The Gate, Islington

It’s always refreshing to see a new vegetarian restaurant open up in London, but seldom does it actually have anything exciting or creative and when they are creative, they often forget how to add any flavour to the dishes. The Gate was one of London’s first all vegetarian restaurants, trailblazing the scene sine 1989 and even a couple of cookbooks to boot! Naturally I was quite excited to find one had opened in Angel but that excitement soon disappeared once the food started arriving and service too was quite abysmal and very slow. I guess their formula of great vegetarian food needs a bit of tweaking at their new joint.

Thai salad
Aubergine
Summer pudding

Thai Salad whilst being colourful, severely lacked an intense Thai dressing – more lime, more chilli, more  soy, more coriander – more of everything – this was like eating a plate of raw vegetables with no flavour.

Cous cous crusted aubergine filled with cream cheese, almond, chilli, coriander and pickled lemon, beetroot and chickpea salsa, red and green schoog. Firstly, just looking at the dish is off putting enough! The filling – well, it would have been much nicer with just coleslaw – the mushy cream cheese filling tasted of … well, cream cheese and not much else. As for the salsa – beetroot and chickpeas mixed together with no seasoning or anything else do not make for a salsa. That is a salad.  Ensalata, not salsa. As for the red and green schoog (which is Israeli for chutney) – there was just a green one on the plate. So, altogether, pretty vile.

Summer brioche pudding, vanilla ice cream – something worth eating at last – flavour wise and by that I mean ice cream. The pudding itself was far heavy on the brioche (and by that I mean it was almost all brioche  – soggy brioche). The berries tasted like they came from a packet of frozen berries.

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All in all, pretty disappointing and amateur. I believe the Hammersmith original is actually quite good, but here in Angel, I’d give it a serious miss.

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Recommend you go: 4

Food: 3

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