Eating Out

Where to eat in Melbourne on the low fodmap diet by the Fussy Fodmmaper. This blog lists a range of dining venues that cater to the low fodmap diet. It includes reviews and menu option too!

I love eating out but the prospect of doing so can be quite daunting on the low fodmap diet.  Trigger foods can be hiding in many items on the menu and most places lack an understanding of our special dietary requirements. Luckily, there a growing number of fodmap friendly dining venues in Melbourne. I’ll be eating my way around Melbourne and providing a review of each of these eateries here.  Scroll down for the reviews I have written so far.

Reviews

Chin Chin
Chocolate Buddha
The Deck Southbank
Gazi
Grill’D
Foddies
Foddies Donuts
Mamasita
Mister Nice Guys Bakeshop
MOM Cafe
My Son, Joy
Red Robyn Cafe
Your Local Pub

Chin Chin

125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne CBD Victoria 3000
http://chinchinrestaurant.com.au
Recommended for: Dinner

While Chin Chin doesn’t have dishes labelled as low fodmap on their menu, they are extremely accommodating so I decided to add them to my list of fodmap friendly eateries in Melbourne.  As they haven’t designed any low fodmap dishes specifically, I would recommend this as one to try after the reintroduction phase of the low fodmap diet.

Chin Chin has become an iconic dining spot in Melbourne and they don’t take bookings, so be prepared to wait for a table.  Recently, we arrived at a quarter to six on a Thursday evening and still had to wait forty-five minutes, luckily they take your name and number and send you a text so you don’t have to wait in a line all that time.    

If you let your waiter know of your dietary requirements they are happy to cross off unsuitable items on the menu.  As they are not fodmap experts, I usually let wait staff know about my biggest triggers that are often unlabelled (garlic and onion) the rest I try to figure out by the ingredients listed on the menu. I have had the Salt n Pepper squid (minus the nuoc cham) and the Pad Thai without being fodmapped! Success!

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Chocolate Buddha

Federation Square, Melbourne CBD Victoria 3000
http://chocolatebuddha.com.au
Recommended for: Lunch, light meals and dinner

I had heard on a few low fodmap support groups that Chocolate Buddha catered to the low fodmap diet so I thought I would give the city restaurant a try.  Booking online was extremely easy, there is a link on their website to Open Table where you can choose from the times available.  I booked an hour in advance and was able to mention my special dietary requirements in the notes section. I’m glad I booked in advance, the restaurant was quite busy. My husband and I were seated in the window between two other couples (it is a long shared table) and we had a beautiful view of Federation Square, perfect to people watch.

The waitress that served our table was aware of my dietary requirements and double-checked with the kitchen about which options were fodmap friendly.  She marked my paper menu with seven different options as low fodmap:

  1. edamame- steamed, salted soy beans with rock salt
  2. g.f steamed noodle dumplings- freshly prepared in-house prawn, salmon, water chestnut & chives wrapped in brown rice noodles & steamed, served with a soy, ginger & sesame oil dressing,
  3. g.f shake teriyaki- 100g grilled salmon served medium rare topped with alfalfa sprouts, accompanied with grated daikon & gluten free teriyaki sauce on the side,
  4. g.f vegetable maki- inside out rolled with avocado, shiso & cucumber topped with sesame seeds and the following toppings:
    1. Teriyaki marinated water chestnuts with miso & coriander
    2. Tofu & avocado with wasabi and baby shiso
    3. Smoked eggplant marinated in gluten free soy & ginger with chopped chives
  5. g.f maki rolls- inside out roll with avocado shiso & cucumber topped with sesame seeds and your choice of:
    1. Kingfish with grated ginger & chives
    2. Salmon with nikiri soy & shiso
    3. Combination of both
  6. g.f ocean trout nigiri- scorched ocean trout nigiri sushi with nigiri sauce
  7. g.f teriyaki chicken don served with white or brown rice and miso cup- char-grilled thigh fillet with balsamic teriyaki glaze served with a char-grilled broccoli, a salad of mizuna & tomato topped with shredded nori over rice

My husband and I decided to share the g.f steamed noodle dumplings, a combination of g.f maki rolls and the g.f teriyaki chicken don. All of these were delicious and I would happily eat them again.

