Estrella Damm Tapas Trail: South American spirit at Maldito Mendez
Photos by Ken Downie for Metro.
136 Ponsonby Road
Easy-going cantina Maldito Mendez has been open for almost four years in its original Ponsonby Central site. A hit with the locals, owners Nico Mendez and Sarah Ginella combine years of hospitality experience with their love of South American cuisine, serving up dishes Mendez mastered as a chef in Argentina and Uruguay, where he trained under Francis Mallman.
We chatted with Mendez about his love of tapas:
Describe your most memorable tapas experience.
In Puerto Vallarta theres a tiny place called Pulpito that has great tapas, well crafted fresh fruit cocktails, and the best coconut prawns in Vallarta.
What do you think of when you think of tapas?
Snack sized appetisers made with quality ingredients. They should be small enough you can try a good selection with friends or make up a dinner by yourself.
What is your favourite thing about running a restaurant in Auckland?
The Ponsonby community.
What’s your favourite dish on the menu at the moment and why?
Roast duck with mole poblano, green rice and pink pickled onions – beautiful earthy rounded flavours with the poblano chillies, dark chocolate, toasted hazelnuts, slow roast duck and the sour sweet of the pickled onions – unusual flavours that work perfectly together!
Maldito Mendez’ Estrella Damm Tapas Trail menu:
- Jalapeños relleno (cheese-filled chillies)
- Sherry braised brisket, pickled onions and slaw in a soft roll
- Roast pumpkin, spinach, blue cheese and walnut empanadas
Enjoy all these dishes plus two glasses of Estrella Damm for $40.
About the Estrella Damm Tapas Trail: Metro, in partnership with Estrella Damm, proudly presents a culinary journey across Auckland which pairs flavoursome food from 13 of Auckland’s leading eateries with Estrella Damm’s Mediterranean lager. View other participating restaurants here.
This page is sponsored by Estrella Damm.