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Vegan Fast-Food Chain Clean Kitchen Club: Review, Photos

Its backers include Spencer Matthews, a TV personality and former star of “Made In Chelsea”; Grace Beverley, founder of sustainable activewear startup TALA; and Clive Sharpe, the former chairman of UK-based veggie alternative company Quorn.

Grace Beverley

Grace Beverley is an investor in Clean Kitchen Club.

Grace Beverley


Source: Insider

But the chain hit the headlines after trade publication Propel reported that another big name become an investor: former McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook. Clean Kitchen Club confirmed to Insider that he had invested in the company. Easterbrook is credited with reviving McDonald’s fortunes through job cuts and the introduction of technology such as touchscreens for ordering. He left the role after the company accused him of misleading it about the nature of his relationships with several employees.

McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook

Steve Easterbrook reportedly invested in Clean Kitchen Club.

Scott Olson/Getty Images


Source: Insider

A spokesperson told Insider that Clean Kitchen Club plans to expand significantly by opening another five sites this year, grow its catering business, which has already been used by Amazon, Dior, and Sky Studios, and start selling ready meals and grab-and-go items in supermarkets. We checked out its branch in the tourist hotspot of Notting Hill to see what had enticed such big names to invest in it.

Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

Clean Kitchen Club has an outlet in Notting Hill, London.

Grace Dean/Insider


The restaurant didn’t feel like a fast-food joint at all. The order counter had an açai bowl toppings station and a coffee machine in the background.

A picture of the counter of Clean Kitchen Club

The counter of Clean Kitchen Club.

Ryan Hogg / Insider


The decor was cool, calming, and natural, with none of the bright colors associated with other fast-food chains. The color scheme was green and white with some wooden furnishings.

Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

The decor at Clean Kitchen Club’s restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

Grace Dean/Insider


There were even plants on the tables – something we’ve never seen before in a quick-service restaurant. It all seemed very Instagrammable – little surprise, perhaps, given that both founders have thousands of Instagram followers.

Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

The decor at Clean Kitchen Club’s restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

Grace Dean/Insider


There was only space for a few customers at any one time, suggesting it is designed more for takeout than dining in.

Picture of interior of Clean Kitchen Club looking out to entrance.

The interior of the Clean Kitchen Club looking out to the entrance.

Ryan Hogg / Insider


The menu behind the order counter is focused on burgers, bowls, açai bowls, nuggets, and coffee.

Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

The menu board at Clean Kitchen Club’s restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

Grace Dean/Insider


There were also some prepacked sandwiches and salad bowls from a fridge below the checkout, as well as cold drinks. There was no drinks dispenser.

Picture of fridge in Clean Kitchen Club, containing coke, diet coke and lemonade.

The fridge at Clean Kitchen Club with drinks and prepacked meals.

Ryan Hogg / Insider


Cupcakes, pain au chocolats, and croissants were displayed in the window. They looked delicious.

Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

The desserts at Clean Kitchen Club’s restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

Grace Dean/Insider


According to a pitch deck made by the brand’s founders, more than 80% of their customers are not vegan. Clean Kitchen Club’s suppliers of plant-based meats includes industry leader Beyond Meat, which supplies its burger patties, as well as TiNDLE, which sells raw plant-based chicken that restaurants can then mould into different sizes and shapes.

Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

The exterior of the Clean Kitchen Club restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

Grace Dean/Insider


We tried out a range of food across the menu to see what it was like. Service took about 10 minutes – slower than at chains such as McDonald’s, KFC, and Burger King. This suggested that maybe Clean Kitchen Club’s food was fresher.

Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

Packaging at Clean Kitchen Club.

Grace Dean/Insider


Though we ordered our food to eat in, it was still served in takeaway packaging. On its website, the company says it uses “the most environmentally friendly materials available on the market.” The spokesperson said that the packaging doesn’t contain plastic and is fully recyclable and biodegradable, and that the cutlery is made from either wood or avocado seed.

Picture of the box design of Clean Kitchen Club.

Picture of the box design of Clean Kitchen Club.

Ryan Hogg / Insider


Yes, the crockery is fully recyclable and biodegradable. They don’t use plastic; it is either PLA made from plants and biodegradable or aqua cellulose also derived from plants. They use either wooden or avocado seed cutlery. Straws are either paper or bamboo fibre.

They also work with veg ware for their coffee/salad bowl lids. Any ink used is water soluble and all packaging is carbon neutral

All cardboard is FSC regulated, and coatings are made from vegetables.

