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Mao Chow Express – Review
FOOD

Mao Chow Express – Review

Vegan Chinese food, not something you hear of often (or even at all), but Mao Chow is leading the way in East London’s plant-based options. With an express Mao Chow now open in Boxpark in Shoreditch, they are slowly expanding their venture. Described as a ‘Snug destination specialising in Chinese food including dumplings & noodle dishes’, they have quickly become a local hit in their Hackney and Shoreditch locations. Having already clocked Mao Chow on the feed of the likes of Little London Vegan, I was excited to try these colourful plates for myself. Housed in a classic Boxpark unit, the space is a vision of vibrancy; with splashes of yellow, pink and chequered floor tiles, the creators, Julian and Harry, are bringing 90s nostalgia to Shoreditch in their own special style.

The menu is concise but highly creative, offering vegan options which I have honestly never seen anywhere before. Unable to choose, we were offered a selection of each so we could sample the full range; Char Siu Bao (sweet + fluffy steamed char siu bao filled with Cantonese BBQ pork), Dumplings in Chilli Oil (omnipork and Chinese chive dumplings in Zhong sauce), Prawn Toast with Curry Sauce (crispy sesame prawn toast with curry sauce). Along with Beef Jerky Fried Rice (beef jerky fried rice with celery, rhubarb, garlic shoots and birds eye chillies) and Dan Dan Noodles (spicy sesame and peanut noodles with omnipork mince, cucumber and pak choi). We even opted for the sides; Crispy Seaweed (crispy seaweed tossed in an ultra umami spice mix) and Langya Potatoes (spicy crinkle cut chips with silk road spices and spring onion). It sounds excessive and it definitely was, but totally worth feeling like a potato for the rest of the day. It was a truly delicious selection with each dish having a completely unique flavour.

My personal favourite was the prawn toast; having not been able to eat one of these since I gave up meat 20 years ago I was so excited to try them, and they did not disappoint, they taste like the real deal. The beef jerky fried rice was a close second, sweet and tangy with a surprising spicey kick, I could have eaten a whole plate of this on its own. The Langya potatoes were also a highlight, finished off with fried crispy peanuts, moreish as they were decadent. In fact everything was something worth noting, the only thing I would have perhaps not ordered next time were the dumplings; a bit too much oil for me, but my dining partner loved them, so it really Is down to personal taste.

Mao Chow is sure to please both vegans and non-vegans, offering exciting plant-based options unlike anything in the area.

Address: Mao Chow Express – Shoreditch (Boxpark), 2-10 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6GY

Website: https://www.mao-chow.com

Written by Jordan Crowley

Photography courtesey of Mao Chow

#boxpark #boxparkshoreditch #MaoChow #shoreditch #vegan #plantbased

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