Maldito Mendez

4 star rating 29 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 Pip J
24 days 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
26 days 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
one month 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.

5 star rating
by Pippilotta
one month ago

One of our favourite Ponsonby eateries! This is a casual place with an uncomplicated menu. The Latin American food is FRESH, zingy, honest, and delicious....fresh limes, fabulous cerviche, crunchy salads, and the best tacos. I would have given it a 5, but on occasion the front of the restaurant is run by a young guy who is too cool to provide too much service. The rest of the staff are good.

4 star rating
by Tom Wilson
3 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
3 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!

4 star rating
by Vince Frank
5 months ago

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
9 months ago

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
9 months ago

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
11 months ago

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
11 months ago

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
11 months ago

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 Easyfoodhacks
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.