It was date night. And in the name of trying to embrace a (slightly) healthier lifestyle, I was interested in what posh vegan and vegetarian dinner options were available in London. I wasn’t talking Michelin star fine dining. Just you know, a bit posher than a deli. And so we ended up at The Gate…
Specifically catering for Vegetarians and Vegans, The Gate now has three London locations (Islington, Marylebone and Hammersmith). With a diverse menu (from Tortillas to Gyoza) and a very sophisticated ingredients key, it is ideal not only for those trying to stick to their healthy eating plan, but those with multiple food intolerances.
We didn’t get off to the best start. In the name of general #GoodVibesOnly I’ve taken to turning a blind eye to people being rude, but to say the front of house was frosty was putting it mildly. We did however have the most lovely friendly waiter who more than made up for it.
We had a taster menu experience ahead of us and we kicked off with the miso glazed aubergine- a half aubergine roasted and glazed with miso sauce, topped with toasted cashew nuts, micro coriander and ponzu sauce .
Hot, soft and delicious, even though I’m open to vegan food I was amazed how one veg could be so transformed with some clever cooking, an almost sweet glaze and a sprinkle of nuts.
Next up was a quinoa salad. Red, black & white quinoa with a miso & lime dressing it was tastier than I had expected – but small and my stomach was starting to grumble…
Then came something else entirely- ‘sauté girolle, pleurote, pied de mouton & trompette mushrooms, served on pan fried risotto cake finished with a creamy cep sauce, rocket & lemon truffle dressing’.
Okay, so I’m lost as to what half of those ingredients are, but here is what you need to know: it was incredible.
Creamy risotto and buttery mushrooms, I struggled to believe it wasn’t made with full fat cream and french butter. I could have eaten a full size version of it twice over. This is what I had come here for and my god it was good.
I was excited for the next course as on my initial glance (who am I kidding- in depth study) of the menu it looked like it was going to be my firm favourite. Malaysian curry- sweet potato, tofu, plantain, shiitake mushrooms, green beans, courgette, baby corn in a Malaysian spiced coconut sauce served with sticky rice & grilled lime. YUM. The grilled lime squeezed over brought out the fresh flavours, but even for a taster course menu the portion was small. I kid you not it was a smear of curry about a tablespoon big, and due to this it also meant it went cold very quickly. I was starving.
As the table next to me lamented ‘I feel like I’ve had four starters’.
There was no was desert was going to fill this gap- but I was wrong.
Warning: objects may be smaller than they appear
The dessert was a Chocolate yo-yo which was dark chocololate mousse, caramel & hot chocolate sauce. After trying like idiots to crack the chocolate shell I spotted the hot chocolate sauce which we then smothered it in. The cold mouse and cream with the hot chocolate sauce was an amazing combo, but one that soon got sickly. Whilst I wasn’t necessarily full, the sickliness at least meant I was no longer craving a portion of sweet potato wedges on the way home.
Having eyed up a few tables around, going the whole hog as supposed to a taster menu was the way forward. I was also impressed to see a menu of organic and biodynamic wines, especially because I’ve recently been struggling with the preservatives in wine. Having tried the cocktails I think the wine would be the way to go….
It was a great way to sample what The Gate has to offer though. Their impressive presentation and tasty food is enough to make your meat eating friends rethink the need for meat- just make sure you order enough to stop them doing a last minute dash to McDonalds on the way home.
We experienced The Gate via The Nudge- the best place for the latest restaurant deals: https://thenudge.com
For more information on The Gate, visit their website: http://thegaterestaurants.com