22 March 2013

Review | The Gate, Islington

Present, sorted. Exhibition, sorted. That only left one thing.


Last year I took mama siddalee to one of our favourite veggie haunts, Tibits (see my review here).

This year, I wanted somewhere new. I went on the hunt for a veggie/vegan restaurant in faiiirly central London. My internet wanderings led me to a little place called The Gate.

The Gate already has a fairly established restaurant in an old studio in Hammersmith (currently being refurbished) and has recently opened up shop in Islington (read: Angel, liars). Priding itself on not being a 'good vegetarian restaurant' but simply a good restaurant, The Gate serves up a seasonal menu that changes monthly. The flavours are Indo-Iraqi Jewish-inspired, with distinct French and Italian influences. Are you sold yet?!

The restaurant was bigger than I thought it would be, but the decor of woods and warm colours is cosy, helped along by a large fern growing by the door.

Unfortunately since our visit two weeks ago the menu has already changed, so I will try and remember what we had where they aren't on the menu anymore!

For starters I went with stuffed & fried artichokes with a lentil salad and the most deliciously creamy aioli I've ever had.

Mama siddalee went for baked polenta cake with mustard and a red pepper sauce (I think). It must have been good as I wasn't even offered a bit! Although considering my option was distinctly non-vegan maybe that was fair. Maybe.

My main was an amazing beetroot ravioli stuffed with sweet potato with crispy kale and shavings of hard cheese. I have absolutely no idea how they made beetroot ravioli but it was so, so tasty. The pasta was perfectly al dente and the dish wasn't dry at all, despite not swimming in sauce.

That little dish at the back is mama siddalee's root vegetable & chickpea tagine which, once again, I wasn't allowed to try. Although once again I had decided against picking some vegan-friendly...maybe it was subconscious!? Having stated 'pomegranate, pistachio and herb tabbouleh, that sounds really unusual doesn't it?', she decided she had to give it a go. She absolutely loved it!

My new obsession is crème brûlée. Oh boy. This stuff is gooooood. There was crème brûlée on the menu. Naturally I went for this.

This absolutely scrummy maple syrup crème brûlée was topped with mincemeat which I found...a little strange. I couldn't believe the chef would be right about this combo, so I ate the mincemeat off the top and tucked into the crème brûlée after. It was pure, creamy perfection.

This little pile of perfection was mama siddalee's warm fruit compote with vegan cinnamon ice cream. Cinnamon makes everything awesome!

I wasn't sure I would need to book a table for The Gate but it filled up really quickly after we arrived at 6pm. The food was unbelievable; I completely agree that it is a great restaurant, vegetarian or not, and is definitely worth a visit by meat-eaters and veggies alike. Book in advance to avoid disappointment and be sure to have room for all 3 courses!


  1. Ohhhh, that fruit compote looks incredible. I wish there were more restaurants like this near me, it looks lovely!

    Sophie xo | thatswhatsophiesaid

  2. MM I am so drooling. Those cake bites look amazing and all that restaurant food looks to die for.