Review of 'Temple of Seitan (Delivery)'

temple_of_seitan.jpg With the lockdown continuing every week we treat ourselves with a delivery. We do try to mix things up a bit and try something new each time but often we end up falling onto old favourites: Papa John's when we want pizza, local The Monkey Temple if we would like Indian or our local pub, the Duchess of Cambridge if we fancy a Sunday roast dinner. It is a bit of indulgence that is a minor solace in not being able to actually get out and do things.

For many years we have heard of the famous “Temple of Seitan” in Hackney who serve up delicious Vegetarian fried “chicken” (or “chick'n” as they call it). The whole idea was quite interesting in our times where we are being encouraged to eat less meat. The term “seitan” is used to describe cooked wheat gluten which has a tofu-like texture but firmer. I have to say that I am a bit of a sceptic as I figure if you want to not eat meat perhaps you should be eating vegetarian-specific dishes rather than trying to re-create meat dishes? I can see, however, that this is at least partially an attempt at having meat eaters switch to non-meat food without having to sacrifice what they like about meat. This week as we were searching around for the “delivery of the week” we noticed that “Temple of Seitan” has opened a local location in Hammersmith and so are in our delivery area for “Uber Eats”. Now was the time to see whether they lived up to hype: Just how good would this meatless-fast food be?

The menu is quite long featuring two meat-a-like ingredients: “beef style patty” hamburgers (from £7.00) and “chik'n” wings (from £6.00). There are a number of sides as well including their famous “Mac N Cheese” (£4), “Temple Fries” (£1.50), “Temple Tots” (£2.50; “tater tots” or, if you don't know what they are, deep fried small cylindrical shaped hash browns like you might get from McDonalds, these are childhood favourite of mine), and coleslaw (£2.50). They are obviously attempting to duplicate what you might find at any deep-fried chicken shop complete with the ubiquitous wing sauces: Classic, range, BBQ, etc. They have a number of “meal deals” so we picked the “12 Classic Wings served in a sharing bucket, with 4 sauces and your choice of 3 large sides. Perfect for 4 people.” (£24), picking as our sides the “Mac N' Cheese”, “Coleslaw” and “Temple Tots”.

The Order

About 45 minutes after we ordered our friendly Uber Eats driver arrived on his bicycle (well deserving an extra tip) with our bucket which came in two large-ish paper bags. We were a bit nervous as we had read reviews of “Temple of Seitan” not always delivering what was ordered but in this case they got it spot on. First impressions were very positive: Huge portions of “wings”, Mac N' Cheese sprinkled with “bacon”, fresh crispy coleslaw and piping hot “tots”.

Inside the Chick'n

Of course, the big question is about the “chick'n” wings. We found these quite convincing with a firm texture, quite herby and a crispy coating. I needed the dipping sauces for a bit more flavour but, generally, quite tasty. The coleslaw was fresh and crispy but otherwise unmemorable. The tots were perfectly cooked, not at all soggy, piping hot and worked well with the supplied dips.

The Plate

It was the Mac N' Cheese that was not quite right for us. The “bacon” bits on top were delicious and tasted VERY bacon-y but the pasta and sauce was a bit too cloying for our liking, extremely stodgy and leaving a funny taste in the mouth afterwards that was not entirely pleasant. In fact, we did not even finish the small container the “large” order was in, putting it in the fridge for another day (to be clear: for delivery we generally order larger sizes so we can have the meal over several days, so here we put half the “wings” in the fridge alongside the mac n' cheese).

So, a bit of a mix page: We liked the wings though not necessarily as a meat substitute, as a dish in their own right with a different flavour provide, but the Mac N' Cheese was a disappointment. At £24 it was a bit expensive and on par with what you would pay for the actual meat equivalent. Will it replace meat? If you couldn't eat meat or are determined not to, I would say yes but if you are a meat eater, perhaps stick to that…at least for now, or try this for something different, after all, we should be doing what we can to decrease the amount of meat in our diets for the sake of the planet.

Update - February 26, 2021

The day following our delivery we reheated the “Mac N' Cheese” and found it tasted a lot better leading us to think when we first received our order it had not had the flour cooked out of the dish and by re-heating we fixed that problem. So, the dish is not as much of a disaster as we thought.

Here is a photo of their obviously temporary signage…


Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2021-02-19

Cuisine: Vegetarian

Address: 286 King St, Hammersmith, London W6 ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Ravenscourt Park

Location: London (England) - Hammersmith



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