If youâ€™re looking for a gorgeous vegetarian meal in a friendly restaurant where the staff are kind and attentive, then look no further than The Gate in Hammersmith.
Vegetarianism is something Iâ€™ve been thinking about a lot recently. Especially as three of my closest friends have all come back from travelling as devout veggies. My arguments for continuing to eat meat are always the same. Firstly, thereâ€™s never enough choice to eat anything other than meat based meals. Secondly, I love meat too much and finally meat just tastes too good. These reasons were forgotten however as soon as we tasted the delicious food at The Gate.
As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by Michael Daniel, one of the owners of the restaurant and were taken to our seats. He was incredibly helpful, polite and engaging with not only us but the whole restaurant. After going over the drinks menu, I ordered myself a beautiful Apple Mojito mocktail and my girlfriend Beth went for the delightfully sweet Viura/Garnacha rose wine before ordering our food. I ordered the grilled Halloumi in Chermoula with freekeh, pomegranate and mint salad with roasted red onions, peppers and harissa whilst Beth had the Mediterranean Tart; a concoction of grilled aubergine, artichoke, courgette, red pepper, basil pesto and zatar marinated feta with a baby leaf salad. We tucked into the basket of bread which contained two portions of thick and crusty white, brown and olive bread whilst our food was being prepared.
The grilled Halloumi was lovely. It had a smoky taste which was complimented well by the spicy kick of the Chermoula. The tart was airy, full of flavour and left Beth wanting more. Both dishes were immaculately presented and were the perfect way to start the meal with the tart looking like an excellent value for money at just Â£6. The wait between ordering and receiving was no longer than 10 minutes and as the restaurant was just starting to get busy, I think this deserves a mention.
For the main course, I went for the Wild Mushroom Rotolo, which consisted of mushrooms wrapped in thyme infused potato served on french beans, porcini veloutÃ©, and finished with confit girolles.Â Â Beth ordered the Thai Green Curry made up of shiitake mushrooms, plantain, yellow courgette, sweet potato and tofu in a Thai spiced creamy coconut sauce served with sticky rice. This is a dish that we both love and were fascinated to see how a vegetarian option would compare to our usual meaty version. And of course, we had to order chips. But not just any chips. The chunky herb polenta chips with garlic aioli were recommended by the waitress and were probably the highlight of the meal. Every table had at least one portion on them! Once again the wait was very short and once again, the food looked stunning. My Mushroom Rotolo was light and incredibly smooth with a lovely but not overpowering crunch added by the French beans. The mushroom veloute added yet another dimension to the meal by giving it that extra bit of creaminess. The portion size was good and along with the chips, certainly filling me up. The Thai Green Curry had a great range of vegetables that created a wide mix of flavours, with the shiitake mushrooms, in particular, complimenting the dish perfectly. The portion size was ideal, filling Beth up but leaving just enough room for dessert without that â€˜bloatyâ€™ feeling.
After leaving it a good 15 minutes (to let the food go down a bit!) we then ordered our desserts. For me, I couldnâ€™t look past the Vegan-friendly Strawberry Eton Mess and Beth went for the Vegan Vanilla Cheesecake with hazelnuts and prune jam. The Eton Mess was gorgeous. The definition of delicious and surprisingly light (it must have been the homemade vegan meringue). I also treated myself to a latte which, in all honesty, was slightly bitter so maybe a change of beans was needed. Â Bethâ€™s Vanilla Cheesecake was her least enjoyable part of the meal, as she felt the flavours were slightly lacking compared to the previous dishes sheâ€™d enjoyed and the texture was a touch too heavy. However, I think itâ€™s important to note we are both self-confessed â€˜non-Vegansâ€™ and we were still very impressed with the creaminess of the dish and the hazelnut base. After the desserts had been finished, we finished off our latte and Diet Coke and headed home, very pleased with our first experience at The Gate.
Finally, I would like to stress again just how well we were looked after by the staff and Mr Daniel on our visit. It makes such a difference having accommodating, helpful staff and they were a real asset to the restaurant. Overall, we were hugely impressed with the staff, the menu and the standards of The Gate and would recommend them to anyone, vegetarian or not!
To view the menu, book a table or just find out more about The Gate, click here.