Restaurant Milu occupies a central location within the Hague and offers a menu emphasizing tapas style small plates great for sharing and tasting. It is in the Top 15 restaurants in The Hague on TripAdvisor. For gluten free dining it must be Top 5. Not only is it a safe place to eat, it is a great place to eat.
Outside there is heated terrace seating great for people watching. Inside there is wonderfully inviting space. Warmly lit with chunky wooden furnishings, huge pot plants, exposed light bulbs and open wine racks. It welcomes you with relaxed and distinctive style. There are tables suitable for solos, couples and groups of varying sizes. Clever partitions offer some intimacy and allow for conversation without needing to shout.
The menu has has a focus on tapas style small plates great for sharing or simply for tasting. Japanese, Mediterranean and Latin American cuisines are well represented within the diverse ranges of dishes. There are numerous options suitable for vegetarians, vegans and free from dairy or gluten. Almost every diner will be slightly spoiled for choice.
Restaurant Milu for the gluten free diner
Milu distinguishes itself from the majority of other restaurants in The Hague and Netherlands by explicitly showing gluten free dishes within an online English menu. This slightly undersells the extent of the gluten free menu however. Printed menus onsite have additional gluten free dishes. There are also gluten free ‘option’ dishes which can be easily modified to be gluten free.
Enticed by the promise of at least some gluten free options I visited Milu. The server I spoke with was familiar with coeliac (coeliakie in Dutch). He talked me through the gluten free and gluten free option dishes on the menu. When asked about cross-contamination risk he provided very specific advice and an uncommon assurance. The assurance was that dishes offered gluten free or gluten free option ‘guaranteed’ gluten free. The basis for confidence is robust control of ingredients and cross-contamination risk in the kitchen. Rare confidence. His advice was that whilst some other dishes might also be modifiable the guarantee would not apply since protocols would not be in place. Good advice.
A very special commendation must be made for the clever QR box included within the Milu printed menu. Scanning this with a smartphone brings up the Milu menu with symbols indicating the allergens present in every dish. This is only in Dutch but it is easy to cross reference this against a printed menu. I have not seen this elsewhere and love it. You can scan the picture below to see this in action yourself. You need an app for your iPhone or Android to do so.
Restaurant Milu gluten free dishes
In total there are 3 gluten free starters, 3 gluten free mains and 1 gluten free dessert on the dinner menu. There are a further 3 starter, 2 mains and 1 dessert offered as gluten free option dishes. Dishes marked as a Gluten Free option will either have something removed and replaced or simply removed. For example a Sea Bass with Crispy Tacos dish becomes Sea Bass with gluten free bread instead of Tacos since there is no separate fryer for preparing the Tacos.
A separate lunchtime menu has 1 gluten free dish and 3 gluten free options. All plates are relatively small Tapas style and ordering 2-3 per person is likely. There is also 1 gluten free beer (Corona) and extensive list of gluten cocktails.
So I had choice. What did I sample? I very nearly did not order the Gambas al Ajito. As I hesitated my server counselled me that these were very good indeed. For this intervention I am indebted. They were indeed very good. Crunchy. Succulent. Tasty moist morsels. A parsley, garlic and chili marinade was so utterly delicious that I mopped every last drop of it up with the seeded gluten free bread.
Almost as enjoyable was an Eggplant, Ginger & Thyme Tzatziki with Pomegranate & Pine Nuts dish. The Eggplant was soft but not soggy and rich in that umami roasted egg plant flavour. Tzatziki added creamy mouthfeel. The pomegranate & pine nuts offered dashes of different flavour and a little crunch.
My third dish was a Ceviche of Sea Bass, Pico de Gallo & Avocado Cream. Avocado cream is a must, make it at home! Ceviche is a traditional Peruvian dish with the Pico de Gallo ‘Salsa’ made of tomato, onion, cilantro, garlic and lime. The headline is a strong limey citrusy sour flavour together with firm but yielding sea bass texture.
Restaurant Milu Recommendation
Overall, loved it. I felt safe thanks to the explicitly gluten free menu, confident staff and assurances given. I felt relaxed thanks to the decor and ambiance. My dishes offered wonderful variety of cuisines, flavours and textures. Everything was good to excellent. I will take every opportunity I have to revisit and try out the rest of the gluten free menu.
This is a restaurant I recommend to almost everyone. Business travelers, tourists, groups of family or friends. Groups with a range of dietary preferences and needs. Service is quick enough that you can visit for a reasonably swift meal but this is a place worth dedicating an evening to.
I cannot quite decide what rank to assign Milu within my personal Gluten Free top 5 in The Hague. I certainly rank it alongside the excellent Zebedeus, Oker, Umami and Little V restaurants. Zebedeus has amazing Pecan Pie. Oker has gorgeous Thai Coconut Lime Soup. Oh, the tyranny of choice. All these will also be included in a Gluten Free Guide to The Hague I am preparing. Subscribe, or follow me on Facebook or Twitter to ensure you see that. Until then hit the tag The Hague Gluten Free.