Mao Chow | Vegan Chinese Restaurant
Communist jokes aren’t funny…
…unless everyone gets them.
And Mao Chow serves food that everyone can eat, being an all-vegan Chinese restaurant. They’ve been serving up their innovative meat-free dishes at pop ups across town for the past 18 months, and now they’ve bagged themselves a spot on prime restaurant turf, on Hackney’s Mare Street.
It’s a petite, hole-in-the-wall space, seating only 12 at a time (and to keep things democratic, it’s currently walk-in only). Formerly a coffee and dumplings spot, it’s very much kept that casual, airy café vibe, with pops of baby pink and aqua on the walls, and a yellow counter wrapping around the tiny open kitchen at the front of the space.
Here’s what they’re cooking up in it:
Their opening menu is packed with new dishes that show how much they’ve been developing since the original pop ups. There’s smacked cucumber with black vinegar and garlic; ‘meaty’ veg and fennel dumplings; cumin grilled oyster mushroom bing (a kind of sesame-studded flatbread); spicy mapo tofu with black beans and doubanjiang (chilli bean sauce) and Chongqing wheat noodles with a spicy sauce and chickpeas. The idea is to order a couple of different dishes, and get a taste of everything.
They’re serving up Vitasoy, herbal tea and Taiwanese cider here, but the real boon is that it’s BYOB – and there’s an offie a few doors down if you’ve come empty handed. Either way…
…you won’t be leaving empty-bellied.
NOTE: Mao Chow is now open Tues-Sat, 6-11pm. It’s cash-free and walk-in only, so getting there early is advised – but they also do takeaway. You can find out more, and get a look at the menu right HERE.
Mao Chow | 159a Mare Street, E8 3RH
Looking for a nightcap spot? Check out Martello Hall