The Critic loved that duck so when another opportunity arrived to go eat at Maya de Asia, well, he was all over that idea. This time with the MiniCritic and BetterHalf to better sample more dishes (besides the aforementioned duck) the late lunch early dinner was great.
With the first-date wow factor somewhat diminished, the Critic had time to notice other things besides the mostly spectacular food. The waiters are somewhat professional and friendly enough but they don’t seem, well, happy. Perhaps they get shat on a lot or they are practicing their all-black ‘cool’ thing, but they don’t seem to be having a particularly good time. Yes, it’s a job, but in a nice place with a great kitchen and whatnot, you would think a few more smiles would grace the faces of these servers.
The other thing the Critic took notice of was the weird bathrooms on the second level. The restaurant is so expansive and grandiose, that these mini bathrooms seem like an afterthought. It’s almost like – as Mini Critic pointed out – that perhaps the architect was so concentrated on creating an award-winning design and interior treatment that he or she forgot about the bathrooms and this was the only space left. Who knows.
Enjoy the photos and don’t let potentially sad wait staff or a climb to the bathroom put you off. Try this place and enjoy the experience, which is totally worth it.
Our last dinner in Merida at Rosas and Xocolate
Overall, our last meal in this magical city was very very good. We got plenty of personal attention from the owner Carol; he spent a lot of time translating the menu for us, and at one point poured me a shot of amazing mescal from his personal collection (El Cortijo). Yummy!
At the same time we arrived, two other events were in progress. One was a wedding dress show (which took up the main restaurant space – so we ate at tables setup in the tequila lounge area); the other was a fashion shoot involving a number of very pretty, young and flirtatious Mexican models. I was able to survive both inconveniences.
I found it interesting that Carol made such a point of importing most of his ingredients. I can see why this may make sense when targeting discerning locals, but it was a bit disappointing for tourists looking for high end food made from quality local ingredients. For example, Mrs Makers and I think that US pork is substandard to pork from just about anywhere else, with an odd, chemical flavor. I wanted to try the pork dish reviewed positively by the Casual Restaurant Critic, but changed my mind when I found that it was imported from the US.
Mrs. Makers had the hearts of palm salad and the duck. The duck turned out to be a bit pink (which Carol had assured us would not be the case) so I ended up trading her for a portion of my dinner. I had the shredded duck salad and the octopus main course – and ate plenty of both main courses – generous portions! Other than the pink duck (which Carol offered to replace – but we declined), we loved everything.
But we liked Panuchos de Kanasin at least as much J
Carol has clearly invested a lot of time and money in his establishment, and it shows. He mentioned that he will be in this month’s issue of Condé Nast! He asked us to tell our friends about Merida. This is something we will do, and expect that this wondrous city will continue to attract more travelers every year.
On a very busy (restaurant-wise) weekend, the Casual Restaurant Critic and his lovely wife were invited along with the critical folks from Elio the night before to re-sample Rosas and Xocolate. The Critic uses the term re-sample because, of course, there was a previous visit – also on a Saturday night – resulting in a mixed review the first time around.
This time around, however, the experience was spectacular. The service marked one of those rare firsts – in Merida, anyway – and was probably the best the Critic has had to date, with the exception of the lunch had approximately 5 hours earlier which will be written about shortly.
Attention to every detail, attentive and non-intrusive, the waiters looking after the table were very professional indeed. Again, the owner stopped by to say hello and make sure that the table was well-looked after.
The food was glorious, in particular the fried octopus chicharra, the duck salad and the enormously fat and meaty pork rack had by the Critic. Everyone commented on how delicious their food was. Accompanied by Pellegrino sparkling water, a few fruit (lychee and apple) martinis and some choice red wine, the evening was pretty well a flawless dining experience.
The table was indoors and so the Critic was unable to confirm or not the presence of a cleaning lady in the bathrooms doing her thing (as commented on during the last visit).