Maya is probably one of the classic Western brunch spots. It’ll get busier as the outdoor swimming pool downstairs opens up and the weather warms, but I like it just the way it is. It’s comfortable and not at all uppity. I wouldn’t recommend trying to actually do anything after eating here, though, as the food is pretty heavy, and you might need a nap immediately afterwards.
The guacamole was delicious as always, and we ended up ordering another one not because the portions were small but because we’re gluttons. The Huevos Rancheros were delicious as well at RMB 55, and the House-Smoked Salmon was also a hit at RMB 65.
If I’m really trying to complain, the Orange Juice was a bit pricey at RMB 40 for a small glass. We also ordered too many of the Manchego Sausages (they were nice, but they weren’t as cheesy as we thought they’d be).
We didn’t partake this time, but I’d also recommend their bottomless sangria deal for RMB 150pp or bottomless Margaritas for RMB 185pp.
Average price per sober person: RMB 110
Summary: Delicious brunch with a Mexican flair for a fair price. It’s lost a bit of its trendy edge, but some people like that about it.
Generally, I have always found Mexican food to be the same the world over, an offering of Nacho’s smothered in something or other, the usual fare of Tacos, Empanadas and Quesadilla filled with this or that, and a splodge of Chimichurri here or with the ubiquitous guacamole or other forms of mole on the side, and in all honesty never been a convert to Mexican food, as it never seems to have the finesse of other cuisines.
Shanghai has its fair share of Mexican style restaurants, even a Taco Bell, however, one that stands out somewhat over the other Mexican establishments in Shanghai is Maya, which is tucked away in an odd location off Julu Lu, in a clubhouse of all places. I recall going just after it first opened, have been several times since, the restaurant has gone through a number of chefs and managers over the years, and heard that the place had a new team manager the restaurant and thought I should give Maya one last try at redeeming itself, in an attempt at converting me to a mole or two.
So, for a Friday night out with the lads, we dined on the following dishes:
Fresh Seabass Caribbean Ceviche, that included a coconut passionfruit salsa, with a smattering of cashew nuts - must say a delightful dish that was paired with a Spanish Albarino wine.
Slow Roasted Pork Belly which came with a fruity house made Mole Poblano, sweet potato and corn, along with a truffle infused succotash – this dish had a considerable amount of fat on and had to leave most of the dish, paired with a Ribera del Duero.
Australian Beef Short Rib, that had been slow cooked for 48 hours, mopped up with a creamy mash and chimichurri, with black pepper & pasilla rich demi-glace type sauce paired with a Spanish Priorat Vinyes Velles.
And finished off with a Passion Fruit Crème brûlée, which was more like a flan in consistency than a traditional Crème brûlée I felt, nevertheless tasty enough, accompanied by a wonderful dessert wine simply called No.2 Victoria, again from Spain.
The service was a little slow at times, the venue is noisy with the background music, the toilets are a little rank in odour, and this is in the winter, they obviously have an issue with drainage or their noses perhaps.
Overall not a bad night out with a group of lads, damages overall 950RMB per person, I would not rush back to go down Mexico way again, mole or no mole, and we all know mole comes from.
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