Temple of Seitan, Hackney 🍗

I’ve been meaning to share Hackney’s Temple of Seitan with you for a while, and seeing as today is National Fried Chicken Day, I have the perfect excuse.


Previously only to be found at street-food markets on Brick Lane, Temple of Seitan have been serving up their unique vegan delights at their stand alone chick’n shop, since January this year (2017).

Now obviously chicken isn’t exactly vegan, but here they use seitan (a meat substitute made from wheat gluten) as their “chicken”, served up deep fried in sandwiches, as wings, and as my personal favourite, pop corn chick’n! They also have gluten-free options available and don’t forget to try their Mac ‘n’ Cheese, it’s the best I’ve ever tasted, with little “bacon” bits on top!


The brainchild of Rebecca McGuinness and her husband, Pat O’Shea, this chick’n shop could be one of a kind, potentially being the only vegan fried chick’n shop in the world. And there’s a reason us vegans have been flocking here (expect to find long & winding queues outside)… Rebecca McGuinness used to work for KFC. Is it possible she knows the “secret recipe”?

Vegan, vegetarian, carnivore or omnivore, I defy anyone not to fall in love with this place and they’re ridiculously delicious food.


And I don’t want to give away my too many of my secrets, but if you arrive just before closing, you’re likely to receive a huge bag of food, no matter what you order! We had leftovers…


This has become our favourite pig out joint in London and where we always head to for a treat on cheat day 🍗

Temple of Seitan is open 7 days a week, Monday to Saturday 12:00 – 21:00, 12:00 – 18:00 on Sundays.

Tredwell’s, London – vegan friendly

Being a big fan of UK Masterchef (regular, professional and even celebrity), I have been pleased to see the odd vegetarian round popping up over the past couple of years.

Masterchef: The Professionals judge and one time Junior Masterchef contestant (1985), Marcus Wareing’s latest casual dining restaurant, Tredwell’s (opened September 2014), is even more reason for celebration, as he has gone one step further and added vegan friendly options to his menu.

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Described by The Evening Standard Magazine’s Grace Dent, as “comfort food heaven”, located in the heart of London, Tredwell’s aims to bring modern London cooking to the West End’s Seven Dials, and though I’m yet to dine there, the menu is certainly appealing.

Starters (Vegan)

  • Nocellara del Belice olives (Ve) £2
  • Harissa glazed aubergine, peanuts, coriander and chilli (Ve) £6.50

Starters (Vegetarian)

  • Pumpkin soup, cep toast, toasted seeds (V) £7
  • Buffalo ricotta, beetroot, pine nut better (V) £7
  • Burrate, olive, caramalised shallot, balsamic, rocket (V) £10

Mains (Vegan)

  • Butternut Squash and sage dumplings, kale, hazelnut sauce (Ve) £14

Sides (Vegan)

  • Skinny Fries (Ve) £3
  • Wilted greens, roasted garlic (Ve) £3.50
  • Green salad (Ve) £4
  • Sweet potato chunks (Ve) £4
  • Green beans, olive oil and tarrgon (Ve) £4
  • Kale, sugarsnap and rocket salad (Ve) £4

Sides (Vegetarian)

  • Parsnip & horseraddish slaw (V) £4
  • Blue cheese croquettes (V) £ 4.50
  • Grilled broccoli, almond butter and capers (V) £5

Puddings (Vegan)

  • Coconut mousse, pineapple, mint, lime (Ve) £5
  • The virtuous chocolate brownie, coconut yogurt (Ve) £5

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Though there is but one vegan/vegetarian main on the menu, it is definitely one I would pick. With such a vast range of vegan friendly side dishes on offer, I could happily order a bunch of these, along with a couple of starters to create my own tapas style meal, rounded off with a vegan chocolate brownie, obviously!

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There is also a prix-fixe menu available at specific dining times: 2 courses for £21 or 3 for £25. Available Monday to Wednesday 12pm – 2pm, 5pm – 6:30pm, 9pm – 10pm and Thursday & Friday 12pm – 2pm, 5pm – 6:30pm, 9:45pm – 11pm, Saturday 4pm – 6:30pm, 9:45 – 11pm, the sample menu on the website doesn’t specify any vegan or vegetarian options. However, after some investigation, Tredwell’s confirmed they be only too happy to swap some of the options for something more suitable for our vegan dietary requirements, which I thought was great news! However please note, you can pick 2 or 3 vegan and vegetarian courses from the regular menu for around the same price, if not less, so make sure your options on the prix-fixe menu are something a little bit special.

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As previously mentioned, I am yet to dine at Tredwell’s, but hope to soon, so will let you know if it’s worth giving it a go. Have any of you been already? I’d love to know what you think of a “celebrity” chef venturing in to vegan friendly cuisine.

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Something that also appeals to me and is a further reason to visit, Tredwell’s host live Jazz nights every Friday & Saturday evening from 8pm.

Tredwell’s

4A Upper St Martin’s Lane
London, WC2H 9NY
0203 764 0840

Opening hours:

Monday to Thursday: 12pm – 2pm and 5pm – 10pm
Friday: 12pm – 3pm and 5pm – 11pm
Saturday: 12pm – 11pm
Sunday: 12pm – 4pm

For enquiries email hello@tredwells7dials.com

For more info follow @tredwells on twitter.

 

Dinner at Ottolenghi, Islington

The boyf and I went for a “quick” bite to eat at Ottolenghi, Islington tonight. I use the inverted commas as we only had the table for 90 minutes & he was 40 minutes late.



Ottolenghi, Upper Street, Islington – London

It’s ok though; we’re quick eaters & it meant I got to order myself a glass of red while I chose what we were going to eat.

Here’s what I went for :

To start, from the cold counter :



🌱 Sprouting broccoli, courgette, samphire & green olive tapenade, sorrel + poppy seeds £9.50

🌱 Poached quince, bitter mixed leaves, spicy pecan nuts, Roquefort (on the side) + orange blossom dressing £9.50

Followed by, from the hot kitchen :



🌱 Tempura vegetables, burnt aubergine + truffle honey (on the side) £11.00

🌱 Char-grilled calçot onions, romesco sauce + paprika breadcrumbs £10.00

We were so hungry that when the vegetable tempura were brought out, we dived straight in! I forgot to take a photo but here’s one from another diner:



The service was exceptional and the staff were just attentive enough, especially while I was waiting for my better half; on hand nearby if I needed them, but not fussing or hovering.

The food was good & I would recommend Ottolenghi for a special occasion. However for what it is, I find it quite pricey and the dishes aren’t particularly big, tapas / meze sized.

We / I ordered 4 plates for the 2 of us to share and while it was enough to fill us up, I could have eaten more – but maybe this says more about me than the restaurant! You can see how hungry we were from our (figuratively) licked clean plates.



Our organic wine was quite nice but (probably for the best) only served in 125ml glasses for £5.25+, or by the bottle.

If the dishes were priced between £5-7 each, I’d say it was good value & I’d definitely become a regular. Priced as they are, it seems a little expensive to me.

You can order the cold dishes to go from the deli and these might be a little more reasonably priced.



They also do some amazing looking cakes & pastries. In fact I’ve walked past this place so many times  in the past and always thought it was a coffee / cake shop. 



There are 3 other branches in London if you’re interested in seeking one out :

  • Nopi, Warwick Street
  • Ottolenghi Notting Hill, Ledbury Road
  • Ottolenghi Belgravia, Motcomb Street

You can also order hampers, vouchers and items from their online pantry. Many of these items can also be bought in store; pickles, chutneys, breads, oils & vinegars etc.



Their website also has an amazing selection of recipes (some of which can be adapted for a vegan diet) and also their own cookbook! 



I did enjoy our meal, the restaurant is beautiful & I’m glad I’ve been, but I’m not sure I’d go back.

La Polenteria – Old Compton Street, Soho

Whilst en route to meet a friend for a drink in Soho last week, I stumbled upon La Polenteria – a new Italian restaurant whose menu revolves around polenta-based dishes and desserts.

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I am a new comer to the world of polenta, but the boyfriend has long been a fan. He recently made some polenta and mushroom cakes that were divine, so I am quite excited about this new family-run venture on Old Compton Street.

They use traditional Italian recipes, and only the highest quality, natural produce, with no GMO ingredients. Which means what….? They have some specifically vegan menu options and they highlight them on their menu!

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With a range of hearty main meals (vegan, vegetarian or meat/fish based), healthy salads, desserts and coffee, there’s something for everyone. I think this will be a great little spot to visit with a group of friends and everyone will be able to find something they like whether vegan, veggie, pescetarian or carnivore.

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The added bonus – all their dishes are prepared freshly on the premises, which is one up on some other restaurants I have recently visited. Busaba, for example, couldn’t prepare me anything to eat when I recently visited them for a work lunch. This was a shock as I thought their food would also have been prepared freshly in their onsite kitchens, but apparently not. They informed me a lot of it comes in pre-packaged?!!

So I’ll definitely be checking La Polenteria out soon. Be sure to check back for the review. I may even see you there!