (especially the feijoa ones). Just be wary of their other products as they arenâ€™t too careful about contamination.
Do you live in Auckland or have you travelled there? Where is your favourite place to eat gluten free?