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A Customer Helped Create Maya's New Vegan Friendly Menu

Aug 2, 2017 | 19:00 Wed
Here's a heart-warming tale of customer, manager, and chef getting together to improve Shanghai's menus for the vegans and vegetarians out there. Contemporary Mexican restaurant Maya has created a 'Green Menu' with its own cocktails and over 25 vegan-friendly items, including alternatives like Zucchini Carpaccio and Honeydew Gazpacho. Vegan foodporn available after the jump.


Zucchini Carpaccio w/ avocado, peanuts, jalapeño, sesame, Chili & Kale Chicharron 48rmb

Rob Jameson, manager of Maya and Mayita, says the Green Menu came about for a few different reasons. In general, people in Shanghai want healthy options. It's why we see all the healthy food trends in the city these days. On a smaller scale, it irked him to see his customers overpaying for dishes without meat. Add a new chef and the persistence of one customer, and the vegan friendly menu is born.

One of the really yummy sides: Coconut & Chipotle Lentils 35rmb

The persistent customer, Eve Samyuktha, moved to Grand Plaza in late February. Eve’s a vegan. She frequented her neighbor Maya almost every other day, but was relegated to ordering sides because asking for adjustments to set dishes was getting complicated. She says she asked Rob almost every day for more options, and Rob was always open, just busy running two restaurants. But when creating a new summer menu with Chef Jonathan Ynsense, a chance for a little vegan experimentation appeared.

A starter: Calabaza & Garbanzo Bean Tacos w/ roasted tomato salsa 25rmb

A separate menu was made so they don't alienate meat-eaters, who are known to be dangerous and quick to anger. During its creation, Chef Jonathan and Rob invited Eve and some of her vegan buddies to test it out. She says their feedback was taken seriously, and adjustments were made and now Eve raves about the menu. She says the Verde Enchiladas are the best-most-flavorful-thing she's ever eaten. So, vegan tested, vegan approved.

Roasted Portabello Mushroom Relleno w/ refried beans & mexican rice 110rmb

The menu's got options with 3 cocktails, 12 sides, 7 appetizers, 4 mains, and 2 desserts (only thing not made in-house is the vegan ice cream from Happy Buddha). The menu was launched at end of June and the original plan was to keep it till August, but if it continues to be popular it might stick around a bit longer. TBD. When visiting the restaurant if you want the Green Menu, just ask for it.

Dessert: Coconut Chia Seed Pudding w/ Mixed Seasonal Fruit 48rmb

Other menu highlights include: their Grilled Portobello Kale & Chard Salad (58rmb), Vegetable Fajitas (98rmb), and Lentil & Mixed Vegetable Enchiladas (110rmb). And their Avocado Margarita...

The Avocado Margarita w/ agave nectar, less sugar than a regular margarita and mighty tasty 35rmb

Inspired? Eve's got a group, well lots of groups actually dedicated to healthy eating—you need not be a vegan to join. If you're interested in learning more check out the 'Vegans of Shanghai' WeChat: veganeve

Update: The Green Menu's permanent at Maya, menu items subject to change


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