When in Cebu, it’s a must for me to go to Maya. I’m not a fan of Mexican food but Maya is an exception. Aside from the delectable dishes, the ambiance is reason enough to visit the place.
Maya has a sophisticated, laid-back vibe. What’s noticeable are the painted skull masks all over the restaurant.
This wall is an eye catcher. I wondered, why skulls? I found out Mexico has a holiday called Day of the Dead where they pray for loved ones who have died, much like All Saints Day here in the Philippines. A common symbol of the holiday is the skull, which celebrants represent in skull masks.
Now unto the food. I had a heavy meal just a few hours before going to Maya so I ordered a few simple dishes.
Tortilla Soup – tomato and pasille chile soup w/ grilled chicken, oaxaca cheese, P175
The tortilla soup reminded me of squash. It’s thick, full and fresh. The flavor is packed and there is a tangy, tingly sensation in every sip.
Quesadilla Tinga de Pollo, P165
The quesadilla looks plain but wait ‘til you taste it! It’s crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The salsa had a good balance of flavor but I was still looking for a bit of kick and oomph.
Vientre de Puerco- crispy pork belly served w/ chile-lime dipping sauce, P485
Vientre de Puerco is Mexico’s version of lechon kawali. This is the best lechon kawali I have ever tasted. Ever. The meat is so tender that I didn’t even have to use a knife to cut it into pieces. Lechon kawali though doesn’t seem to have a place in a Mexican restaurant but I’m gonna look the other way because I loved every bite of this.
It’s advisable you get a drink to pair with your food as they have an impressive and extensive list of tequilas, most of which I’ve never even heard of.
Good news! They are opening a branch in Makati next year. If they maintain the same quality and ambiance, no doubt it would be a hit in Manila.
The food here is relatively affordable and remember, you’re also paying for the ambiance and service. It would still be nice to spend a special occasion here or just hang out with friends after a hard day’s work.
Value for money: 5 out of 5 stars
Maya Taqueria and Tequila Bar
Crossroads Mall, Banilad, Cebu City