Imagine my delight when I discovered The Gate, a vegetarian restaurant within walking distance from my flat! The ultimate question for me was: would it be able to steal the crown from Mildreds as my favourite veggie restaurant in London?!
Tucked away on a quiet street in Islington, The Gate was much larger than I expected but still with a dark and intimate ambiance. I was relieved that I’d made a reservation as the place was bustling with not an empty table in sight.
We ordered some bread and olives to nibble on whilst we perused the menu. I opted for smoked tofu and spring mint vegetable roll, served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce and pickled pink ginger…
Whilst my boyfriend, Tom, chose the feta and cous cous fritters rolled in panka and toasted pistachio nuts and served with a sweet red pepper harrisa.
My vegan option had a very light and refreshing taste. I decided to keep with the vegan theme when selecting my main and opted for Teriyaki aubergine layered with coriander pesto, roasted red peppers, shitake mushrooms and fresh horseradish, coated with crispy breadcrumbs and served on stir fried noodles with a pickled ginger and mango salad.
Tom selected wild mushroom rotolo, comprised of a wild mushroom duxcelle wrapped in thyme infused potato topped with goats cheese, served on French beans, creamy cep reduction sauce and finished with deep fried leeks.
We ordered some delicious sweet potato chips to accompany our mains.
Whilst Tom’s main was tasty, it was a tad too rich for my liking so I personally believe that I’d made the better option- the teriyaki aubergine was incredibly tender and flavoursome and I’ve definitely become a fan of pickled pink ginger now. I’m going to attempt to recreate the dish at home, although I doubt I’ll be able to do it justice!
Surprisingly, Tom was too full for dessert but I did manage to squeeze in some vegan ice-cream with berries. In my efforts to reduce my dairy intake for health reasons, I actually prefer the chewy texture of the vegan variety.
With all these dishes, along with a bottle of Malbec and service charge, it was no surprise to find our bill was over £80. It’s not somewhere I’d come every week but it definitely made a nice treat. There is also a restaurant in Hammersmith so I’d recommend a visit there, for those who are based in west London.
So how did it compare to my beloved Mildreds? Whilst The Gate definitely has a much more varied and intricate menu, I did miss the laid back vibe and hearty food of Mildreds. Still, I’ll undoubtedly be visiting both places again before the end of the year!
The Gate Islington
370 St John Street