We have been wanted to try The Gate in Islington for such a long time so when I called my gal pal Elena one Sunday afternoon for a luncheon well we had no excuse but to explore this gorgeous place. It is tucked away in the corner of Angel so is easy to miss but now we have been it is the first thing we will mention to our friends when they ask about best eats in the area.
The Gate is a vegetarian restaurant and we often find our friends shying away from the idea of vegetarian as they assume that it can’t be filling or might be plain and boring. However, The Gate defiantly remove all these stereotypes. We walked in as two starving beings and came out stuffed and gob smacked after only two mains and a side.
We asked the waitress what she would recommend and well her rationale behind each recommendation was admirable so we had to go with them. Normally when you ask a waitress or waiter what they think you should get they just name a dish without reason but this waitress spoke of tastes, textures and emotions so how could we argue. Naturally to avoid disappointment we got two dishes and shared them 🙂
We ordered a Wild Mushroom Risotto Cake and an Aubergine Schnitzel. The Wild Mushroom Risotto Cake was topped with rocket leaves which had been dressed with lemon juice and further topped with generous shavings of Parmesan cheese. Now I always thought that Elena made the best mushroom risotto however once I tried this unusual take on mushroom risotto I was in heaven. I had to immediately tell Elena of course that she was now sitting at second place of the best risottos ever but once she tried the risotto she too agreed. The risotto was served like a little cake. It was crunchy on the outside and yet it fell apart when you broke into it. It was creamy and soft and so well seasoned that I just wanted more. The lemon juice drenched rocket was a contrast in taste and texture but really worked with the creaminess of the mushrooms and risotto. A truly stunning dish and but far the best risotto we have EVER tasted.
The Aubergine Schnitzel was very similar to a vegetable lasagne, with the replacement of pasta for the aubergine and the filling was a mixture of cheese, tomatoes and peppers. There was a crispy coating of bread crumbs which locked it all together. It was served with abundance of sautéed kale and potato dauphanoise. The Aubergine Schnitzel was a party of strong flavours and textures, from sweet to tangy, from crispy to soft. The potato dauphanoise were different from your regular gooey messy, the layers of thin potatoes were packed tight and just crumbled in your mouth. The best dauphanoise I have tasted by far.
We also ordered a side of polenta chips. They were huge, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They were seasoned and infused with herbs so they actually tasted of something (ok, polenta is often rather bland). It was served with the most amazing garlic aioli which I smothered all over them. Delightful!
I feel robbed of time really. I cannot believe that we hadn’t tried this place earlier and we would have been here a million times over. This is by far the best vegetarian restaurant we have ever eaten in and for carnivores like Elena and I that’s a big thing!!!
This is going to be our new go to place when ever we want a guaranteed happy meal.
Please try this place out and tell us what you think.
370 St John Street