Fantastic Food Awaits at Fan’s!

Visited On: August 2, 2013
Gluten Free Menu: Yes
Server Knowledge:
Server Attitude:
Variety of Gluten-Free Options:
Overall Gluten-Friendly Rating:
Price Range: $10-$15 per person, plus drinks, tax, and tip

Last year, the Nova Scotia chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association held a dinner club outing at Fan’s Chinese Restaurant in Dartmouth. I was fascinated, since it’s hard to find gluten-free Chinese food. Earlier this month, I finally had a chance to see what Fan’s had to offer.

We went to Fan’s on a Friday night with family members who were visiting from out of town. I asked for the gluten-free menu, which is several pages long and includes a good portion of their regular dishes. We decided to order several dishes from the gluten-free menu so that we could all share. Our selections were:

  • Chicken fried rice ($8.50)
  • Mixed vegetables with garlic sauce ($9.95)
  • Sweet and sour chicken with pineapple ($12.95)
  • Ginger fried beef ($11.95)
  • General Tso’s chicken ($12.95)

My gluten-consuming friends also ordered spring rolls as an appetizer, and we ordered some drinks. The rolls were out almost immediately and were devoured just as quickly. Luckily, our food wasn’t far behind. When everything was dropped off, they confirmed that all the dishes were made gluten-free, which was very reassuring. We also had an opportunity to ask about the plum sauce on the table (made in-house and gluten-free) and the soy sauce (not gluten-free).

The chicken fried rice was really good, although soy sauce had clearly been omitted from the dish to make it gluten-free. The vegetables were nicely cooked and still crispy, with just enough sauce to give them flavour. I had never tried General Tso chicken or ginger beef (both can be spicy) but I really enjoyed both dishes. The General Tso chicken was lightly breaded in a tempura-style batter, served in a slightly spicy sauce. Hot peppers also sat in the sauce for the brave diners who wanted an extra kick! The ginger beef was breaded in the same batter. Although it was more small pieces than shredded, it was very tender and the sauce was sweet rather than spicy. Last but not least, the sweet and sour chicken was my favorite. Small pieces were lightly battered and covered in a sweet and sour sauce, with pieces of pineapple and vegetables. Everyone agreed that this was much better than the chicken balls that you typically get in a restaurant, with a thick American-style batter.

It is always such a treat to be able to share food with friends, and having Chinese food for the first time in almost four years made it that much better. In fact, the portions were so big that even though the four of us chowed down, there was enough left over for both Michael and I for supper the next night.

All of this food and happiness cost about $75 for the four of us, plus a tip. Fan’s also delivers to most of Halifax, Dartmouth, and surrounding areas. I’m looking forward to more of Fan’s fantastic Chinese food!

Fan’s Chinese Restaurant
451 Windmill Road (Dartmouth)
Web Site:


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  1. #1 by Terry on August 15, 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Got to try Fan’s tonight with our Celiac daughter. She too had been missing good Chinese food since being diagnosed 6 years ago. Three of us ordered from GF menu and all dishes were delicious and large size portions. We shared cashew chicken, pork fried rice, sweet and sour chicken w/pineapple, stir fried veggies and I had the hot and sour soup. Lots of food for 2 plates each and we took home enough for daughter to have another meal ! Servers were knowledgeable and mentioned how dishes were made with corn starch as sauce thickeners. Everything was very flavourful and we didn’t miss the wheat based soy sauce at all. Thanks for the shout out about the place and we will highly recommend to our friends.

    • #2 by glutenfree4hfx on August 15, 2013 - 7:33 pm

      We are so glad that you enjoyed it and had as great of an experience as we did. 🙂 Can’t wait to go back!

  2. #3 by Erica Rand on April 14, 2015 - 9:58 am

    Me,my boyfriend and his cousin where in the city and where also excited about the gluten-free Chinese food options. I ordered the chicken fried rice (without soy sauce) and beef&broccolli and I really enjoyed it and the service,Until the car ride home.I asked my server to make sure there would be no gluten anywhere near my food,and ensure it would be gluten free and it wouldn’t result in me being sick and told her i had celiacs and she seemed really on the ball about it reassuring i wouldnt get sick and she was very nice,but i was skeptical about eating out to begin with.The beef and brocolli was great tasting and the food was cheap. I thought it had alot of flavor for being gluten free,but ignored the fact.On the way home i had an upset stomach,but drank coffee earlier that day and thought the coffee was the problem and didnt think anything of it.The next morning was disastrous and I will never eat out again. I called fans and a younger male answers,i ask for the manager and he automatically says “if your going to drop off a resume..” And started going off on if i wanted to apply there,in a rude manner. I then told him i got sick at his work and he tells me the manager is not available and they will return my call,and the waitress Probably gave me a dish containing gluten (when she reassured me she would be cautious) haven’t received a call yet,and found this astonishingly rude,as i already am suffering from the after math of what i consumed at their restaurant,they can at least have the curtesy to return my call.

    • #4 by glutenfree4hfx on April 14, 2015 - 1:34 pm

      I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. Almost all of the dishes they make are gluten free anyway so they are usually great 😦

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