It’s not every day that The Hoxton gets a new restaurant, but when it does? You know it’s going to be good. When Seabird arrived in its new Southwark digs two years ago, there was a huge buzz. With a heaving seafood menu, gorgeous interiors and New York-style rooftop, it quickly cemented itself as a capital mainstay. And now, the edgy hotel brand has welcomed Soho House to East London for a feel of the West Coast.
Located above the existing Shoreditch hotel, Maya is the new Mexican outpost that’s serving up all sorts of stunning. Like its seafood-loving sister in the south, it’s touting coastal vibes and sexy views… if Seabird is a slice of NYC, then Maya is its LA counterpart. Though with Soho House taking the reigns (Maya began as a concept at the West Hollywood hotel), it's somehow cooler, less publicised and so covert that it has a separate entrance to the hotel. We were whisked around the back and down an unassuming side street, before finding an elevator up to the seventh floor.
The lofty spot offers up both indoor and outdoor dining, though with such great weather, we skipped the leafy bar area for a plot on the coveted terrace. Bedibas (drinks in Spanish) come in the form of tequila and mezcal cocktails, with long and short options alongside a beer-centred Michelada. For us, it was the Paloma (£12) – well balanced, punchy, classic – and a Naked & Famous (£12) which offset the heady Amores Mezcal Verde Momento with Chartreuse, Aperol and lime for a zesty kick.
The food menu is short but sweet, with succinct sections for smalls, ceviche, greens, tacos, plates and sides. We had to try a bit of everything. From the smalls, buttery street corn (£6) came snowed under a mountain of grated queso fresco, while fresh guacamole (£9) was served with huge tortilla chips and crudités. Persuaded by our waiter to order the spicy tuna tostada (£13), we were not disappointed. A crispy shell topped with plump tuna and layered with avocado, chipotle mayo, greens – it was so good that we asked for it all over again.
Next up for my dinner date was a T&T (£12) that matched Casamigos tequila with Trip's CBD-infused lemon basil can, though I went off-menu with a classic margarita – served short, rimmed with salt and perfectly peppery. Hidden under a slew of jalapenos, ceviche (£11) packed tasty chunks of seabass, while tacos (£9) were as tasty as we’d hoped. Putting each to the test – Baja cod, chicken tinga, squash blossom calabacitas – the first two were delicious of course, though the plant-based option offered something a little more unusual. We wrapped up with churros (£7) and an oddly satisfying grilled pineapple with coconut sorbet (£6) before a few espresso martinis as the sun disappeared. Who needs a green list anyway?
The DesignMyNight Digest
Arriving with the cool, after-work crowd and leaving long after sunset, we could have stayed for hours at Maya. Not only is the service excellent - staff really know their stuff and are ready to suggest their favourite dishes, while bartenders can knock up all kinds of classic sips – but the menu is as beautiful as the decor. Whether you’re after a hot new rooftop destination or gagging to be transported to warmer climes, you’ll want to check out East London’s hot new opening.
Maya is located at 1 Willow Street, EC2A 4BH and open daily from 12-11pm. For more sky-high sips, check out our list of the best rooftop bars in Shoreditch.