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The Gate

Restaurants, Vegetarian Angel
3 out of 5 stars
(13user reviews)
New_TheGate_Rob_Greig020.jpg
© Rob Greig

Time Out says

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.

 

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Details

Address: 370 St John Street
London
EC1V 4NN
Transport: Tube: Angel
Contact:
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Users say (13)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:4
LiveReviews|13
1 person listening
tastemaker

As a vegetarian I get very excited when I visit restaurants that are completely veggie because I look forward to being spoilt for choice when choosing what to order from the menu! And the brilliant thing about the gate is that they change their menu seasonally so you can always try something new every time you visit! The food is definitely tasty and healthy but my only criticism would be the portion size for the price you pay. Therefore, I recommend you go for their deals they have sometimes, e.g. starter and main for £15 as it probably will work out more cost effective! The decor is also a little dated and bland but the food is delicious and the service is fast. Definitely one of my top five favourite vegetarian restaurants in London!

Tastemaker

The food can be hit or miss, but it's mostly hit. The ambience is approaching high end, with prices to match. For tasteful decor and tasty vegetarian food that avoids the cliches, this is a good bet. 

Tastemaker

I have been to The Gate in Hammersmith roughly 7 years back and fallen in love (I even got one of their cookbooks for my birthday and love it). Unfortunately I never made it back and although I know most of my "meaty" friends would love it - we tend  to go to places that accommodate all needs. Until last month when my friends decided to book a table at The Gate in Islington for my birthday.


I was really excited, especially as I had such good memories regarding the food and let me tell you: I have not been disappointed. 7 years later the standard has not changed at all. The place was completely booked on a week night and everybody seemed to enjoy their time. Apart from some minor bumps - I had to go and get myself a knife and the drinks service was sometimes slow - I had a great time. The food was amazing, the place small but cosy. I will definitely come back more often (though next on the list is the flagship in Hammersmith again). Oh and to make the most of it - maybe order different dishes and then swap in between - it will still be hard to decide what to eat though ;)

tastemaker

The Gate, Islington

I have come to the Islington branch (there's another one in Hammersmith) a handful of times over the last 3 or so years and the food has been amazing every time.

They always use fresh, seasonal vegetarian ingredients, and they're big on corporate social responsibility- but don't let that bore you. You really don't have to be a vegetarian hippie to appreciate and enjoy their food. I have gone with seriously carnivorous men who have been sceptical about not having a chunk of meat in their meal, but who've ended up leaving full and happy.

The flavour combinations can be surprising- the wild mushroom rotolo and it's heavenly; so is the aubergine schnitzel. And you definitely can not go there and NOT have the divine chunky polenta chips with aioli. Thankfully it's always on the menu and that alone is a reason to go back.

But there's a but: As amazing as the food can be, every time I've eaten here the kitchen service has been slow. You can't pop in for a meal during your lunch hour. You'll need 2 hours just to be safe. More than once colleagues I've dined with have had to take their food away because it's only arrived 45 minutes after ordering, and they've had to rush back to the office with a doggy bag.

Once a fly flew into my cocktail so I asked for another one. The waitress was fine about replacing it- the cocktail not the fly- but the manager wasn't so accommodating. I did get my replacement martini but because I'd had a few sips before the fly decided to dive into it- not sure how many sips; I didn't measure, but obviously someone else did- I got exactly half a martini back, and exactly half the rim was covered in salt. Pretty stingy I thought. I mean, would it have hurt that much just to have given me another proper martini? It's not like they're big. And it's not like I was only spending £6 on a meal deal. If I wasn't with a group of people celebrating a birthday, I might've let my feelings be known. But I let it go. Well, sort of. I haven't been back. Which is a shame because I've been craving the polenta chips since then.

Food 5*; service 3*.

Tastemaker

Even as a dedicated meateater, The Gate is one of my favourite restaurants in London. The food is really creative; if you’re a vegetarian you’ll appreciate the complete absence of anything resembling a nut roast or Portobello mushroom burger.


We had high expectations and wished to try The Gate to get more inspiration in our own cooking, we are meat eaters but are trying to eat more vegetarian food to be healthier. Unfortunately every single dish we had was overloaded with cheese. The portion sizes were huge but the food was unappetizing, very rich with the cheese and lacking in flavour or texture. We were expecting innovative and healthy vegetarian food but walked away feeling over-full and bloated. 


The meals are overpriced given the very small portion sizes. The food isn't very impressive either. I definitely won't be going again.


I've been to The Gate several times and it has never failed to impress me. The food is consistently delicious and inventive and the service is always friendly and attentive. This restaurant is one of my favourites in London, and always makes for a special evening.



I was really excited when I saw that the Gate was opening in Islington as I'd been hoping for a vegetarian restaurant to open here for ages, but it doesn't really work. The food isn't as delicious as places like Ottolenghi and the atmosphere is the worst thing. They were playing club music when we were in there and the acoustics were really bad with the wooden floor. It didn't make me want to run back, which is a real shame, as I want to love it.


Went to the Gate for Sunday Brunch. Had amazing halloumi cheese and mixed pepper skewer as a starter and for main I had the large beetroot, watercress and goat cheese salad and my partner had the corn cake from the mains menu. Both of the mains were absolutely delicious and nicely presented!


If you want very very small portions of vegetarian food and stupidly high prices, The Gate will suit you. A real disappointment.

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