If you’re a fan of vegan Chinese food, you might be absolutely gutted to hear that Mao Chow in Hackney is closing down. However, you don’t have to fret because its founder Julian Dennis is heading just around the corner on Bayford Street to launch a much grander restaurant. Named after a chilli pepper in the Sichuan region of China, Facing Heaven is set to open in March and let me tell you, it’s downright dreamy with its food offering.
With retro chequered tiling, dimly-lit hanging lights and rustic wooden tables, this casual eatery isn't just expanding its space; it’s getting adventurous with flavour. Along with Chinese cuisine, you can expect Puerto Rican, Portuguese and American plant-based delights - all of which are inspired by Julian's upbringing in LA.
Chow down on innovative plates of twice-fried artichokes paired with a green chilli dip, stir-fried blood sausage and dongpo cauliflower. And to drink? The Baijiu cocktails sound absolutely sublime, or you can opt for natural wines and beer. If you're looking to cool off after eating some spicy bites, check out its list of weekly-changing dessert options - the malt caramel and strawberry powder ice cream is an enticing choice. Heading here on a Sunday? Cure your hangover with steaming hot pot offerings.