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Singapore - Anyone?

3 posts in this topic

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.




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Hi Inksng,


I live in Korea and have had similar issues with eating out. To be perfectly honest, I have felt sick so many times I've eaten out, I prefer to just cook my own food now. Yes, it definitely sucks to not be able to eat out like I used to, but I'll take feeling better any day over eating out in a restaurant. There was a similar thread with a similar question a while back that said, "You can't eat out at restaurants when you have celiac. End of story." I have to say that I MOSTLY agree with that statement. In the U.S. and other English speaking and western countries, it's do-able. In Asia and places where celiac/gluten is pretty much unheard of, not so easy. Good luck. I hope you get everything figured out! 


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But I feel that I've become sort of a food ninja when it comes to prepping my food ahead of time. Let me know if you'd like any tips.  :D


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