Lucie Loves... Food // A faux-vegetarian adventure at The Gate restaurant
Last Saturday, my good friend Laura and I visited The Gate restaurant, Islington. I was contacted by The Gate and invited along to taste their much-heralded vegetarian menu. When I first moved to London, The Gate at Hammersmith was one of the first places off my colleagues lips to be recommended as a ‘very good place to eat.’
Of course, I said yes. I’m always keen to try new places to eat in London. I hopped on the tube at Hammersmith wearing my little Charlotte Taylor zebra mini dress and made my way to Angel. A short 5 minute walk later I arrived outside of The Gate restaurant and met up my good friend Laura. Laura often experiments with cooking veggie-only dishes despite being a full-blown carnivore and is a proud owner of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Veg Everyday cookbook.
We took a window seat for our 8.30pm booking and settled ourselves amongst the other diners, also busily catching up with friends over some tasty looking cocktails.
This is the kind of restaurant that you’d go to with your girlfriends when you fancy a chin wag over a well-made cocktail (trust me - I’ve tried some SHOCKING ones!) whilst tucking into some rather tasty grub. It has a warm and friendly, yet rather lively, and unpretentious atmosphere. Perfect.
I’m always impressed when the place has paid attention to the bigger dining-experience picture. Good lighting is key and this place ticks all the boxes. From the individual pendant lights casting an ambient glow strung across the bar to the oversized industrial looking lampshades suspended over the dining area. To the tables laid with polished glassware and linen napkins overlooking the open kitchen. I was a very happy bunny.
First, we poured over the extensive and rather unique-looking cocktail menu - dismissing the wine list for something a little more fun - settling on Roasted English strawberry & black pepper consisting of Strawberries, crushed ice, tequila and a tuille swirl. Laura opted for the raspberry prosecco. These cocktails are so crammed with fresh fruit - they should be served with spoons! Drinks in hand we then checked out the food menu and selected a few tasty dishes.
Here’s what we ordered:
- Halloumi kibi - Char-grilled halloumi in a tikka marinade, served on a skewer with red onions, peppers & courgettes. Served with chickpea salsa & a pepper coulis £6.25
- Parmesan Galette - Grilled asparagus, mozzarella, oven dried tomatoes with basil pesto and balsamic reduction £7.25
- Tortillas - Wheat tortillas filled with sweet potato, sweet corn, goats cheese, chilli, lime & coriander, & beetroot, feta cheese & parsley, served with guacamole, sour cream & a black bean & red pepper salsa £12.50
- Green Thai Curry - Baby corn and aubergine, mange-tout, shitake mushrooms and fried tofu in a rich thai flavoured coconut sauce served with basmati and wild rice and pickled green papaya £12.50
- Lavender Creme Brulee £5.50
- Chocolate Marquise - served with caramelised oranges £6.00
- Cafe latte - very good coffee too.
Cocktails £7.50 each
Absolutely delicious and well worth the slightly-longer-than-usual-waiting-time.* We genuinely enjoyed the food at The Gate and definitely didn’t miss not seeing meat on the menu. It made us think of this restaurant as a healthier option for meat-eaters wishing to add little variety to their eating patterns or those of us with vegetarian friends with a discerning palate (read as: sick of eating macaroni cheese.) Beautifully seasoned, cooked and presented. Will definitely dine here again.
Please note: The Gate kindly paid for our dining experience (thank you.) However, my reviews are always honest and open and this is somewhere that I would gladly have paid full whack to eat at.
The Gate - 370 St John Street, London, EC1V 4NN
0207 278 5483
Photography © Lucie Kerley