Explore Ancient Mayan Flavours and Modern Mexican Cuisine at The Mayan Birmingham.
If you’re in Birmingham and looking for a dining experience that fuses the ancient tastes of the Mayan culture with contemporary Mexican cuisine, The Mayan in The Mailbox is one to try. This New Mexican restaurant promises a delightful adventure with traditional ingredients and modern culinary techniques.
Ambiance and Seating Options
When booking The Mayan, you can pick from three distinct seating areas (if available). Each has its own unique theme.
- The opulent El Dorado, adorned with a golden backdrop and is inspired by the hidden gold in ancient Mexico
- The Mayan Temple offers a jungle-inspired setting, complete with Mayan-inspired walls for a truly immersive experience. We had a booth which was lovely however the music got pretty loud as the evening went on, making it harder to talk.
- The Canal Side area provides a pleasant and option and is near the bar area. They also have outdoor seating
If you just want drinks they have a beautiful Mezcal Bar where you can sit and sip on a few drinks.
To kickstart our meal, we indulged in crunchy corn tortilla chips served alongside a tantalizing trio of dips – salsa roja, chimichurri, and crema chipotle. The combination was an instant winner, leaving us craving more.
Next up we had the padrón peppers, which were served with a delectable coconut onion cream. The peppers were all cooked differently, some perfect others not.
Starters & Mains
We chose to have some mains with a couple of the prawn starter to share.
- The Gambas Picantes presented four Atlantic prawns served with a sweet potato purée. While the flavours were excellent, the thick spiced batter gave it a stodgy rather than crispy texture.
- The Baja Fish Tacos caught my attention, featuring battered fried cod accompanied by guacamole and keta caviar, served on mini homemade corn tortillas. Like the gambas the thick batter took away from the expected crispiness.
- Berenjena Tacos: Three corn tortillas came with spiced aubergine, guacamole, chilli coconut yogurt, and crispy sweet potato. Bursting with flavor and a delightful kick, we highly recommend it.
- The Barbacoa lamb shank was tender and succulent, served with a herbs braised rice and lamb sauce. Whilst enjoyable, it could have been elevated with a bit more depth of flavour
- The Carnitas De Puerco: three pieces of slow-cooked pork belly served with sweet potato mash, apple puree, and pork sauce, delighted our taste buds with its perfect textures and delicious flavors.
You will notice a lot of their dishes have sweet potato. While this is nice I think there should be an option to change this because the flavour can get too much.
Dessert: Sweet Endings
The dessert selection at The Mayan did not disappoint. We relished the Choco Piñata – a decadent chocolate bomb filled with rich chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla cream. It was a delightful and indulgent treat. The chocolate was not the dome shape it should be but still great.
The churros clásicos were served with a rich chocolate sauce. They were on the greasy side which was a shame. The portion size was generous and with the chocolate sauce they tasted fine.
It was my birthday and they brought out a cute little board with some cheesecake and dry ice decoration.
The Mayan’s drinks menu offers a plethora of options, and each cocktail/mocktail is thoughtfully presented, promising an exciting and unique experience. They also have Mexican style hot chocolate for those who want something hot and sweet.
We enjoyed the following drinks:
- The Guardian, a gin-based cocktail with guava lime soda, served alongside a kiwi apple sorbet. The interplay of flavours between the sorbet and the drink was amazing
- Divine Creation, a classy gin-based cocktail with guava, vanilla, and paprika, was delightful and leaned towards the sweeter side which I loved
- For a refreshing non-alcoholic option, the Mayan Mask mocktail, featuring thyme, rosemary, kiwi, cucumber, and apple, hit all the right notes and came on a little light which added to the presentation
Draught beer was also consumed but its just beer so not worthy of the photos (lol).
The Mayan offers an inviting ambiance and friendly staff, making it a pleasant dining destination. There is room for improvement in some dishes, however the overall experience was enjoyable. I recommend trying it out as they are relatively new and I expect them to keep evolving and perfecting their offerings.
I look forward to returning to The Mayan Birmingham to try their impressive Mezcal selection of drinks. The hot chocolate sounded so luxurious too and I will be going back to try it.