Updated: Feb 24, 2019
The title of this article might suggest I have been travelling to somewhere nice, sunny and warm. Correct, but I did it meanwhile staying in London. I am talking about my latest restaurant experience at The Palm Beach Casino: a hidden gem nestled in a world of gamble.
First thing was to get a drink at the bar of the casino, where they took good care of my choice (a classic gin & tonic) talking through the different kind of Gin and garnishment I could use. My curiosity, though, was totally focused on the abilities of the Executive Chef Mahmud Zaman and his team.
It's hard to believe that, beyond the dark entrance and the mysterious bar, there can be such a nice surprise. Sunny like the beach mentioned in the name, in the way it detaches from the room where the gamble happens. Warm because of the kindness and attention to detail of the manager Michele and his team.
We have been welcomed to the restaurant with a wet hand towel which prepared our hands to get on the menu: a mix of European, Indian & South Asian and Middle Eastern inspired food.
I mentioned straight away my health issue to the manager who then informed the waiters and took time to talk through the gluten free options they have.
For a gluten free meal they suggest to go for selected starters (which can be made gluten free on request), grilled fish or meat and not-fried sides. It was good to know that the restaurant takes cross-contamination really seriously and whatever comes from the outside is considered possibly dangerous for celiacs.
As a starter, my Italian instinct couldn't choose anything but the Burrata. Surrounded by garlic & rosemary confit tomatoes plus a spicy rocket salad.
The original version of this starter on the menu includes basil pesto and dried balsamic breadcrumbs. However, the gluten free adjustment turned out to be a really good mix. The softness of this fresh cheese was completed by the strong flavour of tomatoes and rocket. Word of an Italian!
I also shared with my diner a finest quality smoked salmon with dill cream cheese and rocket leaves. Really fresh and tasty!
As a meat lover, it was hard to choose between the grilled meats selection on the menu: rump, t-bone, fillet, ribeye, lamb, veal...
My preference is always towards tender and tasty, hence why I ordered a 8oz Fillet with a side of tender stem broccoli.
The perfect wine to match with a meat choice was a bottle of Chianti Classico - Castello di Ama.
In the background? People enjoying their meal at a solitary table for one or big groups of business men and couples sharing multiple dishes on their tables.
It was interesting seeing how the clientele was playing a different game from the people at the casino, just a few steps from us.
What was missing to complete the experience?
When it comes to dessert, I don't generally expect much from a non-gluten free focused restaurant. But, in this case, my choice turned out to be healthy and refreshing after all the starters and main. A fresh fruit salad, the only gluten free option on the dessert menu together with sorbet.
A colourful and incredible fruit selection which I enjoyed with a good glass of Moscato, sweet white wine.
The Palm Beach Casino Restaurant experience was not only a good way to find out about a gluten-free fine dining option in London. It was the confirmation that appearances are often misleading and beauty is only skin deep.
Special thanks to Our Man On The Ground, a gold mine of luxury travel and lifestyle suggestions and reviews. This experience was possible through the guide of the editor in-chief of this amazing online magazine. Follow OMOTG on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and read their next review on The Palm Beach Casino Restaurant.