Maldito Mendez

4 star rating 46 reviews

Restaurant location map

09 3789107

Ponsonby Central, 4 Brown Street, Ponsonby, Auckland

  Latin American
11:30 AM to 11 PM


Reviews for Maldito Mendez

5 star rating
by Estelle
6 days ago

Settled here after a long night of looking for somewhere to eat, and boy was it worth the wait! I had a delicious sangria, and a duck meal. It was hand on heart one of the best hot meals I've ever had, and the service was great. The atmosphere was cosy and warm too. I would definitely go there again.

5 star rating
by Josh Law
20 days ago

I had never heard of this place my shame. I will have to hunt this place down now! I had the pulled pork tortilla thing. It was amazing. Easily the best pulled pork I've had over here. They were friendly and got the food out quickly. I wish i had more crowns to spend at that place. Well worth it.

5 star rating
by Auckland Food Tours
22 days ago

Best cerviche I've tried, really fresh fish with an interesting mix of mango and pomegranate in a light tasty marinade with a bite of chile that burst in your mouth, outstanding.

4 star rating
by GideonMarisa MasterchefNz2015
one month ago

Down right the best Mexican in town. Fresh delicious food, wicked cocktails and to top it off the staff are amazing. Highly recommend.
The place just leaves the mouth watering!

2 star rating
by Megan
one month ago

Decided to go here last night as we didn't quite know what we felt like and tacos are always a good option! Unfortunately, we were a little let down. The food was good, but not as good as we had hoped. Everything felt a little overpriced and the tacos were so stuffed full, it was hard to eat them! Our waitress was a darling, but unfortunately and overbearing manager/owner? ruined our dining experience. Asking us questions our very capable waitress had already asked.
All three of us have worked in hospo for way too long and all agreed that this guy needed to step back and trust his staff, because he just made us feel awkward and not very relaxed. Probably wouldn't go here again in a hurry.

3 star rating
by Catherine Jacobs
2 months ago

Nestled among other small restaurants in the the back of Ponsonby Central Maldito Mendez was quite the delight for a late night dinner. Even though there are other restaurants within close proximity there is weirdly enough intimacy while dining. The staff were very friendly & seated our party of 3 outdoors which had a few light woollen blankets at every table as well as the heaters above to keep warm. I thought was a nice touch. We ordered a few sides of spuds & they were really tasty. The Empanada I had was nice although a wee over priced. I wouldn't order it a again. For main I ordered the Moqueca, a seafood dish - I loved it. It was a shame they had no fish though. Instead I was given more prawns & mussels which were so fresh. The dish itself looked amazing. I ordered a Sangria to drink while wasn't the best & was really over priced. Despite a few over pricings I did enjoy my time at Maldito Mendez & would go back again.

4 star rating
by Grace Walley
2 months ago

Really nice fresh Mexican, nice atmosphere and bar. Been here twice had a beautiful ceviche in coconut and their hibiscus iced tea as well as a salad that was so yum!!

3 star rating
by Sungsam7
2 months ago

We loved the decor of this place. The service was great and one waiter upon request managed to get all our dishes out together so we didn't have long waits for each dish.
We ordered 4 shared plates and fortunately the chicken and fish tacos made up for the ONE Empanada to share between TWO lol WTH??? The chicken was devine!!!!
I forgot to ask for no coriander in the ceviche so my partner in crime had the lot. He says while it was fresh it was a tad on the sour side.
Drinks: cocktail and wine too darned pricey for what we actually in got in the glasses although both very nice drops.
Great decor, great service, tasty dishes mostly, nice but expensive drinks. I guess it's what you pay at that end of P Rd though.

5 star rating
by Jonathanelms1979
2 months ago

Wonderful. One of favourite restaurants in Auckland. Food is simple but extremely tasty. Good value. Margaritas are great. Good service, great atmosphere.

5 star rating
by Andrea
4 months ago

Simply the best tacos I’ve ever had!  
I went here for a team lunch with my work and I ordered the crispy coconut chicken taco. BUT I also wanted to try the market fish taco too so they made me a customized version where I had one of each taco… best decision ever.

And their complimentary hot sauces bottles sitting on their tables are a great way to add more flavour. I tried all of them!

