The Gate – Angel

Reviewed on August 2nd, 2013 by Dina

Sometimes, we take it for granted when we live close to our friends! The regular meet ups, popping over to each other’s houses and going for that cup of tea. But when they move away to a different area, then it makes us realise how much we miss those casual get togethers.

After a couple of months of not seeing my close friend, we thought that it’s best to put a date in the diary and go out for lunch. The vegetarian restaurant, The Gate, was chosen!

The Gate is on the same location that used to be Med Kitchen, before it closed down. The dining area felt spacious and there seemed to be a lounge area on the upper level with comfy sofas. Just like with Med Kitchen, the open kitchen area makes up part of the restaurant.

The Gate InteriorThe GateThe Gate Interior 2The Gate Butternut GnocchiThe Gate Indo-Iraqi Potato CakeThe Gate Aubergine SchnitzelThe Gate Aubergine Schnitzel 2The Gate Thai Vegetable CurryThe Gate Apple, Cinnamon and Blackberry Crumble

The Gate does exquisite vegetarian and vegan food and also has a lot of gluten free options. All the dishes are so different. We were spoilt for choice with the menu. The Plantain Fritters first took our fancy but then after speaking to the staff, we changed our mind. The only reason for this was that the fritters were made with minced sultanas, which would make them a little sweet.

Both of the starters that we chose were delicious. The Indo-Iraqi Potato Cake was big, round, seeded and had so much flavour. It was made with potato, courgettes, baby corn, carrots, peas and red onion. It was delicately spiced. The chutney that the potato cake was served with was sweet and sour tamarind and it was also topped with an apple and coriander chutney. It was a truly delightful starter.

The other impressive starter was the Butternut Gnocchi. This gnocchi was not like any that I have had before. Gone away with the stodgy, dull, heavy gnocchi and instead, The Gate’s gnocchi was a real delight. The mashed butternut squash was covered with a thin coating. The gnocchi was in a cream sauce and also came with a roasted tomato salsa and thin shavings of Twineham Grange cheese. The Butternut Gnocchi was a really tasty dish and even though it had a cream sauce, it did not feel heavy.

After we had finished our starter dishes, we decided after a short while to then order the main dishes. Unfortunately, we did not know that the kitchen had closed for the afternoon and would not reopen until the evening service. After talking to our waiter, he said that he would ask the chef is he could make our main dishes for us. It was really nice of the chef to reopen the kitchen, just to make us our food. The staff were friendly throughout our time at The Gate. Even though, they had closed for the afternoon, they let us continue with our meal and made us feel very welcome.

Again, we were thoroughly impressed with our main dishes, both taste wise and presentation wise. The Aubergine Schnitzel was two long thick slices of aubergine encasing roasted red peppers, pesto, apple wood smoked cheddar and tomatoes. The aubergine was coated in a rough bread crumb coating. All the vegetables were cooked to perfection and all the natural flavours came through. The potato dauphinoise that the schnitzel was served with was great too. One of the things that made this dish that extra bit special was the pan fried kale. It had such an intense flavour.

The Thai Vegetable Curry was a mild curry. It had a lemony flavour going through it. The curry was made with mange tout, baby corn, mushrooms and beansprouts. It came with wild and basmati rice and a small dish of pineapple and chilli salsa. The curry contained a lot of vegetables and the portion size was fairly big.

By the time it came to us ordering our dessert, the evening service had already begun and the restaurant was getting busy. The Apple, Cinnamon and Blackberry Crumble had the natural taste of the fruit and not too much sugar had been added to the fruit. There was a thin layer of crumble topping. The dessert was served with vanilla ice cream. The tartness of the fruit contrasted with the crumble and the sweet ice cream.

The Gate is a wonderful restaurant, offering fantastic quality food and great service. A great deal of care and attention is given to the presentation of the food making it look very pretty. But the presentation does not take anything away from the taste of the food; the quality of ingredients speak for themselves!

The Gate, 370 St John Street, Angel, London, EC1V 4NN

Rating: ★★★★★

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Dolcetto – Angel

Reviewed on March 8th, 2013 by Dina

As you walk up Chapel Market, Dolcetto is a great unexpected find! The atmosphere is warm and it is one of those places that looks inviting and makes you want to go in.

The restaurant area is made up of beige chairs and wooden tables and has an open kitchen with the pizza oven in full view. The red brick walls give it a rustic feel but it also feels really modern with the funky framed pictures.

The Bruschetta Tradizionale was two thin slices of toasted bread, topped with plenty of plenty of chopped tomatoes. The Calamari Fritti starter was great. You could tell that the calamari was fresh as it was not at all chewy or rubbery. The deep fried calamari was served with some salad and a tangy tartare sauce.

DolcettoDolcetto Bruschetta TradizionaleDolcetto InteriorDolcetto Pizza VegetarianaDolcetto Roast PotatoesDolcetto Risotto ai PorciniDolcetto TiramisuDolcetto Chocolate Fudge CakeDolcetto Interior 2

The pizza menu was quite quirky. Some of the pizzas had been named after cars, such as Ferrari F40 and Lamborghini Gallardo. We went for something less adventurous and had the Pizza Vegetariana. We weren’t sure which vegetables to expect as the menu only said seasoned vegetables. This vegetarian pizza had a crisp base and was topped with big slices of courgettes, peppers, olives and mushrooms. It was nice that the pizza came already sliced, which made it a lot easier to eat.

My favourite dish had to be the Risotto ai Porcini. It had a wonderful rich flavour to it. Lots of sliced mushrooms together with the creamy rice made it a hearty dish. A really great side dish was the roast potatoes. These were absolutely perfect: crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. They were definitely very moreish.

The tiramisu was lovely and creamy and just what you’d expect from such a dessert. Layers of cream sandwiched between the sponge layers. The chocolate fudge cake was a big portion and had a dense texture.

Dolcetto, 18 Chapel Market, Islington, London, N1 9EZ

Rating: ★★★★☆

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Lakorn Thai – Angel

Reviewed on November 11th, 2011 by Dina

Lakorn Thai is an average Thai restaurant close to the Sadlers Wells Theatre in Islington. The food is not outstanding nor is it bad.

The restaurant seemed to have two dining areas: one close to the entrance and one through an archway. Lakorn Thai was nicely decorated and was also quite light due to its cream interior.

On this particular evening, the restaurant was quite cold even though we were given a table near a heater. While I was waiting for my friends to arrive, there were at least two different groups of people who left the restaurant without dining there. The reason that they gave was that the place was too cold.

The selection of food that we had was the vegetable spring rolls, vegetable tempura and vegetarian Pad Thai. The food was brought out surprisingly fast, not long after we had ordered.

The spring rolls were nice and crispy. The tempura included broccoli, mushrooms and peppers. The batter was light and the tempura tasted good with the dipping sauce.

The Pad Thai was slightly disappointing. It was too sweet and did not have any tangy flavours. The noodles were cooked well and the dish had big chunks of tofu, egg and beansprouts. Even though we asked for extra vegetables in the Pad Thai, this request did not seem to have been met.

The staff were friendly and gave us service with a smile. There were a couple of communication issues though, as a few of the staff did not really understand English very well. So when we asked them questions, they just smiled politely and then another member of staff would come and step in to deal with our query.

Lakorn Thai, 199 Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TJ

Rating: ★★½☆☆

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