Now I’m quite a fan of vegetarian food. My mum has been a pescetarian since forever, so I grew up always having the vege option at home and it’s pretty awesome how good veges can be. But, since moving to London, I definitely indulge in more burgers, more steak and more meat than back at home. So when the vegetarian restaurant, The Gate, got in touch, I was really keen to give it a visit and get some amazing vegetarian inspiration for at home too! Luckily, my bestie in London is also a vegetarian, so I brought her along for her very wise opinion too.
The Gate has two branches, one in Islington and one in Hammersmith. I decided to go to the Hammersmith one as it’s closer to me, so on a very rainy Thursday I jumped on the bus up there. The restaurant itself is tucked into a little side street right near the Hammersmith Apollo, through a little courtyard and up a flight of stairs. But once you get inside, it’s a lovely, warm and friendly room. It has beautiful high ceilings, big windows and was exactly where I wanted to be on a very cold, damp night.
I arrived a little early and was STARVING. So got some fresh bread with olive tapenade to tide me over – just what I needed. I loved the addition of olives instead of butter to make it a little different. We perused the menu and decided to go for the starters platter which is such a fab idea – a little taste of all the starters to share between two. We all know by now, I’m the biggest lover of when I can try lots of little bits. This platter was made up of miso glazed aubergine, lentil pate terrine, hazelnut and honey coated goats cheese, three onion tart and couscous fritters.
All of them were a great size, just enough for both to get a good taste of all the options and share them, and it just looked amazing! I think my favourite was the goats cheese, creamy and full of flavour but not too stinky like goats cheese can be sometimes. The three onion tart was also a highlight with flavourful, cheesy filling and a delicious Parmesan pastry.
For mains, I was torn between the burritos and the butternut rotolo. I eventually decided on the rotolo as I figured it sounded a bit different! It was essentially butternut squash and potato, with sun dried tomatoes, celeriac puree, and an apple and celery salad too. I loved that they used so many different aspects within the dish to keep it interesting without having to include meat. The butternut squash was soft and sweet, whereas the celeriac puree was delicious! It was so creamy and smooth, I’m very tempted to try and make my own at home one day. Plus with the punchy sun dried tomato it pulled it all together. It also came with some crispy sweet potato chips on top to provide some contrasting texture – very well thought through.
Sam went for the wild mushroom risotto cake which was a plethora of different mushrooms, served atop a cake of risotto and all covered in a lovely creamy sauce. Now, mushrooms are one of those vegetables which I just don’t get along with, so I didn’t give it a try but she was very happy with her meal and really enjoyed the risotto cake.
Now at this point I was quite full, but you know, dessert! We decided to split the white chocolate sphere, as really, I can never resist a sphere. It had the traditional steaming hot chocolate poured over the top, to reveal a load of chocolate mousse with caramel woven through it too. It was very sweet and rich but oh so good and indulgent. Definitely one to share!
To go along with our meal we went for a carafe of wine which is always my favourite size as I feel a bit bad going for a whole bottle and it was a good New Zealand sauvignon blanc. I think the best thing I enjoyed about the Gate was just the range of food which was available for any kind of diet. They mark on the menu whether it’s vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, nut free etc etc so you don’t need to worry about anything. Plus, as Sam told me, it’s nice to be able to go to a restaurant and actually be able to choose from the whole menu. Did I miss the meat? Definitely not, I left very happy and satisfied.
Overall, we had a fabulous evening, the staff were great, the food was lovely and the venue was really homely and comforting. I am most definitely planning on taking my mum when she’s back in London next year!
Tell me, thoughts on all vegetarian restaurants?!
*My meal was complimentary but all opinions are my own.