I eat quite a lot of meat and fish, only having one or two meat-free dinners or lunches a week, so when I was invited to review the popular veggie restaurant The Gate, I was keen to try it out the healthy, inventive vegetarian and vegan cuisine. There are two branches in London - the original in Hammersmith and one in Islington opposite Sadler's Wells, which we visited for a delicious mid-week dinner last month.
The airy dining room has high ceilings and large windows, old glazed pub tiles and a relaxed ambience. We sat down with olives, a glass of fizz and the a la carte menu: for starters I ordered the delicious carciofini of baby artichoke filled with wild mushroom duxelles and dolcelatte cheese, served with puy lentil salsa and garlic aioli. My boyfriend had the pan-fried mustard seed potato cake with spiced baby corn, courgette, carrot and green peas, served with a tamarind sauce, mint and coriander chutney.
For mains I went for the butternut rotolo served with roasted butternut, goat's cheese and basil, in a baked thyme-infused rolled potato, served with a tomato caper salsa and lemon butter sauce. This was my favourite dish and one I'd love to recreate at home: healthy and light, with lots of flavours and textures. Yum. He went for the aubergine schnitzel layered with applewood smoked cheddar, basil pesto, roasted red peppers and plum tomatoes served with potato dauphinoise and pan fried kale, finished with horseradish cream sauce. For dessert, we shared a steamed treacle orange and poppy seed pudding which, like everything else, was tasty, not too heavy and perfectly executed; we're already planning a return trip.