The Gate (Hammersmith)
- 020 8748 6932
- 51 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith
- W6 9QL
- Nearby Tube Stops: Hammersmith Station
This is an entirely vegetarian restaurant which does several vegan dishes, all clearly indicated. It's really, really good. Starters are things like salad with three types of artichoke (globe, Jerusalem and Japanese), wasabi potato cakes, or some cunning thing with deep-fried sweet potato fritters; main courses might be Thai vegetable curry or a pumpkin and courgette risotto. There are several desserts, including a selection of home-made ice creams and some vegan options. The whole menu is cycled once every five or six weeks, and soup and pasta dishes change daily. The rocket and parmesan side-salad has survived several menu rotations and comes highly recommended. There is an extensive wine list, and some notable non-alcoholic options, including fresh lemonade. The cheese plate is well-balanced and the cheese is served at just the right temperature.
Overall, the quality of the food is absolutely excellent, and more than justifies the price, which is slightly wallet-denting - expect to pay about �30pp for three courses and wine. This is definitely a restaurant where non-vegetarians won't wish for a meat option on the menu.
I was rather disappointed by the risotto I ordered on my birthday (July 2004). The rice could have done with a few more minutes' cooking; it was on the "unpleasantly undercooked" side of "al dente". I only got a few forkfuls in before realising that it wasn't getting any better and giving up on it. That's the only time I've not been completely satisfied with the food I've had here, though. --Kake
The restaurant is situated on the first floor of Temple Lodge, once the residence of the painter Brangwyn, now an Anthroposophical church. The entrance to the restaurant is inside the courtyard of the Lodge and at the top of a flight of stairs up the side of the building. Five minutes walk from Hammersmith Station.
50 covers, reservations recommended.
The head chef is really sweet; I sent him a note one time we were here and the waiter said he was too shy to come out and speak, but I got an email a few months later saying how much he appreciated it :)
A vegetarian friend commented that the Thai Curry was "nice, but crying out for some diced mutton" - at the time of this update it was off the menu so this claim could not be put to a second opinion :-)
Trivia: the vegetarian parmesan used at the restaurant (which is delicious, incidentally) can be purchased from Bushwacker Wholefoods on King Street, Hammersmith. If you've ever tried to get hold of vegetarian parmesan, you'll know how useful this information is...