London leads the way for veggie friendly restaurants and yet they can still be a struggle to find, The Gate is no different as although Hammersmith is good location you wouldn’t be blamed for walking straight past the venue. A sandwich board with the name on signals that we are the correct place, so we meander around the courtyard to the main entrance and then up some stairs to the actual restaurant which is nice and worth the mini trek.
It’s already half full when we arrive which gives it a comfortable buzzing atmosphere without being over crowded but fills up completely by the time we leave. This could be due to the fact that it’s just round the corner from the Hammersmith Apollo making it an ideal pre/post show place for a meal. The high ceilings make it feel quite grand inside even though it is a tad hidden but that gives it a special edge and would be perfect for a date.
The staff is friendly as we order our food, starters of Grilled Halloumi in chermula which is nice but nothing special and the Courgette Flowers which are most definitely special. They are stuffed with sweet potato, goat’s cheese, pine nuts and basil with a puy lentil salsa, I loved it and could have eaten 5 more! On to the mains, my Corn Cakes with mix vegetables and a chipotle black bean salsa isn’t as nice as I’d hoped for and the side of Herb Polenta Fries with garlic aioli easily stole the show. The special of the day was a Mushroom Medley served on a bed of risotto that was “special” for a reason; full of flavour it could have easily been devoured twice over.
The puddings were a little on the safe side with options like Fruit Trifle, Pear and Rhubarb Crumble, and Ice Cream. I chose the Vanilla Panna Cotta with mango puree which was nice but simple and same for the Lemon Grass, Lime and Coconut Cheesecake.
The whole evening was pleasant though with solid options all round; vegetarian food seems to somehow still have a stigma attached to it with people fearing that it’s boring but (as a vegetarian) I strongly disagree, and dining at places like The Gate just reconfirms it for me. Ideal to take friends, family or a date,whether they’re veggie or just fancy some good food.