New? We covered the opening of The Gate’s restaurant on the 1st December here; it joins venues in Hammersmith and Islington.
Where? 22-24 Seymour Place, Marylebone, W1H 7NL www.thegaterestaurants.com
On the Menu: Like the other restaurants, The Gate Seymour Place showcases vegetarian food at its best with an innovative menu putting vegetables centre stage. Diners can expect established favourites such as aubergine teriyaki and a tofu-based salad alongside new additions to the menu including: three-way filled globe artichoke, aubergine schnitzel, and wild mushroom rotolo.
First Impressions: Vegetarian restaurants (and vegan ones especially) sometimes have reputations of being hippy havens but The Gate Seymour Place feels chic and laid back, not a dream catcher in sight. The only clues to the vegetarian offerings were several amusing collage art pieces on the wall which on closer inspection were made up of vegetables creating the shape of a larger vegetable – they added a welcome splash of colour to the cream décor.
The Look: Architect Alice Bajrach designed the venue keeping it simple with plenty of natural light, simple furnishings and plain walls to achieve a calm and refreshing space in keeping with the ambience of the other restaurants. The 86-cover restaurant also has a terrace fitting 16 people, perhaps more enjoyable in the summer months.
What We Ate: The mezze platter is a taster of all of the starters, best for the indecisive. I found the three lentil pate terrine disappointing while the mizo glazed aubergine had a lovely authentic taste but the best one by far was the sliver of 3 onion tart with creamy filling and crumbly butter pastry. The aubergine schnitzel described as layered aubergine with applewood smoked cheddar, basil pesto, roasted red peppers and plum tomatoes, served with Lyonnaise potatoes, sauted kale and horseradish cream sauce sounded exciting and unusual but fell flat on arrival (not literally). I found it hard to locate a lot of the flavours and enjoyed the sides of hunky herb polenta chips with garlic aioli and cauliflower with smoked paprika tahini, pinenuts and pomegranate a great deal more. For dessert the sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel ice cream was delicious but I favourited the well presented banoffee pie with caramelized banana and banana coulis.
What We Drank: The drinks menu consists of a mix of sustainably-sourced wines from a diverse range of producers all available by the glass plus a range of cocktails. The Gate has always promoted healthy eating and so naturally offers a range of freshly made juices and non-alcoholic cocktails so we opted for a refreshing Elderflower Fizz.
Go With: The Gate’s Head of Food, Yossi Edri, works closely with the restaurant’s founders to develop exciting and innovative dishes which cater to vegetarians and vegans, as well as bring the enjoyment of vegetarian food to non-vegetarians so The Gate truly is suitable for all foodies.
Final Word: A fan of the Hammersmith venue (reviewed here) I was not disappointed with the latest offering from the group. I enjoyed the laid back feel, the elegant look and the range of dishes available; no veggie burgers or risotto in sight.