Written byDaisy Meager
A dining room bathed in red and green light. A single fake red or white rose on every table. Black and white chequered flooring. A disco ball and life-sized mannequin in the bathroom. No, this isn’t a Twin Peaks-esque fever dream. It’s Facing Heaven. The reincarnation of tiny vegan Chinese spot Mao Chow is just around the corner from the original Hackney location, with the same slightly-chaotic-but-fun charm as its predecessor. And it’s still cosy. If you don’t want to bump elbows or backs with your neighbour, nab one of the few ‘proper’ tables and chairs. But sitting on a low stool at the formica table that runs the length of the front, people-watching out of the big windows, has its advantages. And when chilli oil inevitably splatters everywhere while you’re enthusiastically eating mock-pork dumplings drenched in kicking chilli flake-infused oil, garlic-heavy stir-fried chrysanthemum and black pudding (actually tofu), and scooping up bouncy, cold XO noodles, this is the kind of spot where a messy table doesn't really matter.