First impressions augured well: on a midweek night, every table was full and the place was humming. Our neighbours had schlepped all the way from Hammersmith while their favourite restaurant – the original Gate – was being refurbished (due to reopen autumn 2013). This is a class act, with a modern and airy interior featuring an open kitchen/bar and big industrial lights under which to examine the menu.
There are plenty of à la carte starters and mains and, for the indecisive, a great mezédes menu – one plate for £4, three for £10, five for £15. Every dish was beautifully presented, with a little dish of aïoli, pepper coulis or harissa to complement the leading flavours: halloumi skewers; artichoke tempura; crunchy balls of couscous, feta and mint; tortilla with tasty beetroot and goat’s cheese filling. Desserts are no less fabulous: lavender crème brûlée, apple tarte tatin with cinnamon ice-cream and, genius this, even a dessert meze (allow 15 minutes) for £15.
We’ve already planned to go back for the weekend brunch, not least because we love the sound of the mamoosa – pan-fried potato with tomato, scrambled eggs and coriander, served with salad and schoog (green chilli dip). Vegetarian food never tasted so good.