Did you know I was once a (sort of) vegetarian?
Yup. For three years, from when I was 13 until I was about 16. My dad made some joke about lambs and mint sauce when we were driving home one day and I stopped eating red meat the day after that.
I would have given up chicken and fish as well but my poor mother was already making separate meals for adults and (picky) children so I couldn’t really make her cook ANOTHER meal just for me…
So I ate chicken and fish (and turkey at Christmas because that’s what vegetarians do right? No? Oh.) for 3 years until one day I smelled my mum’s lasagne and gave up “vegetarianism” almost as instantly as I’d given up (red) meat.
I know. So bad.
Since then, I’ve gone back to eating meat fairly frequently, but I HAVE retained a love of all veggie dishes. Because I discovered during those three years that, actually, the vegetarian options frequently taste better than the meat ones.
This was a really long-winded way of me introducing you to one of my new favourite lunch spots: The Gate!
I was invited down a couple of weeks ago, so I picked the Islington venue and asked the lovely Viki to join me for a long-overdue catchup and some yummy vegetarian food.
The entire menu is veggie, with options on the (more limited) lunch menu including salads, ramen, and even my fave: shakshuka!
The owners call it “Indo-Iraqi Jewish” food, which blends their Indian, Arabic and Jewish backgrounds.
It’s all super fresh, super yum and sooo beautiful. Their presentation skills are A*!
Viki chose the quinoa salad from the seasonal menu, which was utterly delicious.
It was such a simple dish but the textures were fantastic, with really crunchy fresh vegetables, and the zingy (god I love that word) dressing really brought the whole thing together.
If it came down to it, I think I’d re-order this over my dish – and that’s saying a lot cos mine was AWESOME.
I had the root vegetable hash, topped with grilled courgette ribbons and a perfectly poached egg. It also had porcini mushrooms and a yum mushroom sauce drizzled over the top and GOD IT WAS GOOD.
Warm, comforting and absolutely yum. It felt like a hug on a plate.
(Next time I’m hungover I need someone to come and spoon-feed me this as they stroke my hair. Please and thank you.)
We also ordered a side portion of polenta chips, just because the table next to us ordered them and they looked ace.
Also it came with home-made aioli which is one of my foodie weaknesses. I just can’t resist it! (My other weaknesses are pork belly and anything with goat’s cheese. Just in case you were wondering).
The aioli was PERFECT, really creamy with a strong flavour, but unfortunately the chips themselves were really greasy and we couldn’t quite stomach them all.
Such a shame because everything else was fantastic. The service was really friendly and speedy (despite having rather a busy restaurant for a Tuesday afternoon!) and the prices are actually really reasonable, with my giant veggie hash coming in at just £8.
A fantastic place for a business lunch, a catch-up with the girls or even a date night!
*We were guests of The Gate for this visit.
All thoughts, opinions, photos and words are my own!