The burgers came first. Both were served in bright red buns, which we hadn’t expected. This is a Cheat’n Clean Burger, which cost £8.65 ($10.50), compared to just under £4 for a McPlant from McDonald’s. We saved a lot of money though by choosing Clean Kitchen Club’s burger with a £8.50 ($10.27) lunch deal that included the burger, fries, and a cold drink.

Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

The Cheat’n Clean Burger at Clean Kitchen Club’s restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

Grace Dean/Insider


Source: Insider

We ordered a Cheat’n Clean Burger, which had a Beyond Meat patty, vegan smoked cheese, two slices of gherkin, a piece of lettuce, a slice of tomato, and a squirt of “Clean Special Sauce.” The cheese hasn’t melted at all – a common occurrence with vegan cheese – and the patty, which had a rich, smoky flavor, seemed a bit thinner than expected. The sauce tasted good, though we couldn’t tell you what was in it. It just tasted like a good burger sauce.

Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

The Cheat’n Clean Burger at Clean Kitchen Club’s restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

Grace Dean/Insider


We also ordered the Truffle Mayo Burger, which comes with a fake chicken patty made by TiNDLE, coupled with truffle mayo and rocket. This cost £9.65 ($11.61), but we got it with fries and a cold drink for £10 ($12.04) under the lunch deal.

Picture of plant-based chicken burger in a beetroot bun.

The Truffle Mayo Burger at Clean Kitchen Club’s restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

Ryan Hogg / Insider


The truffle mayo had a decent consistency, but the overall flavor of the burger was a bit basic and it maybe could have included a few more ingredients.

The consistency of the burger was cook, but the breading on the chicken lost a bit of its crunch as it absorbed the sauce.

The Truffle Mayo Burger at Clean Kitchen Club’s restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

Ryan Hogg / Insider


The fries were seasoned with oregano, which made them taste very different to fries from other fast-food joints. They tasted really good. To order alone, the fries would cost £3.55 ($4.29), which seemed reasonable for the great flavor and massive portion size.

Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

The fries at Clean Kitchen Club’s restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

Grace Dean/Insider


We also ordered two bowls – the katsu chicken (£7.95; $9.60) and the mac and cheese (£6.95; $8.39). We got these under a lunch deal, too. Both came to £8.50 ($10.23) with a drink.

Picture of plant-based katsu-curry and vegan mac & cheese.

Picture of a plant-based katsu curry and mac and cheese at Clean Kitchen Club’s restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

Ryan Hogg / Insider


We really rated the chicken alternative used in the katsu curry, but the sauce was quite sharp, very thick, and definitely not as sweet as others we’d tried, and the rice was quite bland.

Picture of plant-based chicken katsu curry.

The plant-based chicken katsu curry we ordered.

Ryan Hogg / Insider


The mac and cheese looked great and the fake bacon bits tasted delicious and were very close to the real deal.

Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

The mac and cheese at Clean Kitchen Club’s restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

Grace Dean/Insider


The sauce tasted OK, but you could tell it wasn’t real cheese. And it was very runny, leaving a pile in the bottom of the bowl that looked a lot like egg yolk.

Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

The mac and cheese left a pile of gloopy liquid in the bottom of the bowl.

Grace Dean/Insider


The vegan “chicken” nuggets were probably the highlight. Like McDonald’s, they can be ordered in quantities up to 20. But they were nearly four times as expensive as the real version from McDonald’s, at £5.65 for 6 and £17.95 for 20.

Picture of 6 plant-based chicken nuggets.

Picture of six plant-based “chicken” nuggets at Clean Kitchen Club’s restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

Ryan Hogg / Insider


The plant-based nuggets were definitely the highlight, and possibly the best alternative to chicken nuggets we’ve had. They were salty and had a texture almost identical to meat.

Picture of a part-eaten plant-based chicken nugget.

The plant-based “chicken” nugget at Clean Kitchen Club’s restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

Ryan Hogg / Insider


Overall we enjoyed the burgers and fries and thought the plant-based chicken in particular tasted great, but we felt that the katsu chicken bowl definitely needed some work. For a quick service restaurant, the menu was expensive, despite chains like McDonald’s, KFC, and Burger King pricing both meat and vegan dishes the same. The lunch deals, however, brought down the prices at Clean Kitchen Club significantly, and the refreshing, natural decor made the dining experience much nicer than at a standard fast-food joint.

Clean Kitchen Club's restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

The counter at Clean Kitchen Club’s restaurant in Notting Hill, London.

Grace Dean/Insider



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