Chef Vinod Nair has plenty of experience preparing food for those with allergen requirements.

All diets catered for at the Tuck in Mate

A new specialty cafe has opened in the hills with a focus on catering for those with food allergies.
August 17, 2023

TUCK in Mate speciality café is owned and operated by Vinod Nair, who has been a professional chef more than 20 years including stints at the Hilton in Auckland, Sodexo, Hyatt Regency and Crown Perth and now specialises in allergen-free meal choices.

“During the past 12 odd years, I’ve worked mainly in banquets where I was required to prepare a variety of dietary choices including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free, which in the end amounted to about 15 per cent of the menu, giving me first-hand experience of people who require allergen friendly meal choices,” Vinod said.

“Our son was born with a couple of severe allergies and several intolerances, including nuts, eggs, gluten, lactose and soy, so this gave me personal experience of being vigilant when buying food and going out for a meal.”

Vinod said that had influenced his decisions when he was thinking about menus that met these allergen requirements.

“I realised that the food that I grew up with met all of this criteria, without using any alternative ingredients. Nearly all the ingredients used in the cuisine from the south of India are naturally gluten-free. The only substitutions that are required are when nuts or yoghurt are used,” he said.

He said he chose Mundaring as the demographics of the shire and its surroundings indicated that there is a decent percentage of the population that is made up of young families.

“These are the people who are most likely to be affected by allergies and are aware of the pre-cautions to be taken to deal with the allergies and many of our regular customers are thrilled at having a place like this so close to them,” Vinod said.

The café is open for lunch from 11.30am to 2.30pm and offers a range of daal and lentil fritters and crepes, vegetarian burgers, fish tacos, rice crepes and pancakes with a range of fillings and a choice of curries – vegetarian, goat and chicken.

The dinner menu from 4.30pm to 7pm includes soups, vegetable stews, Chicken Chettinad, Thulu chicken, snapper and pepper goat bowls.

Tuck in Café is located opposite Woolies at the Mundaring Village Shopping Centre with the full menu and online orders available here, with the café closed on Tuesdays.


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