The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Gate, Newington Green

The Gate
11 Albion Rd
Newington Green
020 7923 9227

by Mama Lade

Ah, the joys of global warming. They tell me it's November, but we walked to the Gate café through sunbeams thick enough to make you fall in love. Hardly a challenge round here; Newington Green is brimming with young couples. Shell-shocked by the trench warfare of house-buying, they cling to each other a little desperately, hoping it will all be worth it. This cocktail of climate change and financially precarious romance must be what keeps the Gate busy; the befuddled locals don't notice the food. But Papa Lade and I are clear-eyed. After all we are renting, and love breakfast more than each other.

He chose the Full English (as he always does) announcing he wasn't going to eat it all so he wouldn't feel sick (as he also always does). It will surprise no-one that this plan failed, but this was due to the hunger of a hangover, not the quality of the breakfast, which was decidedly average. Actually, the bacon was quite good, but I wasn't feeling charitable. This is why: overcooked scrambled egg on dry bread that had never known the touch of butter. Lonely strips of smoked salmon huddled in the shadow of tasteless tomatoes beyond even the help of salt. An utterly pointless dusting of gritty herbs around the edge of the plate. Tinned pineapple in the "fresh" fruit salad. And a bill just shy of £30. Oh, the wanton abuse of innocents too terrified by interest rates to notice what's on their forks. But the atmosphere was oddly upbeat. The sun seemed to remind everyone of a time when they didn't know what subsidence was. Even Papa Lade, feeling sick, with HP on his nose, looked surprisingly loveable. The Gate, I realised, has its charms. But food is not one of them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such an accurate review. We live directly above this place and have given up on it. Although I do like certain things about the breakfast menu, the rest of the food they serve is really dull. The service is also terrible and has been since it opened last year.

1:04 PM, January 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also live close by and can report a marked improvement in the food. I think it has changed hands since the last review. I had an enormous cooked breakfast at the weekend for around a fiver. Very good quality indeed. Service was fine and will definitely be back.

9:52 PM, June 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really? In that case maybe we should give it another go... I do so want it to work. Anyone else tried it more recently?

12:35 PM, November 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have used The Gate on more than one occassion..up till December 2007 and I have never had a bad meal. Everything is cooked superbly and has been very tasty. As for the service, it has been tip-top and couldn't be faulted. I've never had to wait too long for my meal and the the staff are always very polite and friendly.

It's one of my favourite places to eat.

1:17 AM, January 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I've heard The Gate is under new managment and has been since I think around 4 months, I myself have been to The Gate on more than one occasion and every time its getting better. Lovley atmosphere, respectful staff,great food and even more better excellent house wine, nice garden for socialising with friends, good prices, my opinion why not??

11:57 PM, February 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard too that the Gate is getting better the whole time. You can enjoy a drink in our well-appointed bar or perhaps choose a dish from our ever-changing list of specials. The staff are so efficient and attractive too! When I'm in N16, I always head for the Gate.

3:15 PM, February 07, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When im in need of a good feast or a high quality breakfast too heal last nights hangover, there is only one place i can think of to head towards.........The Gate in Newington Green, the staff the food even the Manager are all of more then welcoming, surounded by a warm atmosphere, with Gypsy Kings playing in the background.............i couldn't wish for anything more. keep up the hard work.

10:55 PM, February 10, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love the spirit of objective anonymous commentary..

11:35 PM, February 10, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right. After such a slew of disinterested enthusiasm I thought it only right to give the Gate a second chance. Papa Lade and I accordingly sallied forth this Saturday just gone, which as you may recall was equally as sunny as our orginal venture. Ah me. Once again the atmosphere in the Gate was upbeat and cheery. Our waitress was not only prompt, efficient and kind but rather pretty as well. I decided on the eggs benedict. Papa Lade, with his endearing tendency to cling to familiar paths no matter how unsuccessful they may have (repeatedly) proved themselves to be in the past, once again chose the full english. The hollandaise on my eggs benedict was correctly tangy and lavish. His sausage was a proper old school banger. All augured well. And yet, and yet. My eggs were strangely tasteless, having I think been poached in some sort of unnecessary poaching device. Papa did not even try his, so swift was the onset of the inevitable "feeling sick" (see above). Though I taunted him (natch) I did not blame him, as it too seemed to have been fried in some sort of unneccesary frying device - which did not bode well. Substandard eggs unnecessarily cooked are trying, but there were two more elements which really made me cross. One: in the corner of my plate was a slimy little pile of tasteless "salad". This kind of dreary, corporate touch is a dead giveaway that the person responsible is mindlessly ticking boxes, not paying attention to how things actually taste. Two: Papa Lade's chips were dry, floury little sticks of awfulness. I'm sorry, but there is just no excuse for crap chips. The food has definitely improved, and even Papa Lade's sad, sickly little face could not spoil the cheery, relaxed atmosphere, but in my opinion the Gate still has some way to go before it lives up to the gushing tributes above...

