Food reviews - Shanghai, Uncategorized MAYA 10 November 2009


Maya
2/F, Shanghai Grand Plaza
568 Julu Lu
Shanghai, China

PRICE: ?????
RATING:

Maya is expensive. But it’s expected, since they’re a tapas place, and from our experience, tapas is always expensive around the world. The prices are up around Australian prices, which I consider extremely expensive in Shanghai (where $1 can get you a full meal). It’s very evidently catered only for expats, because virtually every face in there was a foreign face. The good news was that all the staff spoke fluent English and the menu was also in English, though I did wish they had photos of all the dishes because it’s Mexican-style tapas and I have very little knowledge of Mexican food (aside from good ‘ol tacos and the like).

I found most of the dishes very tasty, thoughtfully presented, and came out swiftly (I LOVE this in a restaurant). The portion sizes were miniscule, considering the price, so we weren’t very full at the end of the meal, yet still spent a pretty penny. It’s a shame, because if it was 30% cheaper, we would re-visit for sure.


Maya

Seated at our cozy little table

Margaritas!!

Homemade guacamole & chips – OUTSTANDING. But mindboggingly
expensive considering the tiny portion in the bowl.

Pork Empanadas with squid, mango and sour orange mojo –
basically like a pork curry puff. Loved it 🙂

Oxtail with.. something. Can’t remember but this was delicious,
the oxtail was so soft and tender

Spanish Chorizo with olives, parsley marinated mushrooms, tomato bread –
I’d actually assumed it would be thick slices of Chorizo cooked with garlic,
but this was not a bad alternative

Blackened Tilapia Fish Taco – delicious! The fish was tender and flavourful

Roast baby potatoes – a little hard, but ok

Beef quesadilla – adorably presented, but the cheese was so insanely salty

Roast Duck quesadilla with pepper jack, pickled onions, hoisin chipotle sauce
Just fantastic! Loved it. Too bad it was so tiny…


38 Comments

  • starbucksweetie posted on November 10, 2009 at 3:44 am

    Yum, I love tapas because it provides lots of variety

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 10, 2009 at 6:45 am

      Yeah that’s the exact reason I like em, I love having loads of little bits of food. Shame it’s so $$$$$ though!

      Reply
  • irene82 posted on November 10, 2009 at 4:34 am

    Hi Bev! Quick question: How do you know which restaurants and places to try? 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 10, 2009 at 6:46 am

      A combination of talking to people, walking down the street and seeing ’em myself, and searching endlessly for reviews online 😛

      Reply
  • eykimura posted on November 10, 2009 at 7:47 am

    love your blog!

    I’m visiting my guy friend who recently move to Shanghai for work (I’m from California, and was skeptical of the local local food here), and I’ve been figuring out where to go out and eat and your blog has been a great help.I ran into it on the Shanghai food review sites… I love the pics and reviews and have been taking advantage of all the 411 you have. Although i’m not a livejournal blogger (I’m a xanga blogger:)) definitely giving you lots of kudos. Keep writing! I’m bookmarking your page on my guy’s mac for now.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 10, 2009 at 3:18 pm

      Re: love your blog!

      i’m glad you like the reviews! have fun during your visit 😀

      Reply
  • starbucksweetie posted on November 10, 2009 at 3:44 am

    Yum, I love tapas because it provides lots of variety

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 10, 2009 at 6:45 am

      Yeah that’s the exact reason I like em, I love having loads of little bits of food. Shame it’s so $$$$$ though!

      Reply
  • irene82 posted on November 10, 2009 at 4:34 am

    Hi Bev! Quick question: How do you know which restaurants and places to try? 🙂

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 10, 2009 at 6:46 am

      A combination of talking to people, walking down the street and seeing ’em myself, and searching endlessly for reviews online 😛

      Reply
  • tiffanyx posted on November 10, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    china is amazing with all the foreign food eh!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 10, 2009 at 3:19 pm

      Yeah, it’s really cool how there’s loads of various cuisines here. Wouldn’t have been the same 10 years ago for sure!

      Reply
      • tiffanyx posted on November 11, 2009 at 12:36 am

        haha you wouldnt wanna be in china 10 years ago~~

        Reply
  • equinox_han posted on November 10, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    love your dresss!!!!!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 10, 2009 at 3:19 pm

      Hee thank ya, it’s Alannah Hill!