On the same week I introduced my partner to this place (and the crispy coconut chicken tacos) for dinner and he felt the same way. This time I ordered the red Sangria which was really yummy. Definitely coming back and willing to try other stuff on their menu.

5 star rating
by Charles H.
4 months ago

Hands down the best Mexican we've found in Auckland. The flavours and ingredients are always wonderfully fresh, the plates arrive looking beautifully abundant and there's always a great vibe.

We've been several times and never been disappointed with the food. The ceviche is unmissable, and it's always a good idea to check out the specials. We mourned the loss of the pulled pork taco on the menu, but everything was so yummy we're not complaining!

On my last visit the service wasn't quite as friendly as usual (on previous visits we have been attended by fantastic front of house staff) but we still had great fun.

Would absolutely recommend this place, dive in head first and don't look back.

3 star rating
by Johann*
5 months ago

This is my favourite place for a quick lunch or to bring work colleagues visiting Auckland for dinner.

Unfortunately the service we received on Friday night was terrible and is making me rethink as to whether Maldito is still my list of favourite places to eat. We had to wait 32mins to place an order for drinks and starters.

We had to then wait a further 40mins to place an order for mains but the haphazard waiter who came to take our order only took mine and walked off. Trying to get the attention of that waiter or anyone else proved a little too difficult and I had to go inside to get someone to come out and take the remains orders.
I was told that I'd get some cutlery this came after 20mins and I had already eaten my meal using my fingers.

I was very disappointed as I was catching up with friends whom I hadn't seen in about a year and I had been raving about Maldito. Parking in Ponsonby is not the best on a Friday night but I assured my friends that the hassle would be very well worth it.

If we focus on the food - this was absolutely fantastic and reasonably priced. I'd highly recommend getting started with the mandioca fries and the crispy chicken tacos before choosing anyone of their mains. They are all delicious. (Yes I've tried nearly every dish. The menu is refreshed often hence why I keep going back).

My rating below is based on my Friday nights experience and I'm hoping that I can change this to something higher should I decide to visit again. (This being said I would still urge those wanting to try the place out to do so - I'm hoping that the management team will look at improving their service delivery by getting their staff some training. The food is that good.)

Rating out of 5 (5 being the highest):
Food – 4
Ambience – 4
Presentation – 3
Service – 2
Environment – 3

5 star rating
by Jeremy
5 months ago

Maldito Mendez has fresh food, great drinks, friendly staff and a fun atmosphere!
Definitely a place to visit when in Ponsonby

4 star rating
by Wanderlust
5 months ago

Love this place. We got a mix of small plates. The food was very fresh! You can taste each element in each dish. The food is authentic and made from scratch. The food is delicious.

Staff are fun friendly and helpful! Even when you don't ask they make sure you're making the best choices, which I love.

I'm also a massive margarita fan, and I love them here. A good size, strong and tasty.

1 star rating
by Brittany Mitchell
5 months ago

Usually we love this place and it's a regular for all in the office. Today however after receiving our chicken tacos we found the meat inside to be raw. We called to let them know and the response was "sorry about that". Unfortunately not the response we were looking for....

4 star rating
by Frank
7 months ago

There are a zillion Mexican places along P Rd now, so it is tough to stand out. Maldito's has plenty of character and a funky interior (now a requirement considering Mexico has done such a great job!).. and even a menu that looks top notch. Our Sangrias were sensational, my fish tacos looked great, although one tasted under seasoned and the other over seasoned, however overall I was pleased. My companion ordered the pork belly but even though she thought it was great, it was too spicy for her to finish. No room for dessert so will have to come back to try them...

5 star rating
by Miso
7 months ago

Delicious! Light with colourful salsas, this is delightfully flavoursome, healthy food. Always a pleasure to eat at Ponsonby Central for the people-watching too.

5 star rating
by Pip
8 months ago

This place is a gem. Smallish but cosy. There menu has some good options and the snacks are more than enough for lunch or a light dinner. I got the Pulled Pork Taco, my friend the Chicken Taco and Ceviche, which is a Peruvian raw fish dish, to share. The Cerviche was to die for and im not exaggerating. Lovely flavors, just perfect. The Pulled Pork was great and my friend's Chicken Taco, which I had to have a mouthful of, was delicious. We ordered coffee and my latte was one of the best i've had and i'm pretty fussy with my coffee. The staff were great, friendly and the service fast. There was nothing to fault at this place. Highly highly recommended!

