London’s first vegan ‘chicken shop’.
‘Vegan chicken shop’ might be an oxymoron verging on the ridiculous, but it’s now a thing and it’s in Hackney (obviously). If you’re scoffing (and not in the stuffing-your-face sense) then stop. It’s about time the meat-free crowd got a taste of one of the city’s greasy glories. And say it quietly, but Temple of Hackney might even convince a few carnivores that delicious junk food doesn’t have to involve dead animals.
This is the sequel to a street stall called Temple of Seitan – seitan being a meaty vegan substance made of wheat gluten. Moving to permanent premises, they’ve sadly ditched the pun, but what they’ve lost in Seitanic majesty they’ve more than made up for with a proper chicken shop-style atmosphere. There’s no indoor seating, no booze and plenty of bustle. It’s bright and spartan with blaring music and a rich, greasy smell. In fact it’s like every other chicken shop from Enfield to Croydon, except hipper, whiter and totally animal-product-free.
The menu on the wall lists seitan served in various ways, plus gluten-free soya nuggets and vegan sides. If you’ve never tried seitan, it’s tougher than tofu, and chewier and less stringy than your average chicken wing – and of course bone-free. Since no sane person gets fried chicken for the high-quality meat anyway, the substitution is pretty irrelevant. What matters is the batter: it’s light, salty, peppery and moreish. Served popcorn-style or in a sub with chilli sauce and vegan mayo, this totally hits the chicken spot.
The roast roll – seitan, flavoured but not battered – was also a winner. Add zingy red slaw with parsley stalks or vegan mac’n’cheese with smoky seitan bacon cubes and you’ve got a properly delicious, not-at-all-wholesome dinner. This temple isn’t just for the vegan faithful. Hail, seitan!
|Venue name:||Temple of Hackney|
10 Morning Lane
|Transport:||Hackney Central Overground|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks: around £20.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4 / 5
- 5 star:3
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:1
Great concept for Vegan food. However they really need proper seating and the wait times can be particularly long. Food is average.
I have to give props to this place for making fake chicken taste like chicken. The texture is great the flavour is great and it's super filling. What more could you ask for! The sauce on the burgers eveb tasted like your standard mayo. GI vegans of 2017! I recommend this for a nice little lunch well actually a big lunch really. Golden and delicious chips as well which are ready so quickly so you don't have to wait long at all!
I am not a vegetarian but places like this make me consider it! What's next? 0 calorie fries! Let's hope so! Thank you for the good food and I hope others try it out, be it veggie or not veggie!
Snap up exclusive discounts in London
Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...