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I had never been to a vegetarian restaurant before I visited The Gate. When I was invited to try their gluten free food, I was dubious but as they are based in Hammersmith and I was visiting the area, I decided I would open my mind and give it a try. I mean, a meal without meat seemed to strange - what would I eat?
This was a whole new experience, but after visiting The Gate, I would definitely go to a vegetarian restaurant again! The restaurant itself is very close to the Eventim Apollo (where I was seeing James Bay live, eek!) which makes it a great stop for a pre-concert meal.
My friend Lauren and I visited for a late lunch and as we walked up the stairs I was taken aback by how light the restaurant was - one wall is just this huge window and there's this amazing wood panelling across the other wall, it looked very stylish - and the food smelt amazing.
It took some time deciding what to have on the menu, though it was very clearly marked which items were gluten free which was good. Because I am so used to basing my meal on which meat I fancy, I felt I had to take the time to actually read each dish and figure out what I wanted!
For my starter, I opted for fresh buffalo mozzarella with grilled yellow and green courgettes, seasoned with marjoram oil and candied lemon. When this came out it looked fantastic!
The mozzarella was so creamy it was delicious - and the courgettes were cooked to perfection. They still had a bit of a crunch and the candied lemon zest added the perfect hint of sweetness.
For my main course I took even longer to decide, but I opted for the root vegetable hash with grilled courgette, poached organic eggs, sauteed wild mushroom and a creamy porcini sauce from the lunch menu.
Again, this came out looking stunning. I don't eat a lot of root vegetables and these were really tasty - it made me reconsider this! The sauce was so creamy and tasty and the eggs made me feel like the dish was a bit more filling.
It was a generous portion and paired with a side order of delicious polenta fries with alioli dip, it was the perfect fuel for the concert that evening!
I really enjoyed my meal at The Gate and feel it changed my perceptions of vegetarian food a lot. I was worried I would be hungry afterwards but it actually filled me up so much I didn't even want dinner that evening!
I would certainly recommend The Gate and would visit again - there is also a restaurant in Islington so perhaps I will try that out next time!
Find The Gate at 51 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, or by visiting their website at thegaterestaurants.com.