4 star rating
by Daiana Cordoba
8 months ago

the Caipirinhas I had were very well done. The portions could be a bit bigger...the casava chips very excellent, tho. No many options on the menu

5 star rating
by Emma
9 months ago

Love LOVE this place! Super cozy and food is ultra tasty and fresh. First time I came I just got a couple empanadas of the day (beef) and sat at the bar and watched them make everything fresh. Overall I'm very impressed. Didn't get 5 stars because food is a little pricy but not too bad for quality.

4 star rating
by Tom Wilson
11 months ago

Great food great atmosphere. Losing a few points for the removal of the pork belly soft shell taco. You can't expect to remove the best item on the menu and get five stars.

5 star rating
by Isabel
11 months ago

Maldito Mendez has tasty, fresh food and a great atmosphere. The staff are attentive and friendly. I especially liked the Duck Mole and the Chilli and Ginger Margarita :) Perfect for a fun night out! Will be back soon!

0 star rating
by Anthony Baird
Dec 02, 2014

Good food with a few unusual options (cactus quesadillas, anyone?). The steak was perfectly cooked, with a nice smokiness to it, the fish had a delicious sauce, and the cactus quesadilla was actually really good. Also, we had sangria which was pretty damn tasty, with the unusual addition of mint! And churros to finish with a great chocolate sauce with added orange flavouring. Recommended!

4 star rating
by Vince Frank
Oct 26, 2014

I'm not usually a fan of Mexican food. I find it overpriced, overcooked and generally it reminds me of the sort of food I used to cook in my university days - i.e. throw a whole heap of ingredients in a pot, cook it too much and then sprinkle some cheese on top. Maldito Mendez is a refreshing change. The food is nicely balanced, fresh, and well presented. Good value for money too. The only reason I'm not giving it five stars is because I'd still rather eat Italian. But, to be honest, that's just me.

4 star rating
by Roger Cook
Jun 21, 2014

Loved the Ceviche - great way to start. The manuka smoked steak was cooked perfectly and had a great flavour topped by yummy chimichuirri. Delicious! Fish Tacos were good, but nothing special. Will be back.

4 star rating
by Felicity Pyne
Jun 14, 2014

Always good .... just wish it was bigger as very disappointed when you can't get a table as it is always full ! Good sign

4 star rating
by Taryn Muir
Apr 21, 2014

Best Ceviche in Auckland!!

Would give a full rating except sufficient seating is generally an issue each time we go.

2 star rating
by Steve Boyce
Apr 13, 2014

Rating Maldito Mendez terrible wasn't fair but it was poor. We had two glasses of wine, two taco meals, corn chips and a margarita = $86[!]. The margarita tequila was cheap, $15 for corn chips and salsa was insane, the piece of plastic in my fish taco that I thought was a fish scale wasn't great but the lack of flavor was worse. We had chicken and fish taco's and the only difference was the chicken and the fish... The chicken was crumbed and the flavor bland. The server was prompt and did a fine job but when you are handed back plastic from your meal - perhaps you could make a quiet apology. I wish I hadn't. I won't again.

4 star rating
by Mairi Herbert
Apr 06, 2014

Fancy a little South American? Well then you should check out Maldito Mendez.

The first visit was an early dinner after work one Tuesday, so no problem securing a table in the little courtyard just outside. It was a balmy summer evening & we were in the mood for some bubbles so a bottle of refreshing cava was the tipple of choice for the evening. To start some tortilla chips with guacamole, salsa & sour cream to tide us over until everyone arrived. Great guacamole & bright fresh salsa, we would just have like a little more.

We shared a few dishes for the main event. On the salad front it was a black bean, mango salad with chilli lime & coriander that was bright & zingy & just a nice hit of chilli heat. The crispy coconut chicken tacos were also a tasty treat, juicy & tender chicken with a golden crispy coating topped with chipotle may & on a fresh bed of spicy cabbage slaw with tamarind & pineapple for a little fresh & a little crunch. However, the star of the show was the Manuka smoked ribeye with the mandioca chips & the classic Argentinian chimichurri sauce with parsley, garlic, oregano, olive oil & wine vinegar. The mandioca chips were crisp & golden & ever so moreish & the chimichurri was sharp & tangy, perfect with the ribeye.

