The Standard Mess Hall fulfills all the nutritional and dietary needs of the enlisted crewman on Astral Vanguard vessels, as well as providing a sort of casual setting by featuring a bar, hookah lounge and having a large number of display screens on the walls for entertainment and information purposes. Unlike the classier Standard Astral Vanguard Wardroom for officers, the Mess Hall was designed to be very open, undecorated and rugged, with multiple self-cleaning functions in case of enlisted 'fun'-related messes. On larger vessels, the Mess will be larger, and some capital-class vessels feature multiple units due to much larger crew complements.
The Mess typically has smooth, semi-arching white ceilings with built in lighting, and walls in a medium-light earth tone. As it is subject to the greatest wear, the floor is usually darker, a dark brown. All surfaces are composed of an organic, smooth, glossy composite that is designed to gradually absorb inert stains, repair itself when damaged and is able to grow out short-lived tiny antibody-like cleaning drones to repair large spills.
Ergonomically sound, cushioned seats are arranged in blocks of eight around semi-rectangular composite tables, which are fixed to the ground but can be released using a control panel in the kitchen.
The kitchen is usually in plain view from the seating area, separated only by a unidirectionally transparent partition wall which can be retracted by the hall as needed. The setup is quite large for a military vessel, and features a trio of medical-grade tissue reconstruction unit which can 'grow' pre-programmed meat, vegetables and staples as needed using stored biomass suspension, a walk-in fridge and freezer for storing fresh ingredients and a cupboard which contains ration kits, a data terminal which contains the data for food 'construction' and several recipes, an array of pre-mixed spice packets and various cooking implements.
The kitchen system uses superconductive induction and convection ovens to cook most food for space-saving purposes, and has a conveyor ring to deliver ID-tagged meals to be picked up by their requester. During breakfast and wartimes, this conveyor is used for a rolling buffet-type delivery system, when there isn't any time for personal orders.
The hookah lounge is result of the heavy influence of traditional Sund Wakir culture on the Vanguard, where crewmen spend time after meals sharing the public hookah or bringing their own. The seating consists of an amorphous extended couch in a semicircular enclosure, with viewscreens in the center and a surface containing self-shaping bases for hookah pipes in a ring around it. The use of Salcra Weed blends is prohibited while the ship is out in space, or in an unsecured port.