There may be tequila bottles hanging from the roof, but don’t worry, you haven’t had one too many just yet. This is just part of the charm of Maya Tequila Bar. And while you may not realise it straight away, it’s also a spot to enjoy authentic and quirky Latin food.
It takes two to tango. Owners, Michael Johns and Ana Beatrice Trinidad, are the duo responsible for spicing up Melbourne’s palate. Michael is not new to the hospitality industry, with experience working at Northcote Social Club, Middle Fish and De Los Santos. Ana’s family in the Philippines is in the hospitality business, running the Center of Culinary Arts Manila, the rst of its kind in the city.
Keep your eyes peeled for the non-descript name: it’s easy to miss. Maya is the goddess of alcohol and legend has it that she got the idea of distilling agave seeds by watching the exploits of a drunken mouse.
When you venture in, take note of the Tromba Tequila bottles as lamps, and Latin posters on the walls. Stone oors, wooden tables and bottles of infused tequilas will transport you to the heart of Mexico, while the romantic mood lighting will have you ready to get stuck into a delicious plate of Latin indulgences. Try the Yucatan spiced crispy chicken, snapper ceviche or a generous serve of nachos with your drink of choice.
Michael is the one responsible for feeding your spice cravings. Get crunchy with a delicious selection of totopos, such as the salsa habanera with habanero, orange, corn, pomegranate and coriander, or fly to the streets of Mexico and tuck into the Tromba frito with crispy fried prawns, guacamole, tomatillo salsa and spiced corn. The tortillas are from El Cielo, so expect great quality and a delicious taste.
But you haven’t had quesadillas and burritos like this before. Go for the mole poblano quesadilla with slow-cooked chicken and corn salsa, or the pescado burrito with crispy fish, red rice and shaved apple. The range of tacos is also impressive: try the carne asada for chipotle braised Wagyu brisket, pico, guacamole and sunset mayo. No Mexican fiesta is complete until you’ve had a sweet treat that sends you into a siesta. Order the chilli chocolate mousse or the an de leche with raspberries.
Everyone knows Latino people love a drink. Maya Tequila Bar has you covered the whole night through, with a range of margaritas, cocktails, beer, and local wines. Who could go past the Perfect Margarita – a combination of Tromba tequila, Cointreau, lime, lemon juice, agave syrup, egg white and bitters, or the raspberry mojito with O white rum, raspberry purée, mint, cinnamon and apple? If the tipples really tickle your fancy, head along to the Booze School cocktail classes to learn how to make an El Diablo Espresso, a Raspberry Mojito and a Classic Margarita.
Maya Tequila Bar has everything you need for a night out: delicious Latin food, a bustling atmosphere, a friendly team that can teach you a thing or two about Spanish, and a drinks list that will keep you well watered all night long. Just don’t blame us if your head hurts in the morning.