      Reply
  • oo_mimi_oo posted on November 10, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    everything looks yummy!!!

    your dress is pretttyyy=)

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 10, 2009 at 3:20 pm

      Thanks! Wish I got a nice clear fulllength pic of it, but forgot :X

      Reply
  • eykimura posted on November 10, 2009 at 7:47 am

    love your blog!

    I’m visiting my guy friend who recently move to Shanghai for work (I’m from California, and was skeptical of the local local food here), and I’ve been figuring out where to go out and eat and your blog has been a great help.I ran into it on the Shanghai food review sites… I love the pics and reviews and have been taking advantage of all the 411 you have. Although i’m not a livejournal blogger (I’m a xanga blogger:)) definitely giving you lots of kudos. Keep writing! I’m bookmarking your page on my guy’s mac for now.

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 10, 2009 at 3:18 pm

      Re: love your blog!

      i’m glad you like the reviews! have fun during your visit 😀

      Reply
  • tiffanyx posted on November 10, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    china is amazing with all the foreign food eh!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 10, 2009 at 3:19 pm

      Yeah, it’s really cool how there’s loads of various cuisines here. Wouldn’t have been the same 10 years ago for sure!

      Reply
      • tiffanyx posted on November 11, 2009 at 12:36 am

        haha you wouldnt wanna be in china 10 years ago~~

        Reply
  • equinox_han posted on November 10, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    love your dresss!!!!!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 10, 2009 at 3:19 pm

      Hee thank ya, it’s Alannah Hill!

      Reply
  • oo_mimi_oo posted on November 10, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    everything looks yummy!!!

    your dress is pretttyyy=)

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 10, 2009 at 3:20 pm

      Thanks! Wish I got a nice clear fulllength pic of it, but forgot :X

      Reply
  • kachunknorge posted on November 11, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I’m insanely envious of your proximity to so much good food!

    Reply
  • kachunknorge posted on November 11, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I’m insanely envious of your proximity to so much good food!

    Reply
  • popcorn_feet posted on November 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Lovely place and really lovely food… I hate going to a place and feeling like I didnt get a good value though. :/ even if it was good…I dont know…

    Reply
  • popcorn_feet posted on November 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Lovely place and really lovely food… I hate going to a place and feeling like I didnt get a good value though. :/ even if it was good…I dont know…

    Reply
  • Anonymous posted on November 15, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    hi
    what sort of camera do you use to take your pictures? they look sharp and clear!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 15, 2009 at 2:52 pm

      Panasonic Lumix LX3 🙂

      Reply
      • Anonymous posted on December 16, 2009 at 10:29 am

        Maya review

        Dear Beverly,

        Thank you for your kind comments on Maya. We are very happy that you liked our food.
        Our price point seems to be a big concern for you and we would like to clarify the reasons for it.

        Our average check at maya is around 220-250 RMB/person. There is a long list of restaurants with average checks of 500-1000 and even some with 1,000+.
        at the same time its also possible to have dinner in shanghai for 3 kuai or less.

        Why is this? The answer is many reasons.

        When running a restaurant you have a choice on what products to use. You can for example buy imported high grade beef, fresh organic vegetables, high quality olive oil, special imported spices, flour etc.. or you can buy local goods at a fraction of the cost. This will obviously have a huge effect on the price tag of the dish but also on the TASTE and not to mention the nutrition that goes into your body. You can also hire very cheap scruffy staff who don’t speak any english and have no idea about service.

        At Maya we’ve opted to only use high end fresh ingredients.
        Case in point is our guacamole that you pointed out as especially expensive. We use the best avocado’s available that are imported from south america. There is certainly cheaper guacamole around, but countless people come to maya specifically for our guacamole because they feel it’s the best in town.

        When considering the prices of a restaurant one should also consider the environment. one cannot compare the price of a taco in maya to a taco truck in LA or even australia. At maya we have 60 people on staff(including several expat) all to ensure that food, service, atmosphere, hygene is top notch(we have the highest hygene marks from government). We spent a lot on design and do relentless staff training to make the place as comfortable and pleasant as possible. All this needs to be paid for somehow. If we were to charge only slightly less we would be running at a loss.

        We have invested in all this because we wanted to bring something special to shanghai, beyond the typical taco bar.
        This year we were awarded Best Restaurant of the year by City Weekend and Best South American by that’s shanghai.
        With the costs that we are running we cannot lower the prices, but we can and always do strive to present great VALUE to our customers.

