Maya Tequila Bar & Grill
74 Toorak Road
+61 3 9866 8836
I’m a bit of a sucker of a penny-saving deal. So when Maya Tequila Bar was featured on Living Social, I readily bought a coupon for 2 and was even the first to call to redeem it. For $35, we got to feast on 2 entrees, 2 mains, 1 side dish and 1 dessert. Yup, all of that for just $17.50 per head.
(Left) Tototopos – El Cielo’s corn chips with guacamole
(Right) Tromba gambas – prawns, tromba blanco, cilantro, tomato salsa
Having made the reservation for 7pm on a Friday night, The Angmoh and I arrived on the dot to find the little Mexican restaurant packed and the waitstaff overwhelmed. We waited at the entrance awkwardly and was told by the chef to head into the dining section to get some table service. Halfway in, we were informed that our table had yet to be ready and we had to sit by the bar. We clambered onto bar stools and started with a couple of sangrias while waiting for about 15 minutes before finally getting a table.
Food came pretty swiftly thereafter. Spying on the tables around us, it was obvious that the majority of diners were also having the Living Social deal. Our starters were totopos with guacamole, popcorn prawn and lamb ribs. The corn chips were pretty nice although The Angmoh thought the avocado dip had a stale smell of prolonged refrigeration. The prawn popcorn appeared to be deep fried prawn cutlets coated in a lovely seasoning of paprika and spices. Paired with a tangy zesty tomato salsa, these were moreishly good. The lamb ribs were next to grace our table and they were splendidly devine. They were charred, packed with flavour and yet tender enough to slip off the bone. Each pomegranate jewel burst with tangy sweetness, making it a delightful pairing with the succulent meat.
The burrito came next with a salad. The chicken had been slow-cooked in mole, a Mexican sauce that contains chocolate. This made for one extremely flavourful burrito and jam-packed with cheese, an extremely filling combination too! Between The Angmoh and myself, we barely ploughed through it, having consumed all the food from before. The salad with its citrus segments helped cut through some of that fullness.
The Angmoh was curious for a shot of tequila and considering that the restaurant does contain the word “tequila” in it, you’d think that a tequila menu was available. This wasn’t the case but the bartender came up, had a quick chat to find out what The Angmoh might like and poured him a couple fingers of liquor. He was served a tequila described by the bartender as a “sipping tequila” rather than a tequila for shooting, and he found it very pleasant. Dessert was a very smooth and rich chocolate mousse with an after kick of chilli. It glided down easily and made for an extremely complete dinner.
The food at Maya could not be faulted although service needs to be worked on. I submitted feedback through Living Social and was impressed to receive a cordial reply that they were working on improving just that. This same deal at Maya is back on again at Living Social and I definitely recommend going for a hit of delicious Mexican food.