Hackney chip shop Sutton and Sons reopens Graham Road branch with vegan-only menu

Danny Sutton of Sutton and Sons.

Danny Sutton of Sutton and Sons. - Credit: Archant

Famed Hackney chip shop Sutton and Sons opened a vegan branch this week – and the fishmonger behind it has told of his own attempt at a plant-based diet.

Danny Sutton, 44, runs three award-winning chippies in Hackney and Islington.

The son of a Ridley Road butcher, he’s not the obvious person to venture into veganism. But on Thursday the branch in Graham Road – which originally opened in 2016 – relaunched with no fish in sight.

After the success of its “Veganuary” specials, Sutton and Sons rolled out an animal-free menu at its Stoke Newington and Essex Road branches. But the high demand for fish-free alternatives led Danny and his wife Hana to go a step further, transforming their newest shop into an entirely vegan restaurant.

Their best-selling “fish” is made from banana blossom, a south-east Asian ingredient, which is steeped in their secret marinade to create a fish flavour. It resembles the texture of fish when fried, and tastes similar to artichoke, Danny reckons.

“The reason we chose it was because it is a natural product,” he told the Gazette. “It’s also one of your five a day!”

Other chip shop favourites include battered sausage – now using soya protein instead of meat – and homemade vegan tartare sauce.

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Danny admitted he didn’t know how the shop’s new direction would go down at first, but said he’d been “gobsmacked” by the popularity of the vegan menu since it launched. People have travelled from as far as the States and Stockholm to try his famous fish-free meals.

Despite his background in meat and fish – his dad Jonny ran a butcher’s stall in Ridley Road Market, and Danny started out as a fishmonger in Stoke Newington High Street – he even went vegan himself over the summer.

It was all in the name of research, and to get an idea of what ingredients worked well together.

While he mostly cooked at home, he admitted to having a soft spot for vegetarian and vegan favourite Mildred’s in Dalston Square.

He said the elder Mr Sutton had supported him through his vegan venture, and that Jonny has become partial to his son’s “fish” burger and chips.

Have you tried the vegan menu? What did you think? Let us know: gazette.letters@archant.co.uk