Adrian and Michael Daniel have been running London’s most successful vegetarian restaurant in the heart of Angel since 1989. From the moment you step inside, you feel at ease. From the lofty ceilings to the unique areas to dine, the atmosphere is perfect for family gatherings, intimate get-togethers and everything in between.
The cooking at the Gate reflects the diverse cultural background in which the two founders grew up. They like to call this Indo-Iraqi Jewish – blending Indian and Arabic cuisines with the traditional Jewish food, modulated by French and Italian influences.
They told us that celebrating food is what they love best so this is why they source their ingredients with care, intensify the flavour of dishes by carefully cooking and combining ingredients in unexpected ways and making the dishes as visually pleasing as possible. Needless to say we were far from disappointed by the result.
As an avid foodie and meat lover, I was dubious about an all-out veggie menu but once I left the restaurant, you could easily mistake me for a vegetarian convert. I have to admit, I didn’t miss meat once and this may be a first for me.
The Food and Drink
Our knowledgeable waiter took us through the wine list, picking out a delicious red to go perfectly with our meal.
To start, I just couldn’t decide. Every single starter looked like a winner and being hungry and indecisive, I asked the waiter who suggested I try a little of everything.
Since I was never going to turn that down, I opted for the mezze platter, a welcome new addition to the menu. Featuring sesame coated smoked tofu, wild mushroom arancini, grilled halloumi in chermula, a mustard seed potato cake and for the piece de resistance, a generous slice of the leek, trompette and stilton tart. It was drool worthy and just right for two (ravenous) people.
With a perfectly timed rest in between, I was served a delicious main of butternut rotolo consisting of roasted butternut squash, goats cheese, basil in a baked thyme-infused rolled potato, served with a tomato and caper salsa and a lemon butter sauce plus a side of crispy and chunky herb polenta chips. Filling and totally delicious, if I was in the privacy of my own home, I may have licked the plate clean so needless to say, it was a total hit with me.
We could have happily headed on our way satisfied at this point, but when the dessert menu hit the table, we thought it’d be a shame to say no, right?
Upon a recommendation from the waiter I went for the chocolate and griottine mousse with florentine and white chocolate sauce, while my blonde companion went for the damson crème brulee. Luckily I managed to swindle about half of the crème brulee…
The mousse was smooth, creamy and light – a perfect finish to the meal, while the crème brulee blew us both away with its sweet jam bottom, smooth creamy texture and perfectly crackly, caramelised top. Totally worth finding extra room for at the end of the meal.
A 3 course a la carte meal with bottle of wine costs around £50 per person.
370 St John Street, London EC1V 4NN, closest station: Angel
51 Queen Caroline Street, London W6 9Q, closest station: Hammersmith
Throughout Autumn, The Gate has a sumptuous lunch menu to try out with prices starting at £7.
Plus, their Christmas menu is a winner this year, with a Christmassy take on the butternut rotolo and 3 courses at £25.
For more details, please visit TheGateRestaurants.com
With reasonable prices, a relaxed atmosphere and top notch vegetarian nosh, this hidden gem is a must-try for veggies and meat eaters alike.