Mama Mexicana is the brainchild of two friends, Kevin and Wade, who started out with a small stall at the Food Market on Arts on Main 2 years ago. Initially they ran the stall in their spare time away from their day jobs. However, two weeks ago, they took a leap of faith and opened the restaurant.
Taiwanese born Kevin (head chef) might seem an odd choice to be at the helm of this restaurant, but his close to a decade of experience in the hospitality industry is evident in the delicious dishes served at Mama Mexicana.
Vibe: It is to be expected that a Mexican restaurant would be decorated excessively in sombreros and cacti, but that's not the case here. The restaurant has minimal deco, plain white walls and a lot of natural light, giving the place that classic rustic feel. With the arty crowd that frequents The Maboneng Precinct, the restaurant kind of feels like it's at the beach.
Chow: One of the best things about Mama Mexicana is that even though they offer a basic menu, everything is priced at under R60. Their nachos and chilli poppers are the house specialities. I tried the chilli poppers and they were absolutely amazing. Kevin brings some of his Eastern heritage to the menu, making the outer layer out of crispier spring roll wrap.
Sure, there's the 'other Mexican place' in Melville, but if you're looking for an alternative that is cheaper, fresher and original then you need to get to Mama Mexicana asap.
FYI: They're still getting their liquor license together so for the next few weeks, take your own booze.
Where? 264 Fox Street, Arts on Main, Johannesburg,
Open 9am - 6pm (late on request)
by Mdu Sibanyoni