The last meal I had out in London was at The Gate, an all vegetarian restaurant that has been around since 1989 with two restaurants – one in Hammersmith and the one we went to, in Islington. They describe their food as Indo-Iraqi Jewish – a blend of Indian and Arabic cuisines with traditional Jewish food.
The menu isn’t really designed for sharing but we did order a couple of dishes from the entree list to share anyway, starting with the Miso Glazed Aubergine (£8) topped with toasted cashew nuts, micro coriander and ponzu sauce. I’m always a big fan of miso eggplant and this was no exception. The eggplant was perfectly cooked and the sauce was sticky and well balanced. The addition of the cashew nuts provided an excellent little crunch and as a result the three of this demolished this dish in no time at all!
Our other shared entree was the Grilled Haloumi with Chermula (£6) with freekeh, pomegranate and mint salad, roasted red onions, peppers and harissa. This was an equally delicious dish with the sweet pops of pomegranate going so well with the spicy harissa sauce. Haloumi is always a favourite of mine and freekeh has become one of my go-to grains recently so this was an excellent combination of many of my favourite ingredients.
For mains, Sean ordered the Tortillas (£13) with two fillings – one of sweet potato, sweetcorn, goats’ cheese, chilli, lime and coriander and the other baked beetroot, feta and parsley, served with guacamole, sour cream and black bean pepper salsa. This was a gorgeously presented dish and the little taste I had was a very good one! Sean was most definitely happy with his choice and there was nothing left on the plate by the end of the meal!
Em ordered the Roast Heritage Beetroot Tart (£13) which consisted of puff pastry topped with creamed caramelized onions, Yorkshire Wensleydale truckle cheese served with herb cream sauce and wilted spinach. This didn’t photograph anywhere near as pretty as it looked in reality, but regardless it sure was tasty! The beetroot was sweet, the sauce was creamy and the pastry was flakey and delicious. Another winner of a dish!
I ordered the Aubergine Schnitzel (£14) which was layered with applewood smoked cheddar, basil pesto, roasted red peppers and plum tomatoes, and served with potato dauphinoise and seasonal green, finished with a horseradish cream sauce. It didn’t quite look like I had imagined (as an Australian an eggplant schnitzel makes me think of a parma!) but it sure was delicious. The potato dauphinoise and cream sauce worked so well with the quite rich smoked cheddar and the addition of the greens made this feel a little healthier! I was very happy with my choice!
Lastly, we ordered a serve of the Polenta Chips to share (£4) which came with a garlic aioli sauce. These were some of the best polenta chips I’ve ever had – crispy, crunchy and well seasoned on the outside and really fluffy on the outside, paired perfectly with the garlic aioli. A perfect end to our meal!
Whilst it wasn’t an overly cheap meal, it definitely felt like value for money and we left full and very happy. The staff were friendly and helpful, answering all our questions about menu ingredients and making useful recommendations. Even on a Monday night they were very busy but we didn’t feel rushed, and I would definitely go back and try more of the menu the next time I’m in London (in particular their Sunday roast!).