A few days ago I was invited to lunch at The Gate in Hammersmith. Located just a three minute walk away from the station, right behind The Hammersmith Apollo, this vegetarian restaurant is a must if you’re in London. It’s tucked away so pay attention or you’ll miss it. Up around a winding staircase you find yourself in a brightly lit, slightly edgy space. As we were visiting on a Monday lunch time it was pretty much empty but I can imagine it being a lot more crowded at dinner time.
Read on to find out about the food…
Wanting to get a real feel for all the food on offer, we opted for the Mezze platter for two. Banana fritters, quiche, goats cheese and beetroot, lentil pâté, and miso aubergine. When the platter arrived I was amazed at all the vibrant colours. It looked amazing – and tasted even better. I honestly couldn’t decide which I liked the best as they were all super yummy and also really filling. Lentil pâté sounded a bit bland to me but it was actually really smooth and went went well with the chutney.
For the main there were loads of different options including salads, tarts curries and more. I ended up choosing a beetroot and quinoa burger and my friend went for the tortilla with beans. I’m really fussy when it comes to quinoa and think it either really works or really doesn’t. In the case it was the former. The beetroot gave the burger an almost sweet flavour, which went well with the brioche bun.
The tortilla my friend got was a-mazing. I thought this item looked kinda meh on the menu but it was actually full of flavour, there was lots of guac and it felt like a proper meal. I only ever have tortillas as a quick lunch because they’re so easy to make and eat but as you can see from the beautiful presentation, this tortilla was something else.
On the side we ordered polenta chips and sweet potato wedges. This was probably a mistake as this is where we really began to struggle to find space left in our stomachs. One side is definitely enough for two if you’re planning on having the full three courses as we were absolutely stuffed! The potato wedges were my favourite and were seasoned with some spices. They seemed to have been grilled rather than fried so they were also healthy! Polenta doesn’t really have much of a flavour but these chips were seasoned to perfection.
Although we weren’t even able to finish the main, we had to get dessert. There were loads of options from vegan cheesecake to sticky toffee pudding to sorbet. We opted for the banoffee pie in the end and were not disappointed – just look at how pretty it is! This was a twist on a traditional banoffee pie with a crumbly base, dates in the middle surrounded by caramelised bananas and a (un)healthy layer of cream to top it off!
I had a hot chocolate to finish off our meal and it came with a milk heart shape on it! This is only the third hot chocolate I’ve ever had in my life with a cool design on it and it made me weirdly happy inside. It was also a really good hot chocolate, which I never really find in restaurants. The Gate is a great, open space that would be perfect for working in the afternoon and with hot drinks like this you can keep topping up all afternoon.
All in all, I was really, really impressed with the food at The Gate. In fact when it came to ordering, the table next to us just said, “we’ll have what they’re having”, pointing at our food. No, really. I was also so surprised at just how full I was at the end of this meal – I genuinely didn’t eat for the rest of the day. I’m sometimes wary of vegetarian or healthy eating places because you’re never quite sure if you’re going to get a decent amount food for the price you pay but that isn’t a problem here. In addition the staff are all super friendly and the food arrived in a timely fashion so I can’t really think of anything wrong with my visit!
51 Queen Caroline St
12-2:30pm, 6-10:30pm every day
3 course meal for two – £60-70