Since I have been writing my Grazia, date night dinners, column. I have hardly been into central London to dine at any other time than in the evening. By magic and moonlight I know the city well, but only in its mischievous darkness with the guidance of the streetlights and the protection of a few martinis. By daylight, not so much. It seemed on this particular mid-week lunch my intuitive sense rather lucked out and I found myself a little bit lost for my ladies lunch date. When I found myself again I was bizarrely in Russell and Bromley (who knows now I got there) trying on some delightful little burger coloured brogues and their matching handbag completely oblivious to the fact that I was 15 minutes late…. I sure you will excuse me, just take a look at my instagram. These shoesies are rather worth a swoon over.
Catching up with friends over good food is one of life best pleasures, especially mid-week when the stress of work takes over. There is nothing like seeing friends to bounce ideas off, give you some perspective and have a laugh with. My friend Lydia was the perfect person to do just that. A fellow foodie and healthy yoga bunny enthusiast, this was a lunch that was long over due.
Having both had meeting in central that morning, we convened at Maya a new restaurant, (just off Covent Garden’s Long Acre) for a bite to eat and a catchup. What we ate: As you might have guessed the food is inspired my Mayan cuisine and big, bold south American ingredients. Opting out of the speedy burritos and large main options, we went for a selection of small plates to share. Just a bit of the best yummy picky food. First out was a little amuse bouche of beetroot. Pickled, shaved, pureed and juiced. With a pleasing (slightly sweet) fruity puree and a light dressing. A lovely little beginning to the meal. Then can the chorizo with padron peppers, sweet potato and a creme fraiche drizzle, the roasted cauliflower with lemon, sultanas and apple, the roasted veg, sweet potato chips, yoghurt coleslaw and the market fish. Which was salmon, not Argentinian longhorn. The roasted cauliflower salad, sweet potato chips and market fish were the highlights. All superbly cooked and great eaten together. The soft fish, charred cauli and sweet flavour n crunch of the chips were a real unami pop on the palatte. If I am honest, the chorizo was good, but unspectacular, the coleslaw was a little bland (lacking in lemon and seasoning) and the salad was a little too oily and lacking in any dressing flavour.
The vibe: Although being a lunchtime, the restaurant was decidely quiet. To be fair it has just opened a couple of weeks ago, so I doubt it will be long before the touristy overspill of Covent Garden seeks it out. The interior is all wooden board panelling, south american momentos and heavy, bright lighting. Not the most flattering, but expected given its quirky-style, healthy fast food vibe.
Being only a stone throw away from the New London Theatre on Drury lane, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it as a lunchtime stop of pre-matinee, or for a quick dinner bite, post performance. If you are planning on checking it out in the working week, the speedy burritos could even be wrapped up to go. For a little more info about Maya and the menu, check them out here