If you think vegetarian dining may not be for everyone, eating at The Gate Restaurant in Hammersmith may change your mind.
Co-founder of the restaurant Adrian Daniel’s motto is, “We like to let the ingredients do all the talking for us”, and he’s right. Delicately balanced ingredients and a daring menu means even the most seasoned carnivore would go wild for this free-from menu, boasting vegan, gluten-free and nut-free options.
The food was of exceptional quality considering the price; at around £13 to £14 for a main course, you get delicious food without breaking the bank.
The surroundings are airy and calm, despite the relatively small size, due to an enormous window on one side, and an abstract-style brick wall on the other giving the restaurant a contemporary feel.
The staff were kind and attentive, joking about the hot weather outside and offering double the normal amount of ice in our water to help us cool down!
Not wanting to ruin our appetites for the main course, my plus-one and I shared the Roasted Pumpkin, Dolcelatte and Sage Tart (£6) for a starter, which was beautifully light and fluffy, with balsamic drizzle to contrast with the mild flavour of the pumpkin.
We both agreed that we should have got two of these, rather than sharing, as we could have sacrificed our waistlines for the great taste.
I chose the Thai Green Curry (£12) for my main course, which came with wild rice. The vegetables in the coconut curry tasted gorgeous, and complemented the side of green papaya wonderfully. For me, I can take a little more spice, so I would have liked some more chilli, but the delicate flavours made for a great main course all the same.
My plus-one had the Tortilla (£14) for her main, which had sweet potato, goats cheese, chilli, beetroot, feta and more packed into them. She loved the dish, despite not being too keen on beetroot, and as a carnivore, she didn’t miss the meat at all.
We took a lot more time to pick a dessert each, as there were a lot more choices that we were keen to try. For more picky eaters, there is a “dessert mezze” option, which contains a selection of the desserts on the menu, but we settled on one each in the end.
I had the Rosewater Panna Cotta (£5) , which came with mango puree, raspberries and pistachios. The panna cotta itself I really liked, but what really made it were the accompaniments; the tangy flavour of mango and raspberry contrasted to the light rosewater, and the nuts added a crunch which made the dessert really enjoyable.
My friend had the Sticky Date Pudding (£5) , which I tasted, and it was incredible, really rich and decadent, and perfect for a celebratory meal or real treat.
We left feeling treated and satisfied but without that horrible too-full feeling, as each course was packed with flavour without being too heavy or too-big of a portion.
Set in the heart of Hammersmith, and with another branch in Islington, I would urge anyone, whatever their dietary requirements, to enjoy a meal at The Gate.