Step inside the specialist dessert emporium that is Maya and experience chocolate with all your senses. A luscious rich chocolate aroma fills the air – if it was any stronger you would be able to taste the cocoa on your tongue.
Visually it is a feast for the eyes with an elegantly designed interior in muted shades of chocolate brown. There are some very interesting-looking pipes labelled ‘Liquid Chocolate’ which run around the interior. Unfortunately, these look more like staged props than real Willy Wonka-esque chocolate pipes – still a girl can dream!
Don’t come to Maya expecting a main meal – this is an indulgent homage to chocolate in all its forms, from drinks and desserts to chocolates and truffles. Welcome to chocolate senses overload.
The star of the show is definitely the chocolate which is showcased by Maya’s Speciality Chocolate Fondue. Available in a choice of three flavours (dark, white and milk chocolate), it comes in their own ergonomically designed chocolate pot, which gives off vibes of a pot of gold – or, in this case, chocolate gold. However, this stylised pot does have a downside – the top is very shallow and so does not contain much chocolate. I have been told that it is possible to ask for a free refill of chocolate but this may be one of those cruel urban legends.
The fondue comes with beautifully ripe strawberries, sliced bananas, marshmallows and three types of mini-cakes. The mini-cakes are serviceable but they’re a little stingy with the marshmallows and usually only give 3 per serving. That is a shame as the Fondue can be shared between two people, and extra marshmallows would help resolve fondue fork battles – they may take our mini-cakes, but they’ll never take our marshmallows!
I recently indulged in a lovely cup of Hot Chocolate that was lovely and thick, and very representative of the Mayan history of drinking cacao before going into battle – this is the drink for me.
They also do really good Crepes with different fillings including banana, marshmallow or chocolate. The best thing is that it comes with a small dish of warm chocolate for you to drizzle over the top. However, on this visit, I decided to try out the Sticky Toffee Date Cake.
The date cake is a reasonable portion size and comes plated with toffee sauce and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate drizzled and dusted on top. However there wasn’t much of the date flavour but it was a very moist cake due to their addition into the batter. I absolutely enjoyed this dessert with its mix of cold and hot, whilst the sauce was the winning element on the dish.
So, what can one say about Maya? Inspired by the Mayan culture, and their love of chocolate, alot of care and thought has been put into the desserts with a mix of tastes and textures. However, they didn’t need any of the bells and whistles of the decor and crockery to get me on board, I just need a direct IV drip to the good stuff – the chocolate is calling to me!
[UPDATE – From Summer 2015 Maya has been closed.]