“As a non-vegetarian I didn’t miss meat at all”
Address – 51 Queen Caroline St, Greater London W6 9QL
Telephone – 020 8748 6932
Closest underground station – Hammersmith
Cuisine – French & Italian Vegetarian food
Food – 5
Service – 5
Location – 4
Sunday 9th March saw me visit my first vegetarian restaurant in a long time and I wasn’t disappointed. Hidden away in West London, about a 5 minute walk from Hammersmith station, lies a wonderful restaurant which provides a fresh take on vegetarian cuisine. In my family my mother is a vegetarian, I have vegetarian friends and I even gave it a go for a few years myself so I was intrigued to see what the French/Italian take on vegetarian food would be like, seeing as Indian vegetarian food, as we all know is so tasty and one of the tastiest cuisines in which you will get vegetarian food.
My guest and I started with the Mezze Platter which consists of a selection of the starters and included the Feta and Cous Cous Fritters, Aubergine Charlotte, Piedmont Pepper, The Griddled Courgette, butternut, cashew & pesto Tart and the Carciofini (artichoke). Each and every item was as tasty as the other. The fritters were extremely light and crunchy. The pepper was fresh, delicate and flavourful. The tart gave you a sense of being at home and was an absolute piece of heavenly comfort food. I had never tasted artichoke before but was very tasty, was cooked to wonderfully and complimented perfectly with lentils. Finally the aubergine isn’t something I would normally have ordered but again it was cooked perfectly and accentuated with the pesto, tapenade and sides. The great thing was that for two people it was perfect as everything was really light and left your mouth watering in anticipation for the main meals.
To accompany our meal we ordered a bottle of the Chilean Merlot.
The interior of The Gate is light and airy as the restaurant used to be a photographers studio and has recently been refurbished with wooden walls and high ceilings. The feel of the restaurant in keeping with the food was almost organic.
For our mains I opted for the Cauliflower and Emmental glazed Rotolo which was a Romanesco and white cauliflower rolled in a thyme infused potato, baked and glazed on braised fennel, celery and leeks with a sundried tomato pesto. My guest ordered the Tortillas and came with Sweet potato, sweetcorn, goats cheese, chilli, lime and coriander. Baked beetroot, feta, parsley, guacamole, sour cream and black bean pepper salsa.
The rotolos were melt in your mouth and were served with a tomato and pepper tapenade with mint and salad. It made me feel very happy inside as if I was eating a meal which had been cooked by my vegetarian mother. The dish was filling, delicately flavoured and I couldn’t actually think of any reason to fault it.
4 tortillas were served in my guests dish and again were nicely flavoured and seasoned. There was a nice combination of textures. The goat’s cheese wasn’t too strong or over powering and the wraps themselves were tender but crispy. Each tortilla was balanced with a soft filling.
We ordered a polenta chips as a side dish which were crispy, fresh and something different to the usual chips you may have so they are definitely worth ordering.
For dessert I had my forever favourite crème brulee which was rich, creamy and a delight to the taste buds. It was also different to the usual crème brulee’s I have tasted as it included flavours such as orange and cardomen.
My guest had a favourite of his; the trifle. It was fresh and fruity, light, creamy, was firm and had the perfect trifle texture.
The service was fantastic too. The staff were attentive without being too pushy. There were a group of French people at the table next to us who seemed to also be mesmerised with the food. The food was beautifully presented and you can get that fine dining experience with vegetarian food at the gate without paying through your nose.
Overall our experience of dining at The Gate in Hammersmith was excellent. As non-vegetarians we didn’t feel as if we missed meat and would recommend to herbivores and carnivores alike. A must visit!