Over the last few months, London vegans have been going crazy because they can now eat chicken all week long – without having to kill anything, all thanks to Temple of Seitan.

Hackney Central
10 Morning Ln,
London E9 6NA

The company opened a permanent shop in Hackney Central earlier this year with an entirely vegan menu. It’s also ironically located next to Hackney Meat Centre (best goat in East London). Seitan is a food made from vital wheat gluten and like tofu, it takes the flavour of whatever spices you mix with it. It’s nearly ¾ protein (chicken is about ¼), so an excellent source if you don’t eat meat. It’ll probably kill you if you have Celiacs but at least you’ll save yourself from Salmonella poisoning.

“You can also get popcorn bites, hot wings, mac N cheese and coleslaw.”

Temple of Seitan has nailed down a great recipe for turning this gluten-based meal into a deep-fried chicken substitute. We went down to have a taste and for the record, we eat meat every so often so can give a good comparison to the real stuff. We ordered a spicy tower burger, a twist wrap, 2 fries and 2 colas. You can also get popcorn bites, hot wings, mac N cheese and coleslaw. There’s a lot of hype online saying that the deep-fried seitan tastes just like chicken, it doesn’t, but it does taste delicious. It is, however, the closest you’ll get to the cruelty-free chicken without growing the stuff in a lab (coming soon, can’t fucking wait). The texture of the ‘meat’ is exactly like chicken and the batter has the perfect amount of crispiness.

The burger was great. I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference between it and a chicken one if I was pissed. The rest of the ingredients help it to taste a lot like the meaty fast-food equivalent. Everything from the soggy bit of lettuce to the cheap bun makes it taste like that amazing trash that everyone seems to love.

The vegan cheese tasted and looked just like those cheap cheddar slices you can buy in 10-packs, the jalapenos were good too. The ‘meat’ in the wrap was just as good as in the burger but there wasn’t enough of it. It tasted quite similar to a KFC wrap, just nicer.

The chips were brilliant, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. As for prices you can get a temple burger, chips and a cola for a decent £8 (by East London standards that is pretty decent, trust me) or get fucked in the ass buying some £3 coleslaw. Unfortunately, the drink was tiny (her hands aren’t that big) and didn’t taste as nice as the original Coca-Cola. It’s overall a bit more expensive than your average chicken shop, but it’s vegan and you can make a Sriracha/vegan mayo mix for your chips. Temple of Seitan doesn’t try to make it fancy but sets a new bar for vegan fast food. Even if you eat meat, head on down and give it a try, it’s tasty.