The Gate

Restaurants , Vegetarian Hammersmith
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(4 user reviews)
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The Gate

When this much-loved vegetarian institution closed its doors for refurbishment and didn’t reopen for more than a year, many loyal diners went into mourning – but then perked up when its younger sibling opened in Islington in June 2012. Now the veteran original has revealed its protracted facelift, just in time for its 25th anniversary in 2014. But has it been worth the wait?

Mostly, yes. The first floor venue is still housed in a converted artist’s studio, but there’s now a more prominent entrance. The pale-hued room is still airy with large windows overlooking a pretty courtyard, but one wall is now trendily decorated with wooden panels.

The colourful, nourishing, eclectic dishes are beautifully presented and generously portioned, but can be over-ambitious. We loved the flavour bomb that was pumpkin and potato cake stuffed with stilton and chestnuts, accompanied by a lively green peppercorn and herb vinaigrette.

Slightly less successful was pan-fried rocket ravioli filled with girolle duxelle, the paltry quantities of both the bitter leaves and mushrooms giving it indiscernible taste. However, the silky-smooth pasta was exquisitely made, rustic yet delicate.

Not so the beetroot cannelloni featuring dry, tired-looking pasta that curled around the edges. However, the other elements of the dish – the classic combination of jerusalem artichokes, hazelnuts, goat’s cheese, pesto and salsa verde – worked well together and tasted fine.

Aubergine ‘teriyaki’ comprised chargrilled slices coated in wonderfully crisp breadcrumbs, layered with roasted red peppers, shiitake mushrooms, coriander pesto and horseradish. It was served on a vibrant stir-fry of noodles with pickled ginger and finely diced mango. Although both were brightly flavoured, they contained far too many different ingredients and would have worked better as stand-alone dishes.

The meal was lifted by one of the best desserts we’ve tasted this year: subtly rich, very light and moreish croissant bread and butter pudding with whisky and orange marmalade.

The Gate restaurants are owned by brothers Adrian and Michael Daniel, and their Indo-Iraqi Jewish heritage is reflected in some dishes, along with French and Italian influences. There’s no doubting the thought that has gone into the planning of the dishes, or the quality of the carefully sourced ingredients – but the execution of our meal was still a bit hit-or-miss.

With its buzzy yet relaxed vibe, friendly, informed service, and occasional flashes of brilliance, this meat-free icon is back with (mostly) a bang.

Venue name: The Gate
Contact:
Address: 51 Queen Caroline Street
London
W6 9QL
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-2.30pm Mon-Fri. Dinner served 6-10.30pm Mon-Sat
Transport: Tube: Hammersmith
Price: Meal for two with wine and service: around £65
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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|4
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O. Gordon
Tastemaker

Well established in it's New York Loft-esque space, The Gate is a staple of the vegetarian eating in London. It's menu is varied and has become much more friendly to vegans and nut allergy sufferers over time. The starters vary from traditional fare (onion tart) to typically vegetarian (tofu) but get the palette going. The mains can split opinion, with a few solid favourites seeming to be on all the surrounding tables, the remaining dishes seemed distinctly absent from our neighbours. The wine is a bit of a let down but I am becoming increasingly disappointed with most wine lists I encounter. Where the Gate excels is impressing those put off by the idea of Vegetarian food. It isn't bland. One word of warning: despite being vegetarian, don't be fooled into thinking it is all healthy.

Daniel H

I went for their wild mushroom festival recently and had some amazing mushroom sushi with various kinds of mushroom as a starter, another delicious mushroom dish as the main and a vegan apple mille-feuille for desert which was also amazing. Service was very friendly and swift as well. I would highly recommend

Melissa M

The best vegetarian restaurant in London by far. Completely indulgent, satisfying vegetarian food with a diverse menu that has something to make every belly happy.