Hello everyone -
I'm new to the forum, new to Singapore, and new to gluten-free. Blood tests indicate I don't have celiac (no further tests done), but my life changed dramatically for the better when I stopped eating gluten a few weeks ago. My doctor here agrees that I am likely gluten-intolerant.
I'm fairly familiar with celiac and gluten-free diets from family/friends, so cooking and kitchen management is not so much of a problem. I've also been able to find gluten-free products in my local supermarket and a wonderful organic store. I make my own bread once a week, but mostly have just adjusted by eating differently.
However, I'm REALLY struggling with eating out in Singapore. Celiac disease is uncommon in Singapore and most people have never heard of it. The expensive high-end restaurants seem ok; at the very least the wait staff will check with the chef, even if I need to explain the list of things I can't eat. More problematic are the very prevalent and popular hawker centers. I don't speak Mandarin, Malay or Tamil, and may of the hawker store owners have very limited English. Most of the time, I cannot explain to them successfully what the issue is. Almost everything has soy sauce in it. And even the things that don't are clearly cross-contaminated (using same implements to cook or pick up fried food, e.g.).
Are there others on this forum who live in Singapore with celiac or gluten-intolerance? I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how to communicate with the hawkers. Or maybe you just avoid them altogether which is what I'm doing right now.