We did order dessert, 2 dessert! But our eyes were definitely bigger than our bellies! We couldn’t quite finish the churros, even though they were light & quite heavenly dunked in the spiced hot chocolate. Our Argentinian diner couldn’t go past the alfjor, an Argentinian dulce du leche cookie. The verdict; good but it needed more dulce du leche. Then again it’s probable that we’d always like more dulce du leche.

For my next visit it was lunch & a hibiscus tea to sip on which was sweet but not too sweet & a refreshing & zesty tipple on a hot sunny day. The black bean mango salad with chilli lime & coriander made an encore appearance & was just as good the second time round.

On the taco side of things it was fish this time & they were so good! Lightly crumbed perfectly cooked fish trumped the crispy coconut chicken tacos. What made the even better was the addition of pomegranate & tomatillo for a little burst of tart & tang. On any future visits it will be hard to go past these little beauties. Another standout was the lamb birria, an ever so flavourful lamb stew with roasted red peppers served with red rice, flour tortilla, sour cream & pickled red onions.

No dessert this time but another delicious meal at Maldito Mendez. It’s a friendly little joint & I will definitely be back for more.

If you like this for more check out

4 star rating
by Flyingkiwi
Mar 26, 2014

I've been here twice; once for lunch and once for dinner. On the suggestion of a friend - freshly in from London but whose sister lives 'round the corner - we went for lunch. We found an oasis of fun - food in Ponsonby is back as hipster wasteland par excellence!! After decades of yawndom, Ponsonby Central is re-defining what Kiwi food should be about - a collection of owner/operator gaffs serving good, fresh food to the cool and groovy. My return trip for dinner was slightly different. Although the policy is order at the bar - we'll bring it - at dinner they were over stretched. We grabbed the only table because I cleared it under the upturned noses of locals and sat down. You snooze - you lose. They need decent service because it is a great operation with queues of punters. Go early for lunch; the food is fresh and sparky. We had much the same for both meals; watermelon, tomatillo and pepita salad with queso fresco; croquettes of chorizo with salsa romesco; ribeye (yum!) with chimchirri and corn/blackbean salsa and snapper tacos with chipotle mayo. Go, but go early or late; it rocks!!!

5 star rating
by Michael Pritchard
Jan 20, 2014

This is a genuine 5 star review based on numerous positive visits.
Maldito Mendez is a great restaurant :) The food is unbelievable! If you have a sophisticated appreciation for flavour, you're going to love it here. Quality ingredients (their meat is free-range and fresh, sourced from Neat Meats across from them in Ponsonby Central). Very talented chefs, portion sizes are very reasonable. Staff are friendly and attentive. This is a very fun restaurant that provides amazing food and an unpretentious environment. A wonderful afternoon hangout spot.

4 star rating
by Carmella @ Easy Food Hacks
Jan 12, 2014

Maldito Mendez serves up fresh Latin American food with flair, in a fun and cheerful environment. Dumpling Club descended on Maldito Mendez for the final lunch for 2013. We sat outside in the little cordoned-off courtyard; it was a bit of a tight squeeze but we’re a friendly bunch. The food were full of colours, with the brightly hued peppers and tomatoes, red cabbage slaw and fresh herbs. Our very attentive waiter was incredibly patient with us; when you have a group of 11, our attention span is all over the place.

For drinks, the hibiscus tea ($4.50) is tangy and refreshing. The rest of the group indulged in their very fruity sangria, which comes in white and red wine versions. We shared some picadas (snacks) of mandioca fries with chipotle aioli ($8) and tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole ($12) as starters. The mandioca (also known as cassava) fries were starchy, with a slight resiny aftertaste. It was an interesting flavour which went well with the vinegary flavour of the creamy aioli. The tortilla chips were so fresh-tasting with the salsa and guacamole.