While the food is outstanding, the most exceptional thing about this restaurant was the service. From the moment I stepped inside I was made to feel extremely welcome and not once did I feel that my food intolerances were a burden for the staff.  I highly recommend Chocolate Buddha to anyone but especially those following the low fodmap diet. I suspect this will become a regular dining place for us.

 

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The Deck Southbank

Upper Level, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank VIC 3006
www.thedeckrestaurant.com.au
Recommended for: Breakfast, lunch or dinner when booked in advance

Fussy Fodmapper reviews cafes and restaurants in Melbourne that cater to the low fodmap diet. Read her review about The Deck in Southbank here!

The Deck in Southbank is another restaurant that doesn’t specifically cater to the low fodmap diet but is extremely accomodating. They prefer to be notified of special dietary requirements in advance so that the kitchen can be creative with their dishes.  I recently had a staff Christmas party with The Deck and the manager called me a week beforehand to discuss every option on the set menu (three choices of starters, three choices for mains and three choices for dessert). He told me every ingredient for each dish and we were able to swap things around to ensure I could have a delicious three course low fodmap dinner. Apparantly they have a few regulars that follow the low fodmap diet so while they are not experts in the field, it is not unheard of for them.  If planning to dine here do call in advance to ensure there will be something you can enjoy.

 

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Gazi

2 Exhibition Street, Melbourne 3000
gazirestaurant.com.au/ 
Recommended for: Lunch or dinner

While Gazi doesn’t have dishes labelled as low fodmap on their menu, it is a popular dining venue in Melbourne and odds are you will be invited to dinner there at some time.  I added it to the list so you could be aware that there are some (although very limited) low fodmap options which they are happy to prepare for you.

Booking in advance is necessary for anyone wanting to dine at Gazi, but it is also a good opportunity to notify the staff of your dietary requirements.  When I went I was offered either a plain grilled steak or grilled fish with a simple un-dressed salad. While I am grateful there are options for us foddies, they are nowhere near as enticing as other options on the menu.  Be prepared for food envy.

 

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Grill’D

Various venues across Melbourne. Click here to see a list of locations.
Recommended for: Lunch or dinner

Grill’d burger bars can be found all over Melbourne and fortunately they have a few low fodmap options on the menu. Their online menu includes a list of ALL the ingredients in each burger, so you can peruse at your own leisure and choose the best option for you.

If you want to choose a burger from their menu, I recommend the Good Karma, Zen Hen or the Bird & Brie on gluten-free buns with no onion, pickle or mayo.  Otherwise, you could build your own burger. The gluten free bun is low fodmap by ingredient or you can opt for a bun-less burger, then choose either the Wagyu beef patty, the organic beef patty or the chicken breast (all of which are low fodmap by ingredient, unlike the other options) and finish off with your choice of low fodmap salads and cheese.  I love to order the organic beef patty on a gluten free bun with bacon, avocado, aged cheddar, tomato and cos lettuce. Yum!

 

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Foddies Cafe

181 Victoria Ave, Albert Park Victoria 3206
www.foddies.com
Recommended for: Coffee, breakfast, brunch, light meals, snacks and lunch

Foddies is our regular weekend brunch cafe as I can feel confident that I won’t be fodmapped here: Everything on the menu is fodmap friendly!  The owners, Luke and Chrissy, have done an amazing job with this business and I wish I had shares in their company- I can see this enterprise being a huge success. Not only do they have the cafe in Albert Park but they have recently opened a low fodmap donut store in Moonee Ponds (see review below). Even better, they also offer catering (hubby got me an amazing chocolate cake specially made for my birthday last year), frozen low fodmap meals (including dumplings!), and a variety of take-home sauces and sweets.

There is free on-street parking available in the area, however it can be difficult to find a park in Summer as it is so close to the beach.  We have never had a problem finding a park in the cooler months.  The number 1 tram also stops straight out the front so it is accessible by public transport.

The staff at Foddies are extremely welcoming and are well trained in the low fodmap diet and other food intolerances, a number of them suffering from them themselves. While there are gluten products on the menu, they have separate cooking equipment for any coeliacs worried about cross-contamination.

