Temple of Seitan: 'Proper vegan fast food full of addictive flavours'
- Credit: Sally Patterson
The days of being vegetarian and pining for junk food beyond a bag of chips and a soggy bean burger are well and truly gone.
Temple of Seitan, in Parkway, Camden, is proper fast-food – a filling, guilty pleasure packed with addictive flavours.
To stop some readers running straight to Google, I'll save you the trouble. Seitan is "a chewy protein-rich food made from wheat gluten".
Doesn’t sound great? Done in the wrong way it can be a squidgy mess, but done in the right way (as it is here), seitan ticks all the right fast-food buttons.
You might be forgiven for thinking that Temple Of Seitan is an example of the restaurant’s name coming first, so good is it, but I don't think that would be fair.
Rebecca McGuinness moved to London from Australia in 2015 and set to work trying to recreate the fast-food she loved before becoming vegan. A Hackney restaurant opened in 2017 and the brand now has multiple outlets.
Ordered via touch screen, there are substitutes for beef burgers, bacon and chicken, stuffed into buns with pickles, mayo and scraps of salad.
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The Temple Burger is a satisfying fillet in a bun and the BBQ Bacon has substantial burger bite.
The Nashville Hot, in particular, has a nice bit of spice and the flavours work together perfectly as you break through into the "chick'n".
The burgers are all accompanied by classic mixtures of (vegan) mayo, (vegan) bacon, lettuce, pickles, (vegan) coleslaw etc.
I sometimes get asked why vegetarian food has to be made to mimic meat-based food. The answer, of course, is that these flavcoms work. If they didn’t, billions of us wouldn’t put our snouts in the trough every day.
There are bites and buckets too of course. The Temple Wings may lack the delicious, unadulterated filth of the best independent chicken shops but they are more than a match for KFC's sterile product.
I would struggle to tuck into this feast every day, but as a junk food treat it hits the mark.