Grilled market fish tacos ($15) were served with spicy slaw and salsa verde. This was several of the group’s favourite dish. I had the pork belly burrito ($18) served with pineapple salsa and green rice. The pork belly was absolutely delicious; perfectly cooked with crisp skin and the melting fat and tender meat. The braised beef mulita ($18) is Maldito’s version of a quesadilla and comes in a buttermilk tortilla with provolone cheese. The beef is beautifully tender in a rich flavourful sauce. The chicken taco ($15) had crispy coconut chicken strips, served with chipotle mayo and criolla (onion relish).

Maldito Mendez is a delightful eatery; great environment, tasty food and excellent service. Plus, its location within Ponsonby Central means you can do your grocery shopping after your meal. If only parking in Ponsonby wasn’t such a hassle.

For more photos, see

5 star rating
by Jordan Buckley
Jan 09, 2014

This establishment exceeded my expectations in every regard. As I entered the ambiance was authentic South American. Cute tables. The waitress was on to it and very kind.

I started with a ceviche which was lovely fresh and light. A waiter recommended a chilli ginger margarita because it was a Monday and they were on special.

For mains I got a smoked steak which was absolutely amazing, and my vegetarian wife got a bean and egg dish which she seamed to enjoy even more than me.

Overall amazing food drink and accommodating service. Great for the vegetarians and health conscious.

4 star rating
by Alistair Ross
Dec 17, 2013

Maldito Mendez is one of the many eateries that has popped up in Ponsonby Central. It's small, packed full of ingredients & trend-setters (Colin Mathura-Jefferies was there on the night we visited) & pumps out the Mexican goodies.

Seating is either outdoor in the covered courtyard area, inside in the alcoved window seats, or the large room out back which seats bigger groups.

The blackboard lists the drink & food specials: when we visited on a Monday night there was a champagne special by the glass as well as a lamb stew that sounded delicious. The white sangria was just what the doctor ordered for this sweltering evening; light, sparkling & fruity. Choosing what to eat was a lot harder! The Ceviche comes highly recommended, as does the Market Fish Taco. But the Pork Belly Taco and the Confit Duck looked great too!

In the end the ceviche was everything I love about ceviche - tangy, light & full of flavour. The crispy tortillas served with it were great, but the portion was pretty small. The Pork Belly Taco had lots of crispy, tasty pork pieces loaded onto a soft tortilla with green rice & a fresh pineapple salsa. Hard to eat but very tasty.

Of course, any Mexican meal must finish with churros! Dusted in cinnamon sugar, crunchy and served with a warm chocolate sauce, they were the perfect finish to a pretty great night.

There are a lot of Mexican places competing for your buck in Auckland these days. This place is definitely worth checking out.

4 star rating
by Two Honest Truths
Dec 16, 2013

We went for dinner on a Monday and the place was reasonably full. As we had a large group we were seated in the back room. Our first thought was, it was hot. Since the weather has been scorching these few days it didn't help that there were no windows at the back (only a door facing another wall) and no fan for better air circulation.

To drink we had the Hibiscus Flower Margarita and Hibiscus Flower Ice Tea. Both refreshing, sweet and flavourful. We started with some Mandioca chips. It was something different, not as fluffy and light as your regular potato chips but we enjoyed the aioli that came with it. For our mains we had the Fish Ceviche, Chicken Taco and Smoked Fish Croquetta. The Ceviche was refreshing, but probably a little too sour (though that might have to do with me trying to squeeze nearly all the lime juice out). The chicken from the taco was delicious by itself, it was tender and had the right crunch. We didn't like the tortilla it was wrapped in however, it was a little too thick.

Service is friendly and attentive.

4 star rating
by Jade Lim
Nov 22, 2013

Authentic Mexican food!
Great place to dine with small group of friends

I love their fish tacos, while my partner enjoyed their coconut chicken tacos.

Speed: 4/5
Ambience: 4.5/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4.5/5

5 star rating
by Rick V
Nov 13, 2013

I had the wonderful smokey steak, couldn't fault, cooked to perfection and still juicy. Others in our group also raved. Most recommended. We've also been as a group and had the back room to ourselves, great.

