Friday, 5 February 2016

The Gate, Islington

If you read my blog at all, you will know that I do like meat. A good juicy burger, a huge steak or and the classic- a Sunday Roast.

However I'm always up for something new, so with the desire to go out for dinner strong, I found myself trying something quite different. I ended up at a vegetarian restaurant. Would it be rabbit food? Or missing flavour? I had a million questions, so I guess the only way to know would be to get on down there.

Set in the heart of Islington, The Gate has taken over rather good looking building, which was formerly a Med Kitchen. Inside it's like any other smart brasserie, if not a little bit hipsterish with it's industrial light fittings. But I promise you, this isn't some hippy dippy place. Oh no, even your Dad who cries Meat and Two Veg would fit in well.

The Gate, Islington (2)

Me and Katie had much to catch up on- well she had just got engaged!- so we ordered a few drinks to get things going.

I had a Quince & Vanilla Margarita, which was made of vanilla infused tequila with quince jelly, lime, cointreau  and agave syrup. It sounded very beautiful, but I have to admit, it just tasted like an ordinary Margarita, and I've had better.

However do order the Hibiscus Blossom made of st. germain, flowering hibiscus and prosecco. Sweet as can be.

The Gate, Islington (1)

Now I hope your intrigued by the food, as much as I was. So like I said my preconceptions were slightly below average. However I was very pleased to see that the menu really went to town on creativity.

There is quite a big Middle Eastern influence with a rather sophisticated twist. So without futher a do lets dig in.

We decided to order mezze platter to share for starters. Katie said it was so we could try a bit of everything, I just said it because I wanted more food.

Mustard seed potato cake was rich, fluffy and rather good.

I'm probably one of the biggest cheese addict around- I literally eat cheese very single day, so grilled halloumi excited me. Fried with freekeh, pomegranate and mint salad, roasted red onions, peppers and harissa it sounds a dream, and indeed it did not disappoint.

Tofu always seems to divide people. It's very much like marmite, you either love it or hate it. Personally I love it, and so if you do, this is pretty good. Coated in sesame seeds with coriander pesto, pickled vegetables and seaweed salad, it made for a nice zingy update.

Next was plantain fritters filled with carrot, sultanas, mint and pine nuts served with chipotle and blueberry sauce and crispy fennel and pomegranate salad.

There were probably what I was most looking forward to, however I actually was a little disappointed with these. They reminded me of falafel alot and the actual balls were quite bland.

Finally we shared a slice of three onion tart. Surprisingly this was the winner of all the starters. Just so much flavour burst through.

As we let our starters settle, I had to order another drink. My favorite cocktail ever is an espresso martini. So it was one of those... or maybe two.

Soon enough the mains arrived. We both gave a little wow when they landed on our table. Katie went for the roasted butternut, with goats cheese and basil in a baked rolled potato, served with a tomato and caper salsa and a lemon butter sauce.

Who said vegetarian food was bland and light eh?

I decided to go a little Mexican with my main. Two toritillas, with two different fillings of sweet potato, sweetcorn, goats cheese and chilli,, and the other filled with baked beetroot, feta and parsley.

My Mexican habit usually is heavy of the chilli beef, however this had so many different flavours jumping out, you wouldn't even think about meat.

The Gate very much proves meat free, does not mean taste free. It's not all about Quorn and bean burgers in the Vegetarian world. Don't think of it as a meat free restaurant, just think of it as a restaurant. Give it a go.

Oh and if you for some reason really do hate it, theres a good bar which you can retreat to.

The Gate, Islington (16)
The Gate, Islington (15)

Dress: Luxemme
Watch: Michael Kors

The Gate, Islington (14)

Oh go on then... just one more espresso martini...
370 St John St,


  1. I have only been to The Gate at Hammersmith but am desperate to give the Islington on a shot, the mezze platter and Hibiscus Blossom sound like absolute winners.

    Emma Inks

  2. The food looks awesome!! And I bloody love Katie, Ben told me he was gonna propose a few weeks beforehand and it was honestly the hardest secret I've *ever* had to keep!

    C x | Lux Life

  3. I'm like you I'm such a big meat eater but this definitely intrigues me! Will have to see if I can persuade one of the girls to come with me as I think my boyfriend would laugh if I suggested vegetarian!
    Elle Bloggs

  4. I really want to try this place - everything looks and sounds delicious! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

  5. The food really does sound fantastic - I'd definitely go for Katie's roasted butternut and the onion tart, mm! Loving the dress too, lady - the bared shoulders look is beautiful! xx

    Tamsin / A Certain Adventure

  6. Wow this is such a glowing review! Have heard good things about the Gate and would be keen to try creative veggie food. Another good one is Nama in Notting Hill! Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea's Passions

  7. The food looks delicious!!! Espresso and Chocolate Martini's are my favorite. Also I love your dress!


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