Temple of Seitan/Hackney
Address: 10 Morning Lane, E9 6NA, London, United Kingdom
It was a dim and overcast day. The rain began to burst free from the grasp of the clouds, like a kid, desperate to use the toilet. Trickling down in light spars and coating the ground with its tears. – I know! Not the best of thoughts. But, nevertheless, the scene was set, and all that was missing was the dramatic lightening and thunderstorm beat to sound my arrival. I was here. I had finally found the Temple of Seitan.
Excuse the overzealous introduction, not! – I just wanted to take a dramatic style to this as the name is too creative not to. For those who are not aware of what Seitan, pronounced (Say-than) is; it is wheat gluten, which comes from washing wheat. This is a popular substitute for meat in the Vegan and vegetarian world as it mimics the texture of meat very well. It can also come as an alternative for Tofu, for those who wish to lower their consumption of soy.
I called on my trusty partner to accompany me on this trip (Say, ‘Hello Alex!’) and so we found our way there. When we arrived, the rain had settled and the shop was quite packed with a queue leading outside of the store. The layout was much like a normal chicken shop, where you simply order over the counter and collect your meal to go. The menu was beaming above me and the options were too difficult to choose from. I did have to ask myself for a moment, if this was definitely vegan as the menu threw me off for a bit. There was no ‘vegan’ logo/sign and everything was literally referred to as, ‘chicken’, ‘bacon’, ‘Mac n cheese’ etc. Nothing said alternative/substitute. And knowing myself, and the mistakes I’ve made in the past, I might have just brought Alex and I to a none vegan restaurant. I quickly took the form of a fool and asked the person next to me, “Excuse me, this is all vegan right!?”, they giggled and said yes!
Phew! I was relieved and ready to place my order. You could definitely say I pigged out, as my order was not for an amateur;
Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Temple Spicy Burger
2 Hot wings
Alex had the hot wings and fries. I (with no shame!) had the rest. (Talk about fat shaming yourself) I was keen to dig in and take a bite. Luckily, there were a couple of picnic benches outside the store and two seats were free for us both. I sat down and instantly did what food bloggers do. Take a shit load of pictures before I ate any of it. I started with the Mac ‘n’ Cheese, which was absolutely creamy and almost as I remembered it. It wasn’t overpowered by the vegan cheese and had a lovely cream balance. Secondly, I bit into the Temple Spicy Burger. This was also well done. The jalapeño mayo sauce is what done it for me. I wouldn’t say I was 100% impressed by the seitan, but I wasn’t opposed to it either. The crispy texture on the outside of the fillet was great and nicely season. From what I could recall, it wasn’t KFC standards, but it was a contender nonetheless. I was now left with the hot wings and from what Alex had already said to me, I wasn’t totally sure if I wanted to try. Now you see, Alex practically eats everything and rarely doesn’t like something. But this time round, he didn’t seem too keen on his choice. When I tried it, I wasn’t completely sold either, but it was still not bad. I felt that the hot sauce made the fillets too soggy and the buffalo sauce needed to have a better flavour to it, seeing that this type of ingredient highly depends on flavour.
I enjoyed my meals and was happy for the experience. I can see this developing greatly in the future and new technologies and discoveries will bring the best out of Seitan. All in all I’d give the entire experience a 7.5 out of 10, as it did wow me in some aspects. I loved the fact that everything was well thought out, from the packaging, to the set up. They even spelled my name correctly on the receipt without me having to spell it for them! (They put Starbucks to shame) This to me goes a long way. Their containers were biodegradable and made from veg compost and they also only served drinks, which was ethically sourced. I will only hope to see other meat alternatives on the menu in the future as I can see this really going far and possibly becoming a leader in the vegan fast food market.
Have you been here before? Tell us what you had and what were your thoughts?Click to view slideshow.
This post first appeared on Vegan Abroad, please read the originial post: here