To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at damselwithadulcimer.wordpress.com and my theatre reviews at www.playstosee.com
Published March 23rd 2012
Statistics would indicate that about 5% of the UK population is vegetarian. Whether or not these figures are accurate, we have come a long way in the last fifty or so years. There was a time when non meat eaters were regarded as cranky, leading one of the country's first vegetarian restaurants to call itself 'Cranks'.
On its website The Gate styles itself 'London's most successful vegetarian restaurant since 1989'. Adrian and Michael Daniel, the owners, have drawn on their own Indian, Arabic and Jewish culinary backgrounds and added French and Italian influences to produce delicious food that should appeal to a wide variety of taste buds. Not merely content with leaving animals out of the food chain, they also appeal to the eco warriors among us with their commitment to organic and free range produce and their beliefs in recycling and carbon footprint offsetting.
Not only is the ethos of this restaurant to be admired, but so is its setting, close to the river at Hammersmith. The Gate is set back behind a small and pretty courtyard and up a flight of stairs. The eating area is light and airy with a clean, freshly scrubbed atmosphere. The menu, which changes on a regular basis, clearly states whether dishes are vegan or gluten free, or whether those options are available.
We ate a vegan Thai Green Curry and a Mediterranean Tart, served with freshly baked bread and olive oil for dipping. My yummy five-a-day tart was a combination of grilled aubergine, courgettes and peppers, oven-roasted tomatoes, basil pesto and feta cheese baked with crème fraiche, served in a crispy parmesan pastry crust, with no hint of a soggy bottom.
The Gate also undertakes outside catering and sells its own cookery books, as well as organising seasonal food festivals and running cookery classes. Why not give it a try if you're in the area? You could combine a meal there with a walk along the river, or a visit to a play or a film at the nearby Riverside Studios.
The restaurant is a short walk from Hammersmith tube station and is served by several bus routes.