• dams.

'Pilgrimage' to the Temple of Hackney

Updated: Dec 18, 2019

Yesterday, Nisha and I met up in Hackney to try the fabled chicken alternative seitan. I must admit, whenever it was mentioned, I was really apprehensive about the name. I always took great care to pronounce it slowly; saying sey-tan. Probably the christian in me having a little moment...

Being a little spoiled by the Quorn "chicken" nuggets I keep buying, I knew I would have high expectations on texture and taste.

Temple of Hackney is a humble little store that boasts a menu of burgers, chick'n strips, pieces, wings, a wrap, mac & cheese and coleslaw. It's more of a take away joint, as the only seating is outside. It's only a few minutes walk from Hackney Central and is ironically right next to a butchers. (Ha!)

I ordered a two piece chick'n with fries and lemon pepper mayo, and I have to say, I was absolutely floored by the portion size. I mean, it was really substantial. The batter was very crispy and had a really great crunch to it. The seitan though, I wasn't a huge fan... It was a little rubbery for me and only got worse when it cooled. I had to dip every bite in the mayo and even popped to Tesco for an extra side of coleslaw to get the other piece down. I'm not knocking it, I'm just not into it. I wanted more of a shredded texture when I pulled it apart...

I don't really need to talk about the fries, because let's be honest, it's really hard to get fries wrong. The lemon pepper mayo was pretty good and quite creamy (like a finely milled hummus) I just wanted a stronger hint of citrus to come through... I was really ready to be blown away, but ended up feeling so-so.

Having said that, I wouldn't write the Temple of Hackney off, the burgers and the mac & cheese looked really good. If I went back, that's what I'd try next.

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London, UK.