Vegan ‘chicken shop’ Temple of Hackney was hatched out of love for KFC

Queues outsideTemple of Hackney. Picture: Ashley Norris

Queues outsideTemple of Hackney. Picture: Ashley Norris - Credit: Archant

The world’s first vegan “chicken shop” has hatched in Morning Lane, and it’s taking the country by storm.

Vegan 'chicken' at the Temple of Hackney

Vegan 'chicken' at the Temple of Hackney - Credit: Archant

Temple of Hackney opened its doors for the first time on Saturday to the delight of hordes of people who had queued around the block.

The small fast food joint is the brainchild of Rebecca McGuinness and her husband Pat O’Shea, both 29.

The couple, originally from Melbourne, decided to act after being shocked at the lack of vegan restaurants when they moved to England two years ago.

And Rebecca, who used to work in KFC, had always missed her fried chicken since turning vegan a decade ago. So she started making it using seitan instead of poultry from online recipes, and early last year launched street-food stall Temple of Seitan in Brick Lane.

Speaking after an exhausting first weekend, Pat told the Gazette their overwhelming success was because people were connecting with the “junk food” aspect of their dishes.

“It ticks the box,” he said. “Just because you’re vegan it doesn’t mean you are interested in a clean and healthy lifestyle. And it doesn’t mean you don’t like the flavour of meat. Fried chicken is probably a nice memory for people who had it as a kid.

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“As far as we know it’s the only one in the world. Chicken shops are a bit of an English thing, I’ve never seen so many as when I came here.”

The restaurant, which serves burgers, gluten free nuggets and “chicken” subs, is open from 12pm to 8pm Wednesday to Saturday. A new menu is being worked on and is expected to be launched next month.

Visit @TempleofSeitan on Twitter for more.