There are tens of thousands of takeaways around Britain, so to be picked out as one of 40 competitors to appear on new BBC show Britain’s Top Takeaways is quite some feat. However, two Leicestershire businesses did just that, including Leicester vegan brand Huns – which , in a rather impressive twist, will go up against four fried chicken takeaways with its plant-based ‘chick’hun’.
The new eight-part series, which started this week, sees each episode following five takeaways from the same sector, in a contest judged by families from the comfort of their dinner table or sofa. Barwell’s Chris’s Fish and Chips appeared in the first episode, which focused on fish and chips, and Huns will appear in the fried chicken episode tonight.
We’ll have to wait and see what the judging families make of the crispy faux chicken, but in the meantime, I decided to try it out for myself. Having been almost salivating over photos of the burgers on Huns’ Facebook page, I’ve been meaning to order a meal for some time.
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Huns was launched in November 2018 by Charlotte Harrison and Frankie Sharman, who traveled around the UK catering at street food events, festivals, vegan markets and pop-ups. During lockdown, they provided a takeaway delivery service, before moving to a cook at home kit delivery service.
Then, in August 2020, the duo opened their takeaway in Welford Road. It is open in the evening from Wednesday to Sunday, and you can order for delivery via Uber Eats, or for collection by calling the takeaway – which is what I did.
We popped to the Welford Road store about half an hour later, and were greeted with a delicious aroma and a friendly smile, and left with two paper bags full of goodies. So, would it taste as good as it looks?
According to Huns, its chick’hun fillets are individually handmade using seitan and coated in a secret blend of 12 herbs and spices. You can get a variety of chick’hun burgers – such as BBQ Hun which includes a chick’hun fillet, bac’hun, cheese, bbq sauce, lettuce and pickles, Hawaii-Hun, which includes a chick’hun fillet, bbq sauce , grilled pineapple, bac’hun, cheese, lettuce and pickles.
In the end, we chose The Deluxe, which includes a chick’hun fillet, garlic mayo, bac’hun, cheese, parmesan, lettuce and pickles. The burger alone is £ 8.50, but for £ 3 extra you can add on fries and a drink, which is what we did, choosing a can of Coke Zero.
Well, this was certainly a well-filled burger, and the chick’hun fillet at the heart of it was delicious. I shared the burger with my eldest son, who doesn’t eat meat so has tried a lot of ‘fake’ chicken burgers, and we both really enjoyed the crispy texture and the taste of the southern fried-style spicy coating.
The chick’hun was accompanied by a lovely thick, garlic mayo, bac’hun (which was up there as one of the best ‘facons’ we’ve tried) a slice of vegan cheese and parmesan, plus lettuce and pickles. An excellent combination.
We also ordered some Dirty Chick loaded fries (£ 8) which come topped with chick’hun bites, Mc’hun sauce, diced onions, pickles and chick’hun nuggets with some homemade ketchup (£ 4.50 for seven nuggets).
The portion of loaded fries was huge and as well as the five large fillets of that lovely spicy chick’hun, there was some tangy Mc’hun sauce (which tastes rather similar to the sauce you’d find on a Big Mac) along with diced onions and a scattering of pickles. The fries themselves tasted good too, and had stayed nice and crisp during transit – as had the portion of fries with the burger.
The chicken nuggets had a spice-free coating and along with the homemade ketchup were eagerly eaten by my youngest son. Well, other than one, which he kindly let me have!
There’s also ‘no beef’ burgers and hot dogs on the menu, and a choice of three desserts, including the Snickers cheesecake (£ 4.50) which we decided to try. My eldest son loved it, but I found the cream cheese replacement in the center of the dessert had quite a mushy texture. The overall taste was good though, thanks to the smearing of peanut butter and caramel sauce and chunks of dark chocolate.
Well I’m very glad I’ve finally tried Huns, and I can see now why it’s so popular! I think people can often be put off plant-based food because they think it is lacking in flavor – but that definitely isn’t the case here. Huns’ chick’hun really packs a punch, and I was impressed by the chick’hun dishes we tried.
I was also impressed to read on the website that Huns only uses materials that are compostable, and even the used cooking oil gets turned into bio fuel – which earns it a tick for its environmentally-friendly credentials. The price is a little higher than the average takeaway, but this is quality plant-based food made from scratch and that, I think, is worth paying a little extra for every now and again.
Our rating: 4/5
Food hygiene rating: 5/5