5 star rating
by Brian Holland
Aug 28, 2013

This place is awesome. The food is amazing and never disappoints. We frequent the place often. Friendly staff are always helpful. Try the weekend brunch - it comes with a coffee or a mimosa included in the price.

4 star rating
by George
Aug 15, 2013

Hey I am perplexed too. We popped in here one Sunday night after a recommendation From Max at Jimmy The Fish. We were not disappointed. We had a lovely little corner table and started off with the beef empanada which was fantastic and the croquette with romesco, great, love that sauce. Then the fish taco, fresh and tasty. My beloved had the smoky rib eye and has been raving to all who will listen about how very good it was! We will be back!

5 star rating
by Sarah Fowlie
Jun 23, 2013

I'm really perplexed with the negative reviews for this restaurant. In my opinion Maldito Mendez really over deliver given the price. The food is fresh, spicy, tasty, real! We had a quick lunch with my 4 year old. 'Chips' of cassava were light and delicious (and the non potato ness not detected by little sir). We ordered some little things, one main and some sides. Goodness. Pineapple slaw! Ceviche! So much gorgeous fresh lime and chili. And then the duck mole. Hot and earthy with a fresh balance where the heat complimented the dish rather than overpowering it. We had a little sangria. That was pretty tasty too. Would have had more but Mr. 4 was campaigning to go. On paying spied something amazing and chocolatey I need to go back for next time.

5 star rating
by Sarah Ginella
Jun 10, 2013

Had a fun night with friends and some great food, very economic - croquettas with romesco very nice, duck mole the standout dish, and flan with rum raisins nice finish. Try the hibiscus margaritas and the passionfruit caipiroska, fresh fruit ingredients.
Busy and fun atmosphere, we will be back!

2 star rating
by James Mcmullan
May 08, 2013

We had 3 starters to share - a braised beef in a foldover bread which was OK, a salad which was fresh and good and a cheese and chorizo dish which was very poor and had literally 3 tiny rounds of chorizo in the whole thing. The dishes were average overall but priced apparently reasonably, around $15 each.

Service was very slow and we had to ask for everything each time as they were non-attentive. After we left we realised they had overcharged us $50 on top of our food and wine.

Hit and miss food, slow service and got stung for $50 - which at best was a shoddy error, at worst a ripoff... The Argentinian grill opposite has been consistently better food

1 star rating
by Janice Jamison
Apr 01, 2013

This is not a place for large groups at all… Maldito Mendez says they are happy to take bookings for groups of eight or more but the service my party received definitely says otherwise. It was a terrible experience from start to finish. After being informed by Ponsonby Central that Maldito would handle the booking for my group, I never received a promised call from the restaurant. When I eventually did chase it up, I booked for my party and then received a call saying there was a minimum spend per person. Though this spend was within the bounds of what was normal to spend on a meal, it was a bit on the nose being informed of this after the fact of booking. Come the night of the dinner, the supposed private dining room resembled a store cupboard, complete with cardboard boxes and fire extinguishers and other patrons coming through to use the bathroom or exit. And the service we received from the staff matched it perfectly. Drinks were ordered and set down at the end of the table for us to figure out whose was what. Plates of food were literally thrown across the table at my guests. The Manager had the worst manners of any of the wait staff – surly and sarcastic for no apparent reason. The final insult was dealt when the waitress lost track of who had paid for what on the bill and demanded a mystery $15 and told us it was our fault for being a large group. The experience we had at this place was so bad it is actually still a talking point between us!

5 star rating
by Jef Wright
Mar 09, 2013

Restrained prices on adequate portions of great food, friendly staff, not a paper plate in sight, several beers and wines on tap as well as by the bottle. Photocopied paper menus so I guess the food on offer changes often - as it should if it's going to be fresh and in season.

2 star rating
by Mauricio Bruneli
Feb 08, 2013

Not the most friendly of hosts. Order at the counter when we are seating outside. PAPER plates! Sloppy service. Not a fan at all!

5 star rating
by Melanie Vermont
Nov 29, 2012

Wow , stunningly good food, we had the duck - delicious , the spicy fish very tasty and the leek and cheese empanada yum .Service quick , staff friendly . We sat outside for lunch, really nice environment , there is a long table inside in a private area which we were told we could request for a large group - perfect.