 

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 Foddies Donuts

28 Hall St, Moonee Ponds VIC 3039
www.foddies.com
Recommended for: Snacks, morning/afternoon tea, catering

Want to eat out in Melbourne while following a low fodmap diet? Read Fussy Fodmapper's reviews to find the perfect places to dine for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It even includes an interactive map to easily find a place near you!

Foddies Donuts is run by the same people that own Foddies Cafe in Albert Park.  This store stocks a range of low fodmap donuts and some other sweets options like their LoFo gluten free ice cream sandwiches and brownie sundaes. They also serve drinks such as tea, coffee, tumeric lattes, matcha tea and milkshakes.  There are a few small tables inside so dining in is an option for those that can’t wait to eat the donuts (and I don’t blame you, they are delicious) and they also sell some of their frozen meals (including the dumplings which I love) so you can also pick a lunch/dinner option to heat up when you get home.

I’m a regular here and I love the donuts but they are best eaten on the day you buy them as they become stale very quickly.  Depending on the topping/flavour you can heat them in the microwave to enjoy them the next day.

Foddies donuts can be a little hard to find as it is somewhat separated from the main shopping strip in Moonee Ponds and there are construction works going on in the area. It’s best if you locate it on a map before making your trip.

Mamasita

1/11 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000
www.mamasita.com.au
Recommended for: Lunch or dinner after you have completed reintroduction

mamasita review by Fussy Fodmapper

Before you get too excited, let me explain that I did leave Mamasita with a hungry stomach.  This restaurant is not suitable for the elimination phase of the diet or if, like me, you react to all fodmap groups. However, if you only have a couple of food triggers you may find some friendly options here.

I had heard in the low fodmap community that Mamasita catered to the low fodmap diet so I was excited to try it out during the school holidays. I mentioned my dietary requirements when we arrived and I was given an AMAZING intolerance menu. The intolerance menu listed all of the menu items in a grid with a number of food intolerances across the top (chilli, dairy, egg, fructose, garlic, gluten, onion and nuts). It then uses a traffic light colouring system to state which menu items do not contain the food trigger (green), which items can be modified to not contain the food trigger (yellow) and which food items cannot have the triggers removed (red).

Mamasita intolerance menu

Unfortunately, when I applied all of my intolerances I was left with either plain tortilla chips or meals with half the ingredients removed, however, if you only have a couple of food triggers you may be able to find more appetising options.  I am amazed with their intolerance menu and I hope that other restaurants follow their lead in providing this for their customers.

 

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Mister Nice Guy’s Bakeshop

151 Union Rd, Ascot Vale, Melbourne VIC 3032
http://www.misterniceguy.com.au/
Recommended for: Snacks, morning/afternoon tea, desserts, catering

Mister nice guys bakeshop in Ascot Vale makes cupcakes and cakes that are low fodmap by ingredient. Read the Fussy Fodmapper review for more info. Also includes reviews of other dining venues in Melbourne that cater to the low fodmap diet.

Mister Nice Guy’s Bakeshop is an allergy friendly store which offers delicious baked goods such as cakes, cupcakes and donuts.  Everything instore is vegan (read: dairy and lactose free) and there are also wheat free and fructose friendly options.  The wheat free flour mix is low fodmap by ingredient (sorghum, rice, tapioca, xanthum gum, citrus pectin and potato starch) and they use the Monash Univeristy’s Fructose Friendly guidelines.  Their website currently lists nineteen wheat free and fructose friendly options which you can find on their Allergy Info page here.

I feel it is important to add that not all of the menu options are low fodmap and they change their menu daily, so you are not guaranteed to find a low fodmap option if you just walk in (although still try it if you are in the area as you might get lucky!).  Your best options would be either ordering in advance or checking thier daily menu update on their facebook page to guarantee that there will be something you can have.

They offer both dine-in and take-away so you can enjoy your sweets with a cup of coffee (a great option because these cupcakes look so good you will not want to wait until you get home to begin eating). If you are after a coffee be aware that they do use Bonsoy as their soy milk (which is high fodmap as it is made from soy beans not soy protein) but they also offer low fodmap milk alternatives such as rice milk (Vitasoy) and almond milk (made in house).

