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Vegan 'chicken shop' opening in London prompts mix of anger and bemusement

Temple of Hackney is thought to be first in world to serve meat-free fried 'chicken'

Lucy Pasha-Robinson
Thursday 19 January 2017 00:24 GMT
Temple of Hackney is thought to be the world's first vegan "fried chicken" shop
Temple of Hackney is thought to be the world's first vegan "fried chicken" shop (Facebook)

A vegan fried "chicken" shop has opened in London prompting a full spectrum of reactions from fast-food lovers in the capital.

Delighted crowds descended on Temple of Hackney, that opened its doors this week, billed as the world’s first meat free fried "chicken” shop.

The “chicken” in question is made from seitan, a wheat protein with a meat-like texture.

The shop is the brainchild of Melbourne couple Rebecca McGuinness and her husband Pat O’Shea. Ms MsGuinness used to work in KFC and had always missed fried chicken since becoming vegan 10 years ago.

She started making it with seitan and launched a street-food stall, Temple of Seitan, on Brick Lane in East London last year.

Regulars to the stand were elated when it was announced the couple would be opening a permanent location.

Many left rave reviews after eating at the establishment on its opening day.

Ed Watts wrote: “Simply the stuff of dreams. You don't get better vegan chicken.”

However, others took issue with the shop’s name, accusing the owners of being “offensive to Christians.”

Writing on Facebook, Justin Pickering said: “Seems like the owner is deliberately being offensive to Christians which is kind of sad considering the amount of hate and division there already is in the world.”

Laura Price wrote: “Seitan..???. so you’re not playing on words with the occultism? Satan.. are you with that correction ... admit you're causing division..?”

Many users were quick to defend the chicken shop, with one writing: “Dude... Seitan is wheat gluten! Nothing to do with Satan!”

Temple of Seitan responded to the accusations, writing: “ Hi Justin not setting out to offend anyone, simply declaring our love for Seitan. Please feel free to post this as a regular visitor post, but the reviews are meant for people who've actually visited/tried the food.”

Some were just sceptical that vegan fried "chicken” could be as good as the real thing.

Temple of Hackney is open from 12 to 8pm, Wednesday-Sunday, 10 Morning Lane, E9 6NA.​

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