As recent Islingtonian, I was thrilled to discover that one of the vegetarian restaurants I’ve been dying to try out has set up camp in my new neighbourhood. While the original Gate over in Hammersmith – one of London’s most successful vegetarian restaurants to date- is closed for refurbishment, brothers Adrian and Michael Daniel have opened doors on St John Street in Islington, just a stone throw away from Upper Street and Sadler’s Wells Theatre.
Upon entering in search of Sunday brunch, we were greeted with bright smiles and a lovely open space with a minimalistic décor in white and dark wood, accentuated with a wall covered in original tiles and uncovered light bulbs over the bar.
The dishes reflect Indo-Iraqi Jewish background of its founders, and are made carefully selected ingredients. Loaded with coffee and a freshly pressed orange juice I instantly spotted a few personal favourites on the menu: goats cheese, sundried tomatoes, sweet potato and asparagus.
I eventually decided on the Portobello mushroom, spinach, goats cheese and sweet potato Fritatta (£6.50). After having devoured the cheesy goodness of the Fritatta, I was persuaded (did not take much I tell you) to indulge further with a pressed chocolate and chili torte. Agreed, a rather heavy choice for brunch, the torte can only be described as the cherry on top of a delicious meal. My vegan dining partner had the Wild mushroom risotto cake, followed by the Summer pudding, complete with vegan ice cream.
The Gate also serves wines are organic, vegetarian, vegan, bio dynamic & natural– made without animal products like gelatine, chitosan or isinglass (made from fish bladders). This combined with a hearty selection of gluten free and vegan options, The Gate could certainly be a haven for most people.
As a selective meat eater, having only recently returned from a 3 month flirtation with pescetarianism, my eyes have truly been opened to the delights and flavours of the vegetarian kitchen. And The Gate’s contribution to the London veggie scene doesn’t disappoint. The food was so good that I almost want to keep it a secret. But good finds are made for sharing, so enjoy!