Sometimes, we take it for granted when we live close to our friends. The regular meet ups, popping over to each other’s houses and going for that cup of tea. But when they move away to a different area, then it makes us realise how much we miss those casual get togethers.
After a couple of months of not seeing my close friend, we thought that it’s best to put a date in the diary and go out for lunch. The vegetarian restaurant, The Gate, was chosen.
The Gate is on the same location that used to be Med Kitchen, before it closed down. The dining area felt spacious and there seemed to be a lounge area on the upper level with comfy sofas. Just like with Med Kitchen, the open kitchen area makes up part of the restaurant.
The Gate does exquisite vegetarian and vegan food and also has a lot of gluten free options. All the dishes are so different. We were spoilt for choice with the menu. The Plantain Fritters first took our fancy but then after speaking to the staff, we changed our mind. The only reason for this was that the fritters were made with minced sultanas, which would make them a little sweet.
Both of the starters that we chose were delicious. The Indo-Iraqi Potato Cake was big, round, seeded and had so much flavour. It was made with potato, courgettes, baby corn, carrots, peas and red onion. It was delicately spiced. The chutney that the potato cake was served with was sweet and sour tamarind and it was also topped with an apple and coriander chutney. It was a truly delightful starter.
The other impressive starter was the Butternut Gnocchi. This gnocchi was not like any that I have had before. Gone away with the stodgy, dull, heavy gnocchi and instead, The Gate’s gnocchi was a real delight. The mashed butternut squash was covered with a thin coating. The gnocchi was in a cream sauce and also came with a roasted tomato salsa and thin shavings of Twineham Grange cheese. The Butternut Gnocchi was a really tasty dish and even though it had a cream sauce, it did not feel heavy.
After we had finished our starter dishes, we decided after a short while to then order the main dishes. Unfortunately, we did not know that the kitchen had closed for the afternoon and would not reopen until the evening service. After talking to our waiter, he said that he would ask the chef is he could make our main dishes for us. It was really nice of the chef to reopen the kitchen, just to make us our food. The staff were friendly throughout our time at The Gate. Even though, they had closed for the afternoon, they let us continue with our meal and made us feel very welcome.
Again, we were thoroughly impressed with our main dishes, both taste wise and presentation wise. The Aubergine Schnitzel was two long thick slices of aubergine encasing roasted red peppers, pesto, apple wood smoked cheddar and tomatoes. The aubergine was coated in a rough bread crumb coating. All the vegetables were cooked to perfection and all the natural flavours came through. The potato dauphinoise that the schnitzel was served with was great too. One of the things that made this dish that extra bit special was the pan fried kale. It had such an intense flavour.
The Thai Vegetable Curry was a mild curry. It had a lemony flavour going through it. The curry was made with mange tout, baby corn, mushrooms and beansprouts. It came with wild and basmati rice and a small dish of pineapple and chilli salsa. The curry contained a lot of vegetables and the portion size was fairly big.
By the time it came to us ordering our dessert, the evening service had already begun and the restaurant was getting busy. The Apple, Cinnamon and Blackberry Crumble had the natural taste of the fruit and not too much sugar had been added to the fruit. There was a thin layer of crumble topping. The dessert was served with vanilla ice cream. The tartness of the fruit contrasted with the crumble and the sweet ice cream.
The Gate is a wonderful restaurant, offering fantastic quality food and great service. A great deal of care and attention is given to the presentation of the food making it look very pretty. But the presentation does not take anything away from the taste of the food; the quality of ingredients speak for themselves.
The Gate, 370 St John Street, Angel, London, EC1V 4NNRating: