The Gate - Islington

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 35 reviews )
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370 St John St, Islington, London, England, EC1V 4NN

Vegetarian and vegan cuisine with French and Italian influences. Focus on healthy food. Located a 2-minute walk from Sadler's Wells. Open Mon-Sun 12:00pm-10:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Organic, Beer/Wine, Middle Eastern, Israeli

35 Reviews

First Review by greenknittinggal

Unimpressive Over-all - Edit

My wife and I visited The Gate while in London this past August. The venue is nice, open and inviting, but the cuisine & experience did not justify the very high prices. It was an odd experience in that we had at least five different members of their staff wait on us during the course of the evening, the hostess, manager & three waiters - one who may have actually been a busboy. Two stacks of dirty dishes adorned the bar counter, quickly growing higher and higher, in view of patrons in the elevated dining area. It was early in the evening, so restaurant was not so busy that they couldn't have dispatched the soiled dishware to the kitchen. The menu items seemed somewhat limited, the actual meal was not particularly impressive. Between the two entrees we chose, my wife's was sufficient, yet mine was a remarkable small portion, and neither was inspiring to the palette ... In the end, it seemed we were paying more for the idea of what The Gate its supposed to be - vegetarian fine dining, rather than what we experienced.

Pros: Fancy place!

Cons: Over-priced and less than inspiring dishes, Portions can be under-whelming, Not living up to their potential!

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fancy and delicious - Edit

My non-vegan husband loved the four mushroom risotto. I enjoyed the terrine with three kinds of lentils. I guess it was a food with numbers kind of evening. Anyway, everything was very delicious. And the waiters were extremely pleasant as well.

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Something has changed here - for the better! - Edit

I've been going to The Gate on and off for quite a few years, it's fancy, so only for special occasions and so on. It's always been pretty good but I've often found the staff unfriendly and the food good, but not quite good enough for what it costs. However, the last two times I've been it has been exceptional. The vegan food has taken off in a big way, incredibly tasty and interesting dishes, the asparagus tart with cashew cheese was a particularly good choice, that really feel like they're proper top of the line cooking. The deserts where great too - and they had an eaton mess, the meringue was to die for! Also, the staff are totally different, really happy, friendly and welcoming, which makes such a difference. Perfect place for a more upscale vegan dinner out.

Updated from previous review on 2017-05-31

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Vegan Sunday roast! - Edit

The vegan Sunday roast is so yummy! They offer super creative and beautiful looking dishes, and the vegan cappuccino cheese cake is just so amazing!

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beautifully presented good, interesting recipes - Edit

Plenty of vegan options CE real which are gluten free too. Well presented tastefilled food and tempting desserts. Fine dining so expensive,

Pros: very good range of vegan options including dessert

Cons: expensive

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Delicious dishes - Edit

Delicious selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes. Large and spacious but also rather bustling and noisy. Lacks the intimate feel of the Hammersmith Gate.

Pros: Excellent food

Cons: A bit pricey

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Delicious food - Edit

About a third of the menu is vegan. It is delicious and made with care and thought. Not cheap but good quality food and wine. I'll definitely be going back.

Pros: Delicious food, nice range on the menu. Great pr

Cons: Expensive, not as many vegan options as I'd l

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pricey but worth it - Edit

i visited the gate in hammersmith twice, even though it's a bit above my normal price range. my parents took me there a bit over a year ago, and back then the food was ok, but not amazing. this summer i was back in london and we went again, and i'm not sure what changed but it was definitely for the better. the food was not just tasty but like fancy extra tasty. we were really impressed. the place looks very nice, has a high-end atmosphere but also not too uptight. if you can afford it it's definitely worth it. otherwise convince your parents to take you there ;)

Pros: Amazing food (since this year), nice atmosphere

Cons: not everything vegan

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Love the restaurant - Edit

Great restaurant, love the location. Very posh and smart place to visit.

Pros: Great venue, Good options

Cons: None

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Upscale vegetarian cooking, some good vegan option - Edit

The Gate was one of our destinations on this trip to London, as I appreciate the fine choice of vegan food in London (much better than available in almost every other city other than New York, which is a much further trip for me). What is interesting, is that we went in February, and it looks like the menu changed, because I can't even find what I ate (and don't remember it all). I had something that was smoked tofu balls, but it was vegan, and I don't see that on the menu now. And my spouse also had something that doesn't appear to be on the menu. There are vegan options (which is what we want), but perhaps we would have liked a bigger choice. I took two entrees instead of a main dish, because the main dishes did not appeal to me so much. But what I had was delicious, and the type of vegan food that I really appreciate - not those standard vegetable stews and grain, or lentils and grain, etc., that are so frequently found. The prices are not inexpensive (which is why i checked "fine dining", but I realize that good vegan food takes time and effort to prepare - much more effort than grilling a steak.

Pros: NIcely served, Chef-quality vegetarian cooking, Vegan options

Cons: expensive

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Great food, not cheap - Edit

The Gate is a 'treat' restaurant, not a regular local. Last night we were there, with many others, for a pre-theatre meal - it's just across the road from Sadlers Wells so I'd book if you want to be sure of catching the start of the show. We shared some olives and then the mezze platter - full of delicious bites which left us not too full so we could enjoy a desert each (treacle orange and poppy seed pudding, and creme brulee with lovely sharp plum jam). Total cost just over £40 including 12.5% service. We really enjoyed it but it's not a cheap outing.

Pros: Creative food, Great location, Friendly staff

Cons: Quite pricey

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up there with the best - Edit

Had an excellent meal last night. portions were small so had three courses. all were great. restaurant was crowded which given the quality was a bit unsurprising. was also a bit dark. pricey but not excessive.

Pros: yummy, perfect service, trendy

Cons: small portions, too dark, pricey

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Better than I expected - Edit

I am not a huge fan of places that try and make themselves out to be 'fancy', and consequently charge a bit of a premium (although I'm also not from London, so maybe my idea of a premium is different from others) for what is often a smaller amount of food. I like my veggie food cheap, cheerful, and plentiful. However, I was fairly impressed with The Gate.

The food came in decent portions, and, most importantly, had a good amount of flavour to it. I had the grilled halloumi as a starter, which came with a very nice, slightly spicy salsa. This was followed by the aubergine teriyaki, which I found a little overly breadcrumbed, but otherwise good. We had to pass on dessert, having been filled up by the first two courses.

Overall, while it didn't blow me away, I would recommend The Gate to anyone looking for a pleasant evening out.

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Yum! - Edit

Great food that's very tasty and good wine selection. Aubergine dish was amazing as were the stuffed peppers. Plenty of vegan options. Friendly staff.
Vegan puddings could be better.

Pros: great food , lovely staff, nicely decorated restaurant with atmosphere

Cons: needs better vegan puddings

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An Excellent Opening - Edit

After visiting nearly 400 veg/vegan places across Europe this was my first experience of one in London in August 2014. At last, I see why this place is so highly rated. It's quite formal but not pretentious and the menu is excellent with a very reasonable vegan choice. Saturday brunch was the option for us on 2nd of August 2014 consisting of a pan fried smoky scrambled tofu and potato mamoosa served with a delicious vegetable rice schoog and a sweetcorn and chilli mini pancake stack served with refried beans filled tortillas. Yes, both were delicious and washed down with a glass of wine and a much needed bottle of sparkling water. Total bill came to £33 including the discretionary 12.5% service charge which is common place in London where discretionary probably means mandatory. I'm sure this place rocks at night. This is definitely somewhere I would like to come to again. Hey presto, on a second visit on 25th July 2015 yet again for a pre Arsenal Emirates Cup lunch an even better quality experience has reinforced this as a top class capital venue.

Pros: good food, location, setting

Cons: quite expensive, not enough vegan choice

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Rather disappointing expensive food - Edit

Booked a table for early evening midweek to celebrate my and my friend's birthday. There were three other tables filled when we arrived and a lot of staff. I was immediately told that 'we need the table back at 8pm'.
Lots of hovering staff, none particularly friendly or polite.
Food - my aubergine was ok, a little bland. My friends mezze was disappointing and very small - one small teaspoon of hummus, one tiny floret of cauliflower.
Puddings - the crumble was ok, my chocolate nut torte was large (unlike the main), but rather dry and just didn't really work. I left quite a lot of it and I'm not one to abandon puddings. Our tea was brought with puddings, obvuiosly to hurry us along, and despite the place still being half empty, I could see staff constantly checking out our table to see if we were done yet.

Cons: Expensive food , Not that great , Unfriendly staff

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Delicious! - Edit

The Gate is a classic London vegetarian restaurant and one of the few fancier options for vegans and vegetarians. The service is always perfect, the food always delicious and beautifully presented. The spaces in both the Hammersmith and Angel branches are both lovely - this is a good place for a family dinner, or a romantic evening. In particular, the Gate do a wild mushroom festival in the autumn where they do a special 5 course menu made from wild mushrooms and always have a vegan version of the menu - this is such a special evening, an absolute must if you love mushrooms. The only con is that like quite a few vegetarian restaurants in the UK, the most interesting dessert options are usually not vegan. The vegan option will be say a fruit crumble, not a chocolate cake (although the crumble will be good). This applies to brunch too - they started doing brunch recently and this was welcome as there are not many options for brunch as a vegan in London. However, most options are not vegan so while you can eat something yummy, you can't eat French toast or pancakes, which in the US equivalent restaurant you would be able to. A small quibble though, we love this place.

