Maya (Mexican) Tequila Bar & Grill @ Wednesday, December 10, 2014

We're having a quiet week with only one event (Wednesday Shopping) and so we decided to go out to dinner at 'Maya Tequila Bar & Grill' on Toorak Road, near LuxBite and South Yarra Station. When choosing places to go not in the city we try to pick places near public transport as someone can't stop swerving to the right...

I love group buys (mainly ourdeal and groupon), I'm very selective about offers, and always read rating and reviews, keeping an eye out for fake reviews. And so with my fine tooth comb selection criteria we rarely ever have bad experiences dinning out on a deal. 

The layout of the restaurant was unique in that as soon as you enter you'll see where the waiters pick up the dishes. That appears to be the main function of the front area.

There's a group table out front perfect for drinks. 

7.15pm is a busy time for dinner and the restaurant was at full capacity, with happy dinners flowing from the table for eight out front with their drinks, to the main dinning area and then bar in the courtyard out back. I like how well the indoor and outdoor flow together, with the brick floor it was perfect to open up the doors in summer. 

The middle room was where meals were served, dimly lit, too dim for the camera, but fine to the eye, the space was decorated with a Spanish feel to it, with it's particularly red brick exposed wall feature, posters of Mexican classics like Zorro, and a print of Frida. It had a missionary feel, the furniture. This is probably the best decorated Mexican restaurant we've been to, with an authentic feel to it. 

How doesn't the light bulb get too hot and set the hat on fire?

The Bar

Perfect Margarita $17 
Tromba Blanco, Cointreau, Lemon, Lime, Agave, Egg White.

We started with drinks, well ordering them, but they came after the first tacos. Jas had the perfect margarita. Which he loved as he described it as very good. It was a little dry (a good thing), kinda creamy with the egg white and catus syrup, which made it not as sweet as sugar. The only thing wrong with it was that sadly it was not made with love, as the salt that covered the rim was too course and kept falling off. But other than that he loved the creaminess and sweetness of it, balanced well with a slice of lime.

Not being a fan of alcohol (it burns!) I had a mocktail (adult word for a bunch of fruit juices shaken, not stirred together),  the 'Puebla' $7 - Orange, Apple, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Cranberry Juices, 5 Spice Syrup, Soda. It was very nice. No pictures because, well it doesn't look that fancy. We all know what a mocktail looks like. 

The Menu is Dirty... 

I'd like to try all the tacos! As we bought an all-you-can-eat or unlimited taco deal, our waiter was happy to serve as a pair of each. I was really glad that you could order more than one taco at a time, because some all-you-can eat places are like that, and then they take forever so it really is all-you-can-wait. 

Starting from the top of the taco list we worked our way down. The tacos are served in pairs, and are $10 for the two. We'd like to mention that I am allergic to avocado and so excluded all the guac/amole. 

Chipotle Braised Wagyu, Pico De Gallo, Guac, Fresco

We started with the beef taco, expectations were set and satisfied. The beef was tender and the flavours complimented each other, finished off with a drizzle of chili mayo (not much heat, which I like). This one was very good, we had seconds.

Slow Cooked Mole Chicken, Guac, Corn Salsa

The chicken too soft for my liking, though jas said it was a good sort of soft. 
I like my meat a bit firmer. I felt this one was bland. 

Shredded Pork Belly, Guajillo Chili, Pineapple Salsa

The pork I did not try, which jas said was a bit dry (a bad thing in terms of meat).

Smoked Tofu, Corn & Habanero Salsa, Coriander

I'm ok with tofu, though was eager to try this one as it sounds interesting - for we've never had tofu in a taco. The textures was great, with cubes of capsicum, something of corn, and soft & silky feel of tofu. And the Habanero gave it a spicy kick. Delicious! Would have ordered this again but we were almost full by then.

Crispy Fishy, Jalapeño Mayo, Lime Avocado, Shaved Apple

And our last was the fish, which was yummy but a bit oily I said, while he said greasy. But I did love the fish and matchsticks of green apple together. So much time and energy has been out into these tacos, chopping and dicing miniature pieces of apple & veggies.

Room for dessert? Yes. We inquired about the flan, which they were out of and too small for $12 and so with the frequency of a blue moon, we skipped dessert.

Our waiter was friendly and fast, I didn't catch his name, nor understand half of what he said (le accent, Spanish/Italian) but it was great to have one consistent waiter, and he had nice eyes. 

For peak dinning times service was fast and the dishes came out at a steady rate, and the dishes were cleared just as fast. 

We had a good time, and left very satisfied and full. Service was very good, the last taco was a bit slower, and at the time there was less people, though they were busy clearing tables. They need need new menu cards, as the current laminated ones are a bit dirty, the idea is to wipe them daily, but that hasn't happened so there's a build up.

I was a bit iffy 40/60 about coming here due to mixed reviews for the unlimited tacos deal, but very glad we did, for all the tacos arrived hot, the meat didn't taste out of a can (father hoards canned food, in cause of a tornado?), they had all 5/5 tacos in stock. Though I agree some of the tacos were on the bland side, mainly the chicken. 

Would we come again? I might, some of the flavours didn't stand out that much to me, and I've still got many places to try. Jas? Yes! But in a group as tacos come in pairs, he's like to go with three friends and order a set of four (2 in each set) tacos to share.  At the time we were looking at the menu x2 tacos were $10. We both definitely recommend the beef and tofu.

A discussion: how many tacos do your normally consume? I'm not sure but would say 2-3, as I've never tried every taco they offered, due to the price. Jas says at home they have two, with the same size taco, but more filling. 

How many tacos do you eat?

P.S. They don't have corn on the cob here. 

Maya Tequila Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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