There’s a quote on the wall at The Gate that says “The Gate isn’t a good vegetarian restaurant, it’s simply a good restaurant”. I totally agree with this.
I’ve already mentioned how I feel about eating vegetarian – I think everyone should eat meat-free at least a few times a week, but I don’t feel like I could make the full transition to vegetarianism. One reason why is because I think restaurants still have some way to go in offering vegetarian dishes that are just as tasty as their meaty dishes. That’s why I love vegetarian restaurants; they know how to make veggie dishes that are really delicious!
A few weeks ago, my vegetarian friend Sofia and I had tried to get a last minute table at The Gate in Islington on a busy Saturday evening – no luck! So naturally I was thrilled when I got an email from the restaurant asking if I wanted to do a review – um, YES PLEASE!
We started things off with the homemade focaccia served with virgin olive oil and black olive tapenade. It warm and delicious. I’m a big fan of tapenade!
We quickly ordered drinks that our lovely waiter recommended. The Hibiscus Blossom cocktail is prosecco-based with a hint of hibiscus, and the Quince & Vanilla Margarita is a slightly sweet margarita made with vanilla-infused tequila.
Both were delicious!
The first thing we both spotted on the food menu was the miso glazed aubergine starter…
It was glorious! Seriously, I am going to have to go back to The Gate just so that I can have this aubergine again. So, so delicious. I’ve had this dish before at Japanese restaurants but this aubergine was top notch!
We also ordered the three lentil terrine, thinking that we needed to try something a little more unusual…
The terrine was made of red lentil with smoked paprika and sun dried tomato, green lentil with basil, and beluga lentil and olive. To be honest this was the only real disappointment of the night. If you really love lentils you might like this, but otherwise I’d give it a miss.
Now, on to the mains! We decided to try something that sounded a bit unusual again, so we ordered the minted peas and feta rotolo.
When it arrived, it looked beautiful! 10/10 for presentation.
Made with layered potatoes stuffed with minted peas and feta cheese, it was a great combination of flavours. We loved the subtle minty taste and the homemade goat’s cheese curd on the side.
Next up, the sweetcorn and cilantro cake. Again, we ordered this because where else are you going to try this? Also, anything with Mediterranean vegetables and chunky guacamole gets my vote.
You could really taste the Mexican flavours, with the black bean and corn salsa and the fantastic guacamole. Success!
Oh and as if we hadn’t eaten enough already, we went for a side of polenta chips with vegan garlic aioli. SO GOOD! We were amazed at how good the aioli was considering you would normally expect it to be made with egg.
We didn’t finish the chips because we had spotted quite a few things on the dessert menu that sounded really amazing. It took us quite a while to decide what sweet treats to go for! The honeycomb cheesecake with butterscotch sauce was very tempting, as was the banoffee pie.
After much deliberation and some tips from our waiter, we went for the sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel ice cream…
and the glorious vegan (!) strawberry Eton mess:
We were very impressed by both. The sticky toffee pudding was what you’d expect, moist and datey. I would have liked a bit more toffee sauce with it but I’m pretty greedy! The Eton mess amazed us – how you can make it without eggs or cream and it still taste this good is beyond me. Our waiter said something about chickpeas being used to make meringue, which just makes it even more amazing.
As you can imagine, we left The Gate feeling very full and very happy. We will definitely be back soon to try the rest of the menu and have that amazing aubergine again!
This is the perfect restaurant for groups of vegetarian and non-vegetarian friends, as the food is so good that you truly don’t miss the meat even if you’re usually a carnivore. It’s also perfect for any vegans and gluten-free foodies out there – look out for the V and the G on the menu.
Have you been to any good vegetarian restaurants? I’d love some recommendations!