 

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MOM cafe (Market on Malvern)

388 Malvern Road, Prahran Victoria 3181
https://www.beingwellhc.com.au/mom-cafe/
Recommended for: Coffee, breakfast, brunch, light meals, snacks and lunch

I’d seen MOM cafe advertised as low fodmap and gluten free so I made booking for a brunch with my husband’s family who live out in the South East suburbs (my brother-in-law is also coeliac).  I made a booking online a few weeks in advance, then called a week before our brunch to confirm our special dietary requirements. When we arrived, the waiter couldn’t find any record of our booking but they weren’t busy and still seated our large party.  When first browsing their Summer menu, I was disappointed to see that the only low fodmap option (cold rolls) were on the lunch menu and not available until after 12pm.  I mentioned this to the waitress and she said the kitchen staff were more than happy to alter any meals on the menu to be low fodmap, a big plus!  I must add that there are a lot more low fodmap options on their current Winter menu (eight in total).  They even have take home packaged meals and drinks available to suit a variety of dietary requirements, including low fodmap options.

MOM cafe is part of the Being Well Health Clinic (located upstairs) which houses a range of health professionals’ clinics.  The cafe prides themselves as having created a menu with a team of doctors, dietitians, nutritionists, naturopaths and chefs to have fodmap, paleo, vegan, gaps, yeast, dairy, nut and gluten free options available.  The cafe itself has a great ambiance, the decor is bright and inviting and it was very relaxing being there.  Parking was easy and all members of our party managed to get a park out the front.

 

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My Son, Joy

315 Coventry Street, South Melbourne Victoria 3205
www.mysonjoy.com.au
Recommended for: Coffee, breakfast, brunch, light meals, snacks and lunch

My Son, Joy has a fantastic ambiance and is extremely welcoming. We were greeted warmly as soon as we stepped inside and the staff were lovely the entire time, offering first-hand advice on meal and drink options. The physical environment oozes trendy Melbourne brunch spot, without trying too hard.  The high ceilings, open layout and natural light makes for a bright and spacious environment. It is also funkily designed with exposed beams and brick feature walls, large mirrors and dangling lights and plants.

We didn’t have a booking but were happily seated as there was a number of tables available.  The menu is labelled with a dietary guide and I could spot six low fodmap options on the current menu, three for breakfast and three for lunch (they serve both breakfast and lunch all day from 7.30am).  I opted for the My Son low fodmap breakfast with wagyu corned beef, poached egg, silverbeet, spinach and an english mustard hollandaise.  We didn’t have to wait long before our meals arrived and they tasted delicious. The egg was poached to perfection and the hollandaise was a perfect blend of creamy and tangy.  They did pour on a little too much of the hollandaise for my liking, but I scraped some off to stop it overpowering the meal and then the flavours of the beef, spinach and silverbeet came through beautifully.  

My Son, Joy is located right across from the South Melbourne Market and this has it’s benefits and it’s drawbacks. Parking can be difficult (especially on a Saturday morning) but we managed to grab one of the final spots in the market carpark, which is also free of charge for the first two hours on a Saturday. However, the location also means that once you finish eating you can explore the nearby shops or the market and it is easily accessible by public transport.   

I recommend trying this place for breakfast, brunch or a light lunch option, before grabbing some great produce at the South Melbourne Market. Don’t forget to stop by Steve’s Deli for some low fodmap Nogo sauces (you can read my review on Nogo products under my ‘Stores’ tab).  

 

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Red Robyn Cafe

393 Camberwell Road, Camberwell Victoria 3124
www.redrobyn.com.au
Recommended for: Coffee, breakfast, brunch, light meals, snacks and lunch

I’ve been meaning to try Red Robyn in Camberwell for quite some time as they have fodmap friendly options available on their menu.  This week I’ve seen a few photos on social media of their low fodmap lamington waffles so I finally made the trek out to Camberwell to try them myself.  The cafe was easy to find as it is on a main street and has a big wooden sign in the shape of a bird out the front (I assume this to be a red robyn).  Parking was easy with ample short term parks available on the street outside the cafe, it is also on the 75 tram line so easily accessible by public transport.  On first entrance I was surprised by the style of the cafe. I wasn’t expecting a hipster cafe (it is Camberwell after all) and I initially felt out of place with my natural coloured hair and lack of beanie. We didn’t have a booking but we managed to obtain the last indoor table available for a busy Sunday lunchtime.  

