5:00pm - 11:00pm
Ann Street Fortitude Valley 4006

When coronavirus cases dropped in Queensland, and venues were cautiously given the green light to reopen in July 2020, Jason and Katie Coats, owners of the much-loved Eleven Rooftop Bar decided to do something a little different. Eleven is taking a break. In its place is pop-up Mexican restaurant, Maya.

Stepping out of the lift into Maya is a very different experience to arriving at Eleven on a Saturday night. A liberal application of white paint has given the entire venue a bright, breezy feel. The booths, couches, giant planter pots and even the bench at the front of the venue with its jaw-dropping views of the CBD are all reserved for dining. The Eleven Courtyard, which previously held 120 people, is now an intimate open-air restaurant space set among olive trees and cactus gardens.

In the kitchen, longtime Coats Group chef Leisa Smith cooks a Queensland-produce-driven menu that explores a variety of Mexican influences, from the Pacific-inspired food of the northwest to the Caribbean-inflected dishes of the Yucatan peninsula. There are small plates of smoked beef ribs and chargrilled squid with pickled kohlrabi; slow-cooked pork, pulled chicken, and Dos Equis-battered fish tacos; and larger share plates of achiote-spiced chicken, chargrilled flank steak, and pan-seared market fish finished with a jalapeño beurre blanc.

For drinks, there’s an enormous range of tequila, mezcal and sotol; a Mexican-influenced cocktail list (including four different types of Margarita); and a relatively efficient wine list that favours whites, sparklings and vintage champagnes.

Make no mistake, Maya is intended as a pop-up – Eleven isn’t going anywhere just yet, and the bar will continue to trade until the wee hours with bottle service and DJs spinning the venue's usual giddy selection of tunes – but it also has the feel of a permanent restaurant. Then again, that’s what Eleven was supposed to be in the first place

Updated: September 2nd, 2020

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