Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Chocolate and Cherry Fondant at the Gate

Dad made a flying visit through London last night so we took him to the Gate, reputedly London's best vegetarian restaurant. Despite my familiarity with the "cuisine" of the little town I spent most of my school years, where my parents still live, I was shocked to explain what hommous and falafel were to him. If I inherited my passion for good food from either parent I thought it was more likely to be him. Now I know it's neither. They both enjoy food, but generally care little about what it is. Though it was my father's insistence on home-grown, made from scratch food and my mother's compliance with fairly regular baking that gave me my love for ingredients and creating I guess.

It's been a while since we ate at the Gate and last time I was a little disappointed with the quality overall, which perhaps explains why the booking I made was a little unnecessary afterall. If you, too, have stayed away based on previous disappointing visits then on the back of our delicious meal last night I urge you to give it another go. It's still not guaranteed every dish will be delicious but some are divine and the worst is just good so a safe bet really. The arancini and the cheese and onion tart were fantastic. The dessert list offered myriad options I would have liked to have tried, unfortunately not the same for my father who was only sold on the chocolate and cherry fondant with creme fraiche. So we both had it. Of course I had to ask first what chocolate it was made from. Usually with a fondant it is less important than, say, with a tart or a mousse when the dessert is ruined by lesser quality chocolate. It was made with Callebaut. Our server got extra points for saying that Valhrona was his favourite though. It's nice to know people working in food know enough about food to know the difference.

It was divine and I'm glad I didn't opt for sharing. Properly soft sponge breaking to reveal warm, melting chocolateness and the surprise of a cherry soaked in kirsch with every other mouthfull (it only took me about eight bites I should add!). The Gate has won me back.

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