222 Vegan Cuisine – West Kensington W14

Ok, here we go again! Another round, another race! 

Today kids, I am gonna tell you about that time I had a tinder date with a vegan guy that was probably on drugs. I presume this guy was on crack, because I had the impression we were on a race and he had to WIN! He was really handsome and tall and with good manners, but you know, I had the feeling he was taking the date a little bit too seriously… Literally, like a fucking job inteview! He was talking non-stop, like those people trying to sell you the whole Herbalife catalogue: telling me about how good he was and how many achievements he got. He was asking me questions as well but I felt he wasn’t really listening, because he was too focused on advertise himself too well. Imagine all this done by a really anxious person, so anxious that you are starting to feel it too…. I was really pumped up to go out with a vegan guy, but he was trying so hard that he killed it, and not in a good way. Oh God, and the compliments, you may think that I am a fucking bitch for saying this, but he was complimenting me too much! Like, everyone likes attention (and my friend always reminds me that also guys like compliments, so girls let’s throw some at them every now and then!), but can you imagine somebody calling you beautiful and sexy every ten minute for like two or three hours? I didn’t see him anymore, after the date, We met just one time, obviously but at least I got the chance to try one of the most famous vegan restaurants in London!

222 is a vegan small restaurant located in West Kensington. We went during the weekend and it gets easily over crowded, we had to wait for more than one hour, even if Mr Super Organized booked a table for two. The place itself is a rectangular room that’s probably more suitable for a café rather than a restaurant. The place was very busy and it seemed like they overbook, accepting also customers with no reservation. The tables are so attached to each other that you will probably have dinner with a stranger: we could clearly overhear other’s conversation. So, it’s not the best place for an intimate candlelit dinner! The place has basically no decor, apart from some long mirrors hung on the walls. I guess, the purpose is to give the impression of a bigger space, well mission failed darlin’.

We were definitely starving after more than an hour waiting outside so we decided to have a starter and some smoothies before our food. We chose the raw vegetables appetizer with three different dips: red bell peppers hummus, guacamole, and cashew cream. The texture of the sauces was intense and enveloping, the type you can easily binge on if you just have had tortillas instead of cucumber and zucchini sticks! I ordered detox smoothie, because I love my veggies, you know! The glass was gianormous, I wasn’t able to finish it, but anyway it was nothing special… I mean you can make the same stuff at home with a blender (no, a Vitamix is not required), spending way less money. My date had a protein cocoa smoothie. The taste was really chocolatey, but not super sweet like industrial milkshakes, the consistency was really smooth and silky, and  so thick it has its own thighs. Basically, it could have been a post workout meal, no doubts.

As main dish I had the mushroom and seitan stroganoff. It’s kind of a wintery dish, very hearty and super filling. The seitan had a strong meaty texture and was properly cooked. The cream was so delicate that was simply like a taste of heaven and it was full of fat meaty mushrooms. The dish had also a small cup of wild rice, even though as a proper italian I would have preferred some freshly baked bread to do some scarpetta with the delicious cream. 

The prices are slightly expensive, but totally worthy for the quality of the ingredients. This place is super recommended if you will be patient enough to wait! 

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The Gate Hammersmith – London W6

I guess the high expectations and the disappointment I had today are the motivation that convinced me to start a blog about vegan food; of course my friends needed to push me, because every good idea my mind creates, I convince myself it will never work out ffs. Do you ever have that feeling of having like, let’s say 3-4 really good ideas in your head that can make you possibly fucking rich or at least satisfied about yourself and then as soon you start drafting a plan on how to develop them, a little evil whisper start suggesting you that at the end of the day is not such a great idea and probably millions of people are already doing it, even better that what you are planning to do and nobody is ever gonna read what you are going to write….. AAAAAAHHHHHHH. Stop. Breathe. 

Anyway, let’s get back to us. I’m writing this because I went with some friends to a really cute kinda hipster very instagramable place in West London for a Sunday brunch. I love brunch, but I’m never really sure if I LIKE brunch or I like brunch because we are educated as young girls that if you brunch you are a cool independent woman that doesn’t need no man to cook breakfast for you, cos you just too busy meeting  your friends, having expensive mediocre food and gossiping. Yeah sorry, I grew up with Sex & the City and the Devil Wears Prada as role models. Feel kinda old now…

The Gate is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Hammersmith. The building has a particular entrance that gives the impression you are rather going to church. Even the smell in the hall doesn’t help, kind of Sunday-school like! The restaurant itself is on the first floor. The room is fairly quiet and doesn’t have many tables. The ceiling is very high with a large window that allows the whole restaurant to be lit without the need for artificial light. The furniture is very simple, kept to the bare minimum, something in between minimal, arte povera and wrought-iron; a style that lately seems to be a must in London, if you want your bar to be trendy (such an outdated world right?!) and make money at the same time. The décor has been completed with green leafy plants and industrial style naked bulbs hanging from the ceiling. The jazz music in the background makes the atmosphere enveloping and sophisticated, making you feel like a freelancer drinking black americano in Brooklyn. Well, this is actually one of my #lifegoals.

During the weekend, The Gate offers the Sunday Roast menu which includes two courses for around £20 and no roast, apparently. 

I had the artichoke terrine as a starter with a dried tomato paste and grilled bread. The whole thing left me somehow confused, it was too salty for my taste. Now, I love food but I’m not an expert (yet), especially about vegan food culture, so I was eating all the components of the dish separately and it was all kinda just cold, salty and plain, but maybe I was doing everything wrong! So I tried to eat everything together with the bread and the paste, it still it was not such a big thing to me. I have to say though, that the presentation of the dish was very pretty and the bread was freshly baked. 

As a main dish, I had the beetroot burger with fries and greens on the side and I can clearly say that this dish is not their forte. The little salad had fresh taste with the tasty Dijon mustard vinaigrette. The burger itself instead, was pretty rubbery: basically a pink chemical agglomerate of glue that can easily be found at the supermarket. The matchstick chips were so thin like angel hairs, on the plate more as a decoration. The staff was nice and polite however, the service was really slow, so slow we had to wait about two hours to have our main dishes, and the restaurant wasn’t even crowded. They completely forgot about us and thought we had finished our meal. After we reminded them we were still waiting for our food, they brought us some olives and a freshly baked baguette to compensate.

My friend ordered a huge stuffed onion and lemme tell you it was so plain that the only thing you could taste was the fork in your mouth. 

It wasn’t a bad experience, but few things were just not right. I don’t know if it deserves another try…. 

Please let me know if you ever tried The Gate in Hammersmith and if so, which dish to you suggest to try or avoid?

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