2:06 PM, February 11, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes thats right, there has been
big improvments in The Gate looking at the past so im sure its going to get better, well i very much enjoy the food there and the staff are all very polite and yes attractive too..even though all the criticisms, in my eyes its a great place also noone and nothing can be perfect even though this place is the closest it can get for me......

12:24 PM, February 14, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lady Mama lade,You are the awful one to write such an awful critism about the food cooked and served in the Gate. I am a regular customer there and enjoy the food dearly. One: I love the salad and think someone who disapproves has the most awful tastebuds, Two: I love the chips and just think you have been eating to much chips that have been drenched in fatty oil to consider the Gates chips dry. Also just one piece of advice to you, rude lady, when critisizing please lets not be humiliating and disrespecful as there is a big line between the two. Thankyou!

9:53 PM, February 17, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How dare Mama Lade (if that really is your name) say those things! The Gate is by far the greatest place to have breakfast in Hackney if not London. There can be no criticism because everything they do is perfect. Anyone who disagrees is either mad or in the pay of Prince Philip or both.

11:46 AM, February 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:25 AM, March 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear. I really didn't mean to be humiliating and disrespectful. I was more aiming for lightly cheeky. Wryly dry, if you will. And I do accept that many things about the Gate are very lovely, that they are trying hard and that the food has definitely improved. In fact I have even said so, sometimes twice. But there remain some serious flaws and it would be wrong of a reviewer not to review them. Surely there must be a third way between dry chips (and not in a wry way) and chips "drenched in fatty oil"? I don't want to mock, I want to help - to guide towards betterment, tastiness and improved poaching methods. Surely together we can build a brave new breakfast world? (Thanks for the brown envelope prince phil)

9:39 AM, March 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've lived nearby for around 6 mohts and had never visited - until this morning. Had an enjoyable breakfast - food was nice enough, nothing amazing but definitely value for money. Really nice atmosphere though and I'll defintely be back

5:57 PM, April 05, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They changed the menu for the better, they do very nice mezes that you can enjoy with your drink but if your hungry there is very nice medeteranian dishes that we loved.I also racommended to my friends and family which they also liked alot specialy their sunday roast that you can enjoy with your loved ones.

7:33 PM, April 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm intrigued... have walked past this place many times because The Accoustic Cafe (pretty good) is round the corner, albeit slightly further from my flat, and Stoke Newington Church Street (where breakfasts are excellent all the way along) is just a short hope north.
Maybe I should give it a go.

2:58 PM, March 18, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoy the Gate, its like a pub but also serves up great food, its a lovely atmosphere for friends and family. Seatings nice, food is great staff are polite. I will definatly be a regular.

6:18 PM, May 06, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i looooove gate everyting so lovely food muzik and the price.

11:04 PM, May 09, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loooove every thing obaut THE GATE food,muzik,service,price,and very nice menegar he das nok talk to much but allways simile every one work in gate so lovely thanyou for been there for us gate.

11:27 PM, May 09, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have been away for same time and i did missed this area alot and i missed gate last week i had a chance to be in newingtongreen and had my breakfast at the gate it was very nice and importently staff are very kind and like all time smile is there tankyou gate

8:35 PM, February 01, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Modern, refreshing, relaxing and friendly. I had the best kofte ( lamb mince meatballs) in a long time! Fantastic keep it up guys!

6:29 PM, May 20, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cafe gate is my best in the erea food,service and price is allways good and atmosfere is make you relax tankyou gate

8:23 PM, June 26, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Gate has the best ever ever ever homemade beef burger, I have never tasted something sooo awesome! Keep it up. Ow and let's not forget the banoffie pie! Its a must!

3:40 PM, October 13, 2011  
Anonymous Mzungu said...

I ate the Big breakfast last week and it was pretty good for the price. I've paid a lot more and got a lot less. god portion size and well even chips as well.
It's not the best in Stoke Newingotn but it isn't the worst either.

6:09 PM, May 08, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thakyou every body who write on our side its very very help full for us please write every good and bad think about our services i read them to help our services thankyou again the gate

4:47 PM, May 10, 2012  

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