By the time I manage to find the entrance to Maya restaurant (tip: it is accessed through a separate door at the back of the hotel) I am in a thoroughly bad mood. Thirty minutes later, however, I’m staring at a breathtaking London panorama, cocktail in hand, feeling as if I haven’t got a care in the world.
For those of you who don’t know, Maya is the Hoxton, Shoreditch’s swanky new rooftop restaurant and bar. The eaterie is the venue’s answer to the phenomenally popular Seabird restaurant at the chain’s Southwark branch.
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Not that Maya can quite match Seabird’s breathtaking city views (Maya is ‘only’ on the 7th floor of The Hoxton while Seabird is on the 14th floor). Yet, given this fact, the views from the venue are really quite something, with the towers of the City and Canary Wharf clearly visible from the majority of the tables.
Decor wise, Maya has gone for that trendy outdoor in vibe, with terracotta tiled floors, pastelly sofas and an assortment of eye catching wicker lampshades. In addition, there’s a humongous bar dominating one wall as well as a light and airy outdoor section.
Maya’s look is complemented by a forest of greenery liberally scattered around the room. There are potted plants sitting besides tables, an eye catching wall of plants running along one wall and a variety of plants dangling from the ceiling.
The restaurant is the brainchild of Giacomo Pettinari. Maya’s Executive Chef brings a wealth of experience to the venue from his many years working in a variety of popular Mexican restaurants in LA with the menu dominated by the same mix of Baja-Mexican cuisine that Pettinari helped to popularise in the US.
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To get the ball rolling, I order a cocktail. The Verde Aztec proves an excellent choice. A heady mix of tequila, Cointreau, apple, jalapeno, and lime, the drink has an irresistibly sweet yet bitter taste that is at once cool and refreshing.
Next up are the Chicken tinga tacos. These are lovely, too, with a generous helping of avocado, sweet tasting refried beans and well seasoned chicken.
The sea bass ceviche, meanwhile, is as delicious as it it good looking. I’ve found that the dish can be a bit hit in London restaurants but Maya’s version of the popular Latin American food is gorgeous, if a little small. The mix of pickled onion, jalapeno, radish, and lime is simply perfect, nevertheless, and the sea bass is fresh tasting and tender.
The babacoa cutlets are even better – succulent and tender with just the right amount of seasoning. I pair them with some absolutely moreish fried sweet potatoes (camotes) and the combination absolutely hits the spot.
The grilled pineapple with coconut sorbet dessert is the only real disappointment to be honest. It has a good range of flavours and textures but the pineapple could be softer and I couldn’t help but feel that the dish would be better served with cream or custard rather than an ice cream. It’s a minor quibble, however, given the quality of the food I’ve just eaten.
The Hoxton have got a winner on their hands with their new rooftop restaurant, Maya. Warm and personable service, a stunning location and great cocktails certainly don’t hurt. At the end of the day, however, it is the food that will make or break the venue, and, on that score, Maya gets it absolutely spot on.
More information about Maya at the Hoxton can be found here.
For information about other great places to eat and drink in London, please click here.