Have you ever been in a situation where you meet someone new, they discover you’re vegan and their first reaction is “wow, what do you even eat?!” It feels like there are so many people out there who still believe we all live off lettuce and are barely functioning due to protein deficiency.
Luckily for us, we have amazing businesses out there like Temple Of Seitan who are helping to change people’s perception of vegan food and showcase all of the amazing possibilities that go with it. TOS started their 100% vegan fast food venture back in 2015 and now have restaurants in Hackney and Camden, which serve amazing burgers, wings, wraps, pastries and much more. Their latest venture is an exciting partnership with Lost Rivers – a newly refurbished bar & restaurant at 122 Old Street. The location will be used as a Test Kitchen for TOS’s new vegan concepts and dishes. It opened its doors to the public today (17th March) but I was luckily enough to get a sneak preview last night at their launch event!
As I arrived I was greeted with a can of Crooked Beverage Co alcoholic soda. They had three flavours to choose from but I was informed that Raspberry & Lime was best and it certainly was absolutely delicious! The flavours were lovely but not too sickly like a lot of fruit flavoured alcohol can be. I can imagine they would taste amazing on a hot summer’s day or at a festival and definitely want to try more of them soon.
The launch party menu consisted of Ribs & Chips, a Temple Deluxe ‘Beef’ Burger, a Chick’n Parma Burger and Mac n Cheese. After sampling all of them (obviously) I would have to say the ‘Beef’ Burger and Mac n Cheese were my favourites.
The burger was genuinely one of the tastiest I have ever had in my life. I’m sure if you told someone it was meat they would probably believe it. The bacon and burger sauce really topped the whole thing off too (no pun intended), I’m craving another one already!
The Mac n Cheese was also incredible. It was so cheesy and just as good as I remember the ‘real thing’ being. The mayo and bacon bits made it even better, my only complaint was how small the pot was because I could have eaten 10 times as much (maybe I’m just greedy though…).
Although the ribs weren’t my personal favourite I am still mind blown by how clever it is. The ‘bone’ is made from hardened seitan with marmite flavour filling. It felt SO weird eating something that looked and tasted so similar to meat but it just proves how we don’t need to use animals to create the delicious food people love! Sometimes for me eating things that feel really similar to meat (especially with a ‘bone’ in!) freaks me out a little bit but I fully appreciate why people enjoy it. It’s also an amazing way for dedicated omnivores to try vegan alternatives and see that not everything we eat is green and boring. Since going vegan I’ve tasted more delicious junk food than ever before! It was a great evening and I hope it won’t be too long before I can visit again.
So, next time you’re in London, make sure you check out Lost Rivers’ Test Kitchen or Temple’s other locations in Hackney and Camden. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
Hail Seitan, indeed! 💚🌱