Pros: Some of the best veg food in London, Perfect service, Lovely space

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Very good food and good vegan options - Edit

The Gate is simply a top notch restaurant with terrific veg*n food, including dessert and even wine, prosecco, beer and cocktails. They do rely a bit much on the cheeses for lacto-ovo and that's just superfluous IMO. The service is very good too.

Pros: Superb quality food n bev, Great service, Good vegan options

Cons: Too much dairy on the menu

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Very good restaurant - Edit

I was glad to discover this restaurant, I went in London for my birthday in october and we went to The Gate at Hammersmith twice.
We loved food, people, light and colors...
it was a new experience for us, good food, well done, nice recipes and good presentation in the dish, full of flavors, we loved and we look forward to come back soon.

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amazing food and great sevice - Edit

Food is wonderful, lots of vegan options and large portions. For the quality price is fair :) i forgot to tell vegan option, but they took the dish back and chnged it with the vegan version. Recommended

Pros: food , service

Cons: wine list is poor

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Very appetising food, but under-seasoned - Edit

Enjoyed the food and atmosphere very much, but as each course was under-seasoned the taste was a bit off, but would definitely go again!

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Vegan

  Contributions +35

To try - Edit

Very nice atmosphere and waitress. As DAGNY70 said: "The person who greeted us was a little unfriendly when I asked for a table for 2, stating "you didn't book?"" - I thought it was because of our tourists' clothes but now I read these words and I understand that wasn't the reason of the guy behavior.
Excellent food but small vegan portions, unluckily they finished the bread so I was pretty disappointed, it would be perfect to have some with vegetables (but I think it's more italian style)
Very expensive in my opinion (I suggest increase the portions or lower cost)
Poor choice of vegan dessert, only fruit.
They add a service charge to the bill, too bad!
Updated from previous review on Thursday January 31, 2013
Updated from previous review on Thursday January 31, 2013

Pros: Excellent food, Nice waitress

Cons: Expensive, Service charge added

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Fantastic - Edit

Went to the Islington location with a group of friends on Monday night. Everything was fantastic--the mezze plates were delicious and the entrees were each spot on. My friend and I shared because we couldn't decide. We took the waiter's recommendation and didn't regret it.

Pros: Beautiful space, Delicious food

Cons: Kind of small menu

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Great Food And Service - Edit

I've visited this restaurant twice now. First time for an 'express lunch' and second time (last night) for dinner.

On both occasions I ordered a thai green curry style dish, which were very spicy and delicious.

Last night I had the basket of bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and also had soy icecream and fruit sorbet for dessert.

The food and service are great and I would recommend. The food was affordable as well although they do put a 'service charge' on your receipt which I'm not that fond of, not being an English custom!

I was unwell yesterday and also eating alone both times as away due to work but was made to feel relaxed by the friendly staff.

Pros: Great Food, Friendly, Affordable

Cons: Service Charge

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Classy Veg Food - Edit

Really enjoyed the food. Menu was small with several vegan options and wines. Food was really well presented and the flavour combinations were interesting. All was very fresh. Servers were very friendly.

Pros: Small seasonal menu, Great food, Friendly

Cons: Need to book

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Disappointing - Edit

I went to eat here with a friend. It was extremely busy, and incredibly noisy to the point of us almost leaving. The floor plan is just awful. The decor is bland and uninspiring.

They had a number of vegan options on the menu, and I ordered a few starters and a main, re-confirming about three times that I wanted them vegan. Once the food arrived, I asked if it was vegan, as it looked like it wasn't, and after they checked with the kitchen, they confirmed that I was served food with dairy/eggs.

They did apologise and came back with my vegan stuff, but it was very disappointing that this happened in the first place.

All this could perhaps be forgiven if the food is tasty. Unfortunately, it was not. It felt like eating at a countryside vegetarian restaurant in 1980s. The food was bland, tasteless, greasy. There were no spices, herbs or flavours. The entire menu feels dated, and is very cheese and egg heavy. Even the vegan options taste like cardboard.

Very, very disappointing - in terms of food, service and the entire experience. There are so many good veggie restaurants in London, and this is not the one I will be going back to.

Pros: Location

Cons: Food, Service, Vegan options come as non-vegan

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pretentious place - Edit

Food is just average, nothing amazing and nothing new, same dishes and same recipes seen over and over.
Not enough vegan options especially in the dessert menu.
On top of that, staff can be pretty disrespectful and snobbish towards vegans, which is quite annoying and a bed surprise in a veggie place.

Cons: too pricey compared to quality, snobbish staff with no knowledge about w, not enough vegan options

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