ⓥ The Gate – Hammersmith

One of the reasons why I started reviewing vegan and vegetarian restaurants in London to begin with, was to show everybody how much choice we have, as I get approached a lot by friends who are under the impression that eating out will become very limiting when becoming a vegan, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Gate, which has 2 restaurants in London, the flagship one in Hammersmith and another one in Angel caters to vegans as well as vegetarians. I think it is fair to say it is one of the more high end ones, which is more than a cafe, considering a lot of vegan and vegetarian cafes are very.. umm hippieresque!

The restaurant is very close to the river as well as Hammersmith station so it is easy to get to and wasn’t hard to find, as it is clearly marked. But the exterior of the shop is rather simple with a small wooden plank to indicate that actually yes this is The Gate, and not some after school Church.

As you walk upstairs, you are greeted with high ceilings and lots of natural light coming from what looks like conservatory windows. It was not very busy when we got there for our 7.15pm booking, with a pleasant atmosphere of casual and what looked like regular dinners adding to the ambience.

We together decided on this small but mighty 2 course meal;

Grilled chipotle girolles mushrooms (vegan and gluten free for me)  Girolles mushrooms with red quinoa, avocado, tomatillo & green chilli salsa served with lime and kale crisps – it sounds really nice doesn’t it? Well it wasn’t that nice. I really didn’t like the girolles mushrooms as they had a strong unpleasant taste which was a little overpowering, they might of been marinated but usually I love marinated mushrooms? Maybe it was the chipotle? Can’t quite put my finger on what the taste was.. I had to put them to the side and pick at the rest of the salad which was red quinoa, avocado with some kale chips sprinkled on top. The rest was okay, nothing mind blowing. 

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The other starter was feta cheese & couscous fritters (vegetarian) rolled with crushed pistachios and panko, served with red pepper harissa – deeeelicious, I tried a teenie weenie bit, as that’s what you have to do sometimes you know, as a food blogger. They were soft in texture, with a little crunch on the outside. Creamy and totally scrumptious with  the red pepper harissa which complimented the feta cheese beautifully.

For mains I had the vegan and gluten free Thai green curry which is made out of lotus root, fried tofu, baby corn, monge tout and mushrooms in Thai spiced creamy coconut sauce served with wild and basmati rice and green papaya salsa – which wasn’t as good as the Sri Lankan Cashew Nut Curry  I had at Mildred’s. The presentation is a bit of a let down, then again is there a pretty way to present a curry? It came in a bowl which is served on a plate where the dome of rice is and with a tiny serving plate for the green papaya salsa. I enjoyed the crunchy lightly cooked monge tout and bean sprouts they added a bit of freshness to the fried tofu and cooked mushrooms. The sauce was nice and creamy from the coconut milk and the Thai green spices gave it a nice undertone kick. I didn’t see the need for the green papaya salsa so I didn’t even try it.  

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The other main were the Tortilla’s (vegetarian) – two fillings of sweet potato, sweetcorn, goats cheese, chilli, lime and coriander; and the other one was of baked beetroot, feta and parsley, served with guacamole, sour cream and black bean pepper salsa – oh wow, they were something else. I tried the tiny bits of each one, and the sweet potato one was terrific. I cut a tiny bit of the soft tortilla which is lightly grilled and scooped up some of the gooey goats cheese and the black bean pepper salsa, mmm the earthy tones from the root vegetables really worked with distinctive tart, creamy flavour of goats cheese. I would highly recommend this dish, and they can do a vegan version too. 

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Chunky herb polenta chips were a good alternative to the normal chip fix which I wanted to have. I have been craving chips for weeks now, maybe my body needs some greasy grub to balance out all the healthy gluten-free vegan meals I have been having prior to my Italy trip?

They were chunky wedges of crispy deep fried polenta with a soft inside with a dough-like consistency, and crispy on the inside – all coated lightly in herbs which gave them more flavour, as polenta by itself is pretty bland.

Overall I enjoyed my experience and would be back to try more dishes, the Mushroom Gnocchi looked amazing! Great place to go for carnivores who are opened to trying vegetarian and vegan cuisines. Have you been? What is your favourite dish?

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