Maya's little sister is high end sans the high prices
Modern art depicting indigenous Mayan culture adorns the walls in the dining space while the spacious terrace provides unparalleled outdoor ambience in the center of Shanghai — Mayita is a contemporary Mexican restaurant and bar with a reputation for providing premium experiences without premium prices.
The restaurant was opened by the same team behind Maya — the most upscale Mexican restaurant in town. At Mayita, which literally means “Little Maya,” founder Miguel Jonsson wanted to offer the same quality in a more casual environment with a large terrace that offers an al-fresco option Maya doesn’t have.
“Five years ago I felt it would be a great complement to Maya,” Jonsson said. “Our customers expect the same standards we are known for, and I believe we deliver that consistently.”
With Mayita’s beautiful terrace, the venue often attracts large groups that come to share dishes, relax and enjoy themselves.
A typical brunch or dinner involves groups of friends sharing a variety of tacos, quesadillas, nachos, guacamole and enchiladas served at a comfortable pace along with delicious margaritas, tequilas and mezcals.
Most of the food here is rich with flavors yet light and refreshing on the palate.
I started my night trying out different kinds of tacos and quesadillas.
The slow-roast pork belly taco with mango salsa was especially good, and the garlic jalapeno quesadilla insanely satisfying and authentic.
The crispy toasted cheese quesadilla with flavorful, spicy jalapeno peppers was a perfect appetizer with just the right amount of kick to it.
My main dish Beef Carne Asada was another highlight.
You can taste the essence of true Mexican flavors — marinated and grilled meat served with grilled pineapple, chimichurri sauce, watercress salad and herb roasted potatoes.
The marinade that integrated tamarind, onion, garlic, vinegar, mustard and coriander makes the recipe authentic and seasons the beef to absolute perfection.
Jonsson suggests taking your time when dining at Mayita while pairing different food and cocktails.
Their margaritas use fresh-squeezed juices and are well known around the town for their high quality.
I tasted a deluxe avocado frozen margarita and tamarind rum sour — both perfectly done.
The sweet and sour flavors from the tamarind rum sour make it an ideal summer cocktail and perfect complement to the cuisine.
Opening hours: 11am-11pm
Address: 6/F, 98 Shouning Rd
Average price: 180 yuan