Does Noodle Nation cater for customers with special dietary requirements, allergies or food intolerances?

At Noodle Nation, we cook all our dishes freshly and we’ll always try to amend our dishes to suit our customers special dietary needs. We often get asked questions regarding the following:

Allergies & Food Intolerances:
Although we do cater for customers with mild allergies and intolerances, we are extremely aware of the risks involved in our business and our style of cooking. Traditional wok stir frying is an extremely vigorous process and we cook our dishes to order. We have both seafood and nuts in our kitchens and there is a slight but very real risk of cross transference of ingredients during the cooking process on the wok cooking range.

We have catered for customers with allergies since we opened our restaurants 10 years ago but we do feel that customers should be aware of the very real risk in our kitchens. For this reason we do have a notice on all of our menus, making sure our customers are aware. However, when a customer states they suffer from an allergy, our procedure in store should prompt a manager/supervisor to actually speak to the customer regarding our cooking process. Also, all of our staff on starting are taken through an allergy awareness worksheet and are taught how to process an order for a customer with an allergy.

Generally, if a customer makes us aware of an allergy, we will ensure that we use certain woks, certain oils and avoid using certain ingredients. Similarly, we will take extra vigilance in our cooking process. Again, although this does not completely stop of any traces of a certain ingredient being in a dish – it does limit them to highest level we can attain in our cooking environment. However, as stated, customers should be aware of this issue and make a free choice to eat with us knowing these facts.

We do have an ingredients/allergens guide in store but due to the above factors we re-iterate this is a guide only.

To let you know, we are and always will be happy to serve vegetarians at Noodle Nation. In fact many of our staff (and customers) are vegetarians. We are one of the very few oriental/asian restaurants who use vegetarian oyster sauce and vegetarian chilli oil and although we have a ‘not a vegetarian restaurant’ warning on our menu, this is to make our customers aware of the very minimal risk which exists in our kitchen. This risk exist in other restaurants but they do not always make their customers aware. We however feel it is only right to make vegetarian customers aware of the issue.

We do use the same woks to cook meat and vegetable dishes but please note, we wash all woks thoroughly between uses – i.e. a dish that was used to cook a meat dish would be used to cook a vegetable dish but only after a thorough cleaning process. This is exactly the same process that is used in other restaurants. Also, we only use vegetable oil in store to fry goods and have a vegetable stock in our soups.

In regards to preparation, we use separate equipment to prepare our raw meats, cooked meats, dairy & vegetables – this is best practice and common sense in any restaurant, as it avoids cross contamination of potentially dangerous bacteria.

As you may or may not know, we cook the vast majority of our dishes fresh to order using the searing effects of traditional wok stir-frying. This is an extremely vigorous process which literally tosses the ingredients in a wok. During this process, we have identified a minimal but real risk that ingredients may be transferred between woks.

Over a 10 year period this has happened rarely. However, the risk still exists. As we care about our vegetarian customers, we felt it was right to put a warning on the menu – which highlights this risk – However, all noodle nation vegetable dishes never knowingly contain any meat or poultry or ingredients of meat origin.

At Noodle Nation we use halal chicken breast. However, we do not consider ourselves a halal restaurant.

This is because there is a very slight but real risk that different ingredients can be transferred during our cooking process. Traditional wok stir frying is a very vigorous process and during the action of ‘throwing the wok’, ingredients could be ‘tossed’ between the different wok stations. Although we thoroughly clean our woks between cooking every dish, the very slight possibility of this cross transference does exist – Therefore, we do not advertise ourselves as a halal restaurant, despite the fact our chicken is halal.

We employ a wide variety of employees and I can confirm that many of our waiting team across the business and also a few of our managers are Muslim. They regularly eat chicken dishes and are aware of how we cook and where we source our chicken.

Other meats in our business are not halal. We strongly feel that unless we can make our kitchens 100% halal safe (from the minor risk that exists), we will not advertise this fact. Please note that we are currently looking at sourcing more halal products at the moment and may change this policy if we can confirm that all ingredients are halal safe.

Gluten Free Diets and Coeliacs:
We can cater for customers who have wheat allergies. Generally, as we cook our dishes to order we can take out any wheat based ingredients. Customers with wheat allergies should be aware that soy sauce contains wheat. However, our rice noodles (mai-fun and ho fun) do not use wheat flour and are safe for those with wheat intolerance to eat.

Some dishes may use wheat based ingredients in the preparation process and unfortunately, we can not amend these to order. If you do have an intolerance to wheat, please do make our managers aware during your visit, before you order and they will be able to help.