Vegetarian London: The Gate Restaurant Review

The gate vegetarian restaurant islington

The Gate

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!

vegan focaccia the gate

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.

the gate vegetarian cocktails

Both were delicious!

The first thing we both spotted on the food menu was the miso glazed aubergine starter…

miso aubergine

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…

vegan lentil pate

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.

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.

sweetcorn cilantro cake guacamole

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.

polenta chips

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…

sticky toffee pudding

and the glorious vegan (!) strawberry Eton mess:

vegan eton mess meringue

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!

  • Ina
    August 10, 2016

    I sooo loved this post! Your images are great and your blog is stunning! I really like your style!

    Please subscribe: (I lost all my followers) <3

  • Hanh
    August 10, 2016

    Hey Anne-Sophie, I’ve been here with some friends and we loved it. I had the mushroom risotto which was delish! The food is so nicely presented especially when the restaurant itself is very unassuming.

    Hanh | hanhabelle

    • Anne-Sophie ~ City Cookie
      August 14, 2016

      Mushroom risotto sounds so good – I’m not sure if it’s still on the menu! Agree, everything was so beautifully presented even though the atmosphere was friendly and casual. x

  • Anoushka
    August 10, 2016

    I’ve been wanting to visit The Gate so bad! I turned pescatarian about a year ago and it makes eating out so much harder – you’re right that vegetarian options at restaurants often aren’t as good, they often feel like a token gesture. This all looks and sounds so so yummy, will definitely have to make it there!

    Anoushka Probyn – A London Fashion Blog

    • Anne-Sophie ~ City Cookie
      August 14, 2016

      You should definitely go there! It didn’t feel like we were compromising at all by eating vegetarian. I can’t stop thinking about the miso aubergine! x

  • Passant Adel
    August 15, 2016

    Great review with another great shots! See my latest Alexandria photos on the sunset magical hour, kisses

  • ana catarina pires
    February 25, 2017

    My boyfriend is vegetarian and we´ve been to the Gate a while ago. We even bought some of their books but haven´t tried any recipe yet.The food was excellent, some of the best we have found in London. We usually go to other vegetarian restaurants but this is without doubt the best one. I didn´t take any photos or write a review about it but hope to return soon and be able to do it.

    • Anne-Sophie ~ City Cookie
      February 27, 2017

      Hi Ana, I’ve been to The Gate twice now and both times it was delicious. If you do return please have the miso aubergine, it is sooo good!

      • ana catarina pires
        March 2, 2017

        Thank you for the suggestion!

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