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Mexico City

MASALA Y MAÏZ

Mexico City

MASALA Y MAÏZ

BEST NEW BISTRO

MASALA Y MAÏZ

SHORTLISTED BY BISTRONAUT #10

WHO
Chefs and owners Norma Listman and Saqib Keval, who are also in a relationship, cook up tasty meals thanks to the various flavors they have encountered over their lives. Saqid, who was born in North America but has Indian and Kenyan roots, had the best mentor: his grandmother! For Norma, corn was at the origin of her desire to discover more about her Mexican culture. Masala y Maïz, located in the residential neighborhood of San Miguel Chapultepec, was born as an investigative project for them to study the similitudes that exist between their cultures (when it comes to food, there are lots!).
After facing many challenges (the opening date was supposed to be September 20th, a day after the earthquake, and in April of 2018, city officials ordered a suspension of services), it’s clear that they are part of the food scene´s most important players.

FOOD
I started with the sensational esquites Makai Pakka inspired by both cultures. Originally it was a Mexican street food snack composed of grilled corn usually spread with mayonnaise and topped with crumbly cheese, chili powder and lime juice. Saqib´s extra touch, coconut milk plus masala keniano, makes for the best esquites in town!
The chefs brought roast beetroot to another level by transforming it into a puree with poached eggs, pear chutney, pomegranate and citrus top notes. I wasn´t expecting such intense and sweet flavors.
Another surprising dish arrived in front of me, this time clams in a breathtaking spiced coconut milk salsa, served with wax beans and fried plantains that combined firm and soft textures.
Since everyone shares the same table, taking a close look at your neighbors’ meals is mandatory. The peel-and-eat jumbo shrimp coated in a smoky, maroon-colored masala caught my attention. So did the uttapam, a thick pancake made from Mexican rice and garbanzo beans with tangy yogurt, cubed potatoes and a tamarind-date chutney.

DRINKS
The short drink list includes hard-to-find natural wines from Mexico, France and Italy and a custom-made hibiscus mead.

DECOR
Even if the menu is strongly based around both cultures, the restaurant’s identify is proudly Mexican with denim uniforms, ceramic tableware and minimalist interior design created by the cream white/gray color palette and the sober marble table.

MUSIC
From A Tribe Called Quest to Roy Ayers – the perfect playlist that’s both delightful and thoughtful.

SEATING
Simple, small wooden chairs with a scholastic look.

VIBE
Poetic meals for groups of old or new friends that appeals to both local and international guests.

RESTROOMS
A beautiful rectangular rattan mirror, some nude drawings and a sunflower bouquet. On the whole, it reminds us of a Van Gogh painting.

SERVICE
Really great. Julio, the restaurant manager, will welcome you and take the time to talk with you.

WOULD RECOMMEND
Can´t miss this neighbor spot, the artist residency or their research kitchen! “We are not fusion” is their motto. 

WHO
Chefs and owners Norma Listman and Saqib Keval, who are also in a relationship, cook up tasty meals thanks to the various flavors they have encountered over their lives. Saqid, who was born in North America but has Indian and Kenyan roots, had the best mentor: his grandmother! For Norma, corn was at the origin of her desire to discover more about her Mexican culture. Masala y Maïz, located in the residential neighborhood of San Miguel Chapultepec, was born as an investigative project for them to study the similitudes that exist between their cultures (when it comes to food, there are lots!).
After facing many challenges (the opening date was supposed to be September 20th, a day after the earthquake, and in April of 2018, city officials ordered a suspension of services), it’s clear that they are part of the food scene´s most important players.

FOOD
I started with the sensational esquites Makai Pakka inspired by both cultures. Originally it was a Mexican street food snack composed of grilled corn usually spread with mayonnaise and topped with crumbly cheese, chili powder and lime juice. Saqib´s extra touch, coconut milk plus masala keniano, makes for the best esquites in town!
The chefs brought roast beetroot to another level by transforming it into a puree with poached eggs, pear chutney, pomegranate and citrus top notes. I wasn´t expecting such intense and sweet flavors.
Another surprising dish arrived in front of me, this time clams in a breathtaking spiced coconut milk salsa, served with wax beans and fried plantains that combined firm and soft textures.
Since everyone shares the same table, taking a close look at your neighbors’ meals is mandatory. The peel-and-eat jumbo shrimp coated in a smoky, maroon-colored masala caught my attention. So did the uttapam, a thick pancake made from Mexican rice and garbanzo beans with tangy yogurt, cubed potatoes and a tamarind-date chutney.

DRINKS
The short drink list includes hard-to-find natural wines from Mexico, France and Italy and a custom-made hibiscus mead.

DECOR
Even if the menu is strongly based around both cultures, the restaurant’s identify is proudly Mexican with denim uniforms, ceramic tableware and minimalist interior design created by the cream white/gray color palette and the sober marble table.

MUSIC
From A Tribe Called Quest to Roy Ayers – the perfect playlist that’s both delightful and thoughtful.

SEATING
Simple, small wooden chairs with a scholastic look.

VIBE
Poetic meals for groups of old or new friends that appeals to both local and international guests.

RESTROOMS
A beautiful rectangular rattan mirror, some nude drawings and a sunflower bouquet. On the whole, it reminds us of a Van Gogh painting.

SERVICE
Really great. Julio, the restaurant manager, will welcome you and take the time to talk with you.

WOULD RECOMMEND
Can´t miss this neighbor spot, the artist residency or their research kitchen! “We are not fusion” is their motto. 

CHEF

Norma Listman and Saqib Keval

OPENING HOURS

Monday to Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed Sundays.

RESERVATIONS

By phone. 

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