A few years ago, finding something vegan-friendly in a burger joint might have seemed like a pretty tough task. Now more of us are giving meat and dairy a miss altogether or just cutting down, there's a bigger and better choice of vegan dishes out there. Take The Sneaky Clucker from Bristol restaurant Oowee Diner – a plant-based take on a fried chicken burger that you can order from their North Street branch on Deliveroo.
Here's Verity Foss, one of the owners of Oowee Diner, to tell us how they started and developed their deliciously messy meat-free burger.
How did the Oowee Diner story start?
Verity: We started as a pudding delivery company and changed to burgers due to our love for diner food. It's run by my boyfriend Charlie and me.
What inspired you to create The Sneaky Clucker?
Verity: Temple of Seitan in London are quite inspiring in terms of seitan burgers. We wanted to create the ultimate seitan burger because it tastes very similar to chicken.
Talk us through how you cook and assemble it.
Verity: Seitan is quite hard to make at first. It's a long process, but it's easier once you get the hang of it. We use a vegan bun with a layer of vegan burger sauce, crunchy lettuce, a deep fried crispy seitan patty and a hash brown.
For anyone who's never tried seitan before, how would you describe it?
Verity: It's like fried chicken but better.
You're arguably best known for your big beefy burgers, stacked with toppings and covered in melted cheese, so how do you approach developing your vegan dishes?
Verity: We just develop the same level of deliciousness but without animal products. Vegans need diner food too!
How have meat-eaters responded to dishes like The Sneaky Clucker and your Vegan Jalapeno Cheese Fries?
Verity: Loads of meat-eaters have tried them because I think a lot of people are trying to have meat-free days.
Are you seeing a rise in vegan-friendly diner food more broadly, or do you think there's still a gap that needs to be filled?
Verity: There's a huge gap in the market for more vegan diners.
In three words, how would you describe The Sneaky Clucker?
Verity: Fun animal-free food!
For anyone new to Bristol, what's the city's food scene like?
Verity: It's grown so much in the last two years. There are so many amazing independents who are hugely successful – it's currently such a good time to try a food idea out in Bristol.
What's next for Oowee Diner?
Verity: I'm not allowed to say…