Aside from the sophisticated Abacá Boutique Resort and Restaurant, the Abacá Group, which is owned by restaurateurs Jason and Anna Hyatt, has two more thriving restaurants under its belt.
Maya Mexican Restaurant
If you have not visited Maya Mexican Restaurant at the Crossroads, Banilad, then you have not tasted authentic Mexican food yet.
There are a lot of restaurants that claim to serve authentic Mexican cuisine, but they usually leave their diners disappointed. Mexico is known for sophisticated culinary culture and Maya will let you experience just that with its delectable dishes and contemporary ambience.
Jason Hyatt, who is originally from the United States, developed Maya’s concept when he failed to find a restaurant in Cebu that served the authentic dishes he made as a chef in México City and Los Angeles. In Maya’s Web site, Hyatt shares, “Maya isn’t attempting to create a new, trendy style. It is simply celebrating the richness and complexity of authentic Mexican cuisine.”
Hyatt works closely with Abacá Restaurant executive chef Aimee Tran in creating their signature dishes. Tran is a California native who has extensively travelled throughout Mexico. Adopting traditional recipes and utilizing fresh local ingredients like naturally raised pork and locally grown Boer goats, Maya creates dishes that reflect genuine Mexican cuisine.
Three products comprise the core of most Mexican dishes: corn, beans, and hot peppers (chillies), which stem from pre-Columbian times. Maya takes pride in using handmade tortilla shells that are 100% white corn masa, while most restaurants in Cebu use white flour shells. Customers can fill the tortilla shells with their choice of fish, chicken or six-hour roasted organic pork shoulder (carnitas), and top them with various vegetables and tomato-chipotle sauce.
For meat lovers, great choices are the cabrito en salsa (slow-roasted suckling goat with chillies and tomatoes), cochinita pibil (marinated and roasted organic pork with annatto, orange and oregano in banana leaves) and carne asade (grilled Angus flank steak with charred chillies and roasted onions).
Maya is also known for its wide-ranging drinks, boasting a collection of the best Blanco (bottled immediately after distillation), Reposado (aged less than a year), Anejo (aged over a year) and Extra Anejo (aged for over three years) tequilas, most of which are unavailable anywhere else in the Philippines. Sipping shots of these drinks cost around Php150 to Php10,000.
They also have 110 kinds of 100% blue agave tequilas, the largest collection in the country. Every shot is served with a side of sangrita, nectar of organic tomatoes, fresh calamansi juice, orange juice, onions, hot chilli peppers, and salt. The Tantalizing Margarita is Maya’s signature beverage, which is made of 100% blue agave tequila, organic agave syrup and fresh local calamansi.
Maya provides a great dining experience not just in terms of excellent food but also through its outstanding service and atmosphere. The restaurant was designed by artisans from Mactan Island, Cebu and Mexico. The Spanish/Mexican-inspired place features a great combination of traditional style and modern elements. The first level and the alfresco area have a more conventional restaurant feel, while the second level feels more like a lounge.
Maya does not accept reservations unless it is for parties of 10 persons or more. For inquiries, you may call (032) 238-9552 or 238-9618. You may also visit http://www.mayacebu.com/
A Café is another successful project of the Abacá Group, which they affectionately refer as Abaca’s little sister. Also located at the Crossroads, in Banilad, this café is recommended to those who are seeking for a more laidback dining venue.
A Café opened in 2011, with the aim to provide a no-fuss dining experience, which is perfect for small business lