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The Five Pound Note: ‘Wings’ at Temple of Hackney

Lady Godiva pays penance for the sins of another Goodman

Instagram — templeofseitan

Last week, a different Laura Goodman “spiked” a vegan’s dinner and bragged about it on Facebook. In the ensuing furore, some people mistook me for Laura Goodman of “Carlini’s” in Shifnal, so I wanted to dedicate this week’s column to clearing the air, and to the person who kindly got in touch to say she hopes I fall down a well.

I’m not writing from a well. I’m writing from LA, where the vegan food is great. Last night’s dinner was plantain enchiladas with cashew cream, black beans and greens. Truly enough to sicken and appall that other Laura Goodman.

But before I left London, I went to Temple of Hackney, the vegan ‘fried chicken’ shop. I was excited — I once ate some fantastic seitan tacos — and wanted to see what other delights this weird wheat protein could elicit.

The “wings” at Temple of Hackney are £5 and, in all honesty, I’m directing you towards them so you can make up your own mind. At first I was thrilled by the thick, crispy coating and the sweet, sticky sauce. But after no more than eight mouthfuls, I was full to the point of queasiness. The coating was falling away from the seitan, and I was left sitting there outside in the dark, opposite the big Tesco, staring at slabs of, well... stuff.

To be fair, it’s really my own problem that I can behold a saucy, fried wing of a bird and feel nothing but euphoria, and yet, a week after eating it, still feel tormented by a piece of gluten. I don’t know, though, I can’t help but wish London would just get on the plantain enchilada train already.

So, there you go! Five pounds to join the (lively!) conversation. Just tread carefully, lest you should fall (or be pushed) down a well.

Wishing you a wonderful week on solid ground,


Temple of Hackney
10 Morning Lane
E9 6NA