Anybody who knows me, knows that I am crazy about businesses that are completely gluten free. Because of this, My Celiac Family rarely eats in restaurants that are not completely gluten free. It is just not worth the risk. However, there are a few places that we trust and SEN Vietnamese Kitchen is one of them.
SEN Vietnamese Kitchen
SEN Vietnamese Kitchen is located at 4307 130 Avenue Southeast #31 in Calgary. It is owned by two brothers Vihn and Quoc. The restaurant is in the same strip mall as M&M Food Market. M&M Food Market has a number of frozen gluten free, celiac safe items. You can make the most of your trip by enjoying a delicious meal out and doing some shopping after!
After hearing many rave reviews from local people with celiac disease, we decided to go and check out SEN Vietnamese Kitchen. We met one of the owners, Vinh, and he explained to us that they take gluten free very seriously. They have a separate prep area, a dedicated deep fryer, and the staff change their gloves when they are preparing gluten free food.
We have had a number of successful visits to SEN Vietnamese Kitchen, where My Celiac Family has not gotten sick. I decided to write a post about SEN to thank them being a safe place for my family.
Gluten Free Deep Fryer
It seems that gluten free deep fryers are always a hot topic when it comes to restaurants that are not totally gluten free. I contacted SEN Vietnamese Kitchen before writing this to ask if I could come in and have a look at their kitchen. I wanted to be able to confirm for all of you at the elusive gluten free fryer does exist.
And… I am happy to report that that the dedicated gluten free fryer does exist! One of the owners of SEN Vietnamese Kitchen, Quoc, let me peek in the kitchen. He showed me the separate prep area in the kitchen that was clearly labelled “GLUTEN FREE”. Quoc explained to me that all dishes start at the gluten free station. If you are a gluten free customer, your food is served from the gluten free counter. If they need to add gluten ingredients, then the dish is passed to another counter where they add the gluten ingredients. Luckily 90% of the ingredients that they use in their restaurant are gluten free so it makes it fairly easy for them to have these procedures and to keep us safe! The regular fryer and tongs have a red handle and the gluten free ones have green handles. These visual reminders help to make sure they don’t make mistakes in the kitchen.
Small, Dedicated Staff
Another thing I have noticed on our trips to SEN is that they seem to have a small number of staff. I think this really helps and is one of the reasons they are so reliable when serving gluten free food. In a big restaurant where there are multiple people prepping and cooking and numerous servers it is understandable that there is a higher risk of a mistake.
Gluten Free Food Innovation
Because SEN Vietnamese Kitchen is so keen on serving the celiac community, they are coming out with new items for us too. As if the gluten free spring rolls weren’t enough! We sampled a vegetarian, gluten free spring roll awhile ago that was delicious. They also told us that they are working on a gluten free dessert option that I can’t wait to try!
Why can’t more restaurants be like SEN Vietnamese Kitchen? It is so nice to be able to go out and dine somewhere and feel normal! We didn’t choose to eat this way, celiac disease chose us, so I am always very grateful when a company chooses to cater to us. Thank you SEN!
Note: Since SEN Vietnamese Kitchen in not a dedicated gluten free facility, please always make sure that you specify your dietary requirements. Ask your own questions about their procedures to make sure you feel safe.