        We do understand that for students etc. Maya can seem a bit expensive. And for a quick and simple taco or burrito fix there are many options in town. Maya is for when you want you want that little extra dining experience.

        When we get reviewed as an “expensive” restaurant online it actually hurts us and we feel it’s not really fair considering the above mentioned reasons.
        We cannot force you to change your reviews but hope that our explanations seem reasonable to you.
        Hope to see back at Maya:)

        Best Regards
        Maya management

        Reply
        • beverly posted on December 17, 2009 at 9:14 am

          Re: Maya review

          Thanks for your response – I really think it’s wonderful when a restaurant stays on top of what people are saying about them and accepts feedback.

          My comments are only my personal opinion – I’ve been doing (informal) food reviews for almost 15 years now in many countries, so I do take all that into consideration. I personally found the restaurant pricey but I am sure you will have a whole spectrum of customers that will regard Maya as cheap to expensive.

          I thought the food was great food, and the service warm and friendly. My only wish was that the portion sizes were larger, almost double the size – I would consider that great value for money and an excellent place to go with friends 🙂

          Reply
  • Anonymous posted on November 15, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    hi
    what sort of camera do you use to take your pictures? they look sharp and clear!

    Reply
    • beverly posted on November 15, 2009 at 2:52 pm

      Panasonic Lumix LX3 🙂

      Reply
      • Anonymous posted on December 16, 2009 at 10:29 am

        Maya review

        Dear Beverly,

        Thank you for your kind comments on Maya. We are very happy that you liked our food.
        Our price point seems to be a big concern for you and we would like to clarify the reasons for it.

        Our average check at maya is around 220-250 RMB/person. There is a long list of restaurants with average checks of 500-1000 and even some with 1,000+.
        at the same time its also possible to have dinner in shanghai for 3 kuai or less.

        Why is this? The answer is many reasons.

        When running a restaurant you have a choice on what products to use. You can for example buy imported high grade beef, fresh organic vegetables, high quality olive oil, special imported spices, flour etc.. or you can buy local goods at a fraction of the cost. This will obviously have a huge effect on the price tag of the dish but also on the TASTE and not to mention the nutrition that goes into your body. You can also hire very cheap scruffy staff who don’t speak any english and have no idea about service.

        At Maya we’ve opted to only use high end fresh ingredients.
        Case in point is our guacamole that you pointed out as especially expensive. We use the best avocado’s available that are imported from south america. There is certainly cheaper guacamole around, but countless people come to maya specifically for our guacamole because they feel it’s the best in town.

        When considering the prices of a restaurant one should also consider the environment. one cannot compare the price of a taco in maya to a taco truck in LA or even australia. At maya we have 60 people on staff(including several expat) all to ensure that food, service, atmosphere, hygene is top notch(we have the highest hygene marks from government). We spent a lot on design and do relentless staff training to make the place as comfortable and pleasant as possible. All this needs to be paid for somehow. If we were to charge only slightly less we would be running at a loss.

        We have invested in all this because we wanted to bring something special to shanghai, beyond the typical taco bar.
        This year we were awarded Best Restaurant of the year by City Weekend and Best South American by that’s shanghai.
        With the costs that we are running we cannot lower the prices, but we can and always do strive to present great VALUE to our customers.

        We do understand that for students etc. Maya can seem a bit expensive. And for a quick and simple taco or burrito fix there are many options in town. Maya is for when you want you want that little extra dining experience.

        When we get reviewed as an “expensive” restaurant online it actually hurts us and we feel it’s not really fair considering the above mentioned reasons.
        We cannot force you to change your reviews but hope that our explanations seem reasonable to you.
        Hope to see back at Maya:)

        Best Regards
        Maya management

        Reply
        • beverly posted on December 17, 2009 at 9:14 am

          Re: Maya review

          Thanks for your response – I really think it’s wonderful when a restaurant stays on top of what people are saying about them and accepts feedback.

          My comments are only my personal opinion – I’ve been doing (informal) food reviews for almost 15 years now in many countries, so I do take all that into consideration. I personally found the restaurant pricey but I am sure you will have a whole spectrum of customers that will regard Maya as cheap to expensive.

          I thought the food was great food, and the service warm and friendly. My only wish was that the portion sizes were larger, almost double the size – I would consider that great value for money and an excellent place to go with friends 🙂

          Reply

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