Vegan Christmas Dinner at The Gate
One of the reasons why I'm happy I'm not a freelancer any more are office Christmas parties! I know that some of you dread yours, and truly understand how annoying it must be to have to spend an evening with people whom you dislike and are already forced to see every day. But I love my team and always look forward work outings...especially if they are held somewhere as nice as The Gate in Islington.
The restaurant itself is cosy and elegant at the same time - that elusive combination that many places try so hard to achieve. We started out with some rich, tasty wine, having a look at the Christmas menu, which had more than a few vegan choices. Everyone in my office is vegan (if you're new to this blog, I work in PR at animal rights organisation PETA) and once the waitress realised this, she brought out an entirely vegan menu for all of us to peruse. It got complicated from there - having so much choice isn't something we're used to!
I ordered a smoked tofu starter which was one of the tastiest dishes I've ever had. It came with a vegan pesto and a seaweed salad, both of which added to its light yet delightful flavour. It wasn't one of those itty-bitty starters, but I desperately wished there was more of it.
For the main, almost everyone in the office had the potato-and-mushroom rotolo, but as I'm not a huge potato fan (yes, I know) I went for the Thai curry (photo nr 2 above) with plantains and wild rice, and it was absolutely lovely. Spicy to the right point of it, creamy yet light, and bursting with flavour.
Dessert got complicated again. Everyone was choosing between an apple crumble and a cheesecake, and I ended up choosing the cheesecake. The reasoning behind this was that often if you're visiting a vegan-friendly restaurant or going to the house of a friend who has gone to the effort of creating a vegan dessert for you, nine time out of ten you'll end up with a sorbet or an apple crumble - never will you ever find yourself in front of a cheesecake. This is not anyone's fault, vegan cheese is just not that easy to make. The Gate's vegan cheesecake (top photo) was made with cashew cheese and would have been just that tiny bit more decadently delicious if that was chocolate on top, not prune jam, but was nonetheless absolutely gorgeous.
I was expecting the food to be nice - what I wasn't expecting was to have one of the tastiest meals I've had since moving to London. Visit The Gate for a beautiful, flavoursome meal that is both filling and delicious. And if you're vegetarian or vegan, bring your omnivore friends here!