The menu is well labelled and easy to identify safe options for a variety of food allergies and intolerances, such as vegetarian, dairy free, vegan, egg free, fructose friendly, fodmap friendly, and nut, sesame and soy friendly.  The entire cafe is gluten free and claims to train their staff to take food allergies and intolerances seriously.  Not including the specials, I could find fourteen (yes fourteen!) fodmap friendly options and one further dish that can be made fodmap friendly. When ordering, the waitress asked about intolerances and enquired whether I had any serious allergies like anaphylaxis.

While it was hard to choose from the large variety of fodmap friendly options on the menu, I settled on the dish that enticed me to the cafe in the first place. The Lamington Waffle with ‘no-nut-ella’ creameux, raspberry jam sorbet, coconut caramel, chocolate soil and coconut milk crisp. Despite the packed cafe, we didn’t have to wait long for our meals. My lamington waffle arrived and to be honest, I was a little disappointed it didn’t look like the gorgeous photographs I had seen on social media. It seems my meal had been waiting on the bench for a while before it made it to our table as the raspberry jam sorbet had mostly melted into a puddle on top of my waffle. The lamington was denser and chewier than I was expecting and there was an overwhelming taste that something had been burnt. 

While disappointed with my meal, I want to support local businesses that cater to the low fodmap diet.  I will be returning to Red Robyn soon to try some more items on the menu.  Hopefully with better luck next time.

 

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Your local pub

I recommend:

  • Bobby Peels, 351 Queensberry St, North Melbourne VIC 3051;
  • The Albion Hotel at 171 Curzon St, North Melbourne VIC 3051;
  • The Pig and Whistle Tavern at 1429 Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd, Olinda VIC 3788.

Recommended for: Lunch, Dinner

Local pubs are a great place to eat on a low fodmap diet because there are usually a number of options that can easily be modified to be low fodmap. Steak, chicken breast or grilled fish with a simple side salad, steamed vegetables or potatoes are my go to favourites.

Luckily most places have their menus available online so you can have a look and see if there is an option that can be modified to be low fodmap. For your first visit it is worth calling in advance to ensure this is something the kitchen staff are happy to accommodate and to give them time to organise something if necessary. I always stress that I can’t have onion or garlic and check that the meat hasn’t been marinated. I also check the ingredients of their salad and request that it comes without onion or dressing.  Usually they will offer a wedge of lemon or some plain olive oil/balsamic style dressing instead.  If opting for vegetables, I always ask what vegetables are available and pick the low fodmap options, requesting that they be steamed/cooked separately to others. When ordering potatoes, it is worth checking about added ingredients, especially if they are chips, as some places may have a batter or special coating.  Finally, I’m always very thankful to the staff for accommodating my needs.

Below is a sample of an email I sent to Bonny Peels about modifying one of their menu items to be low fodmap.

 

Hi,

My friends are regulars for trivia at your pub and I’m hoping to join them tomorrow evening. I have a few food intolerances and am wondering if there is anything I would be able to eat. The main things that I need to avoid are onion and garlic. The steak with parmesan salad and fries look like a good option but I wanted to check a few things. Is the meat marinated? If so, is it possible to get it without the marinade? What other ingredients are in the salad and the dressing? And finally, are the chips just potato and oil or are they coated in anything?

I really appreciate your time in answering my questions.

With thanks,

Jennifer

 

As you know, the low fodmap diet is more than just avoiding onion and garlic but these are my worst triggers and I didn’t want them to get lost among a long list of things to avoid. It wasn’t necessary for me to mention some other triggers, such as lactose, because the meal description didn’t seem like these were going to be present anyway. When the manager replied with a list of the ingredients for the salad, dressing and chips I was then able to figure out what other fodmaps were hiding in the dish.  I replied with a request for the salad to come without onion and dressing.  When I arrived the manager had already organised my meal with the kitchen staff, they even made me hand cut chat potato chips cooked in the oven as they were worried the onion rings that they also serve would contaminate my chips (it doesn’t by the way, fodmaps aren’t soluble in the oil). I was able to really enjoy a night out with friends without the worry of a food trigger. A little pre-planning can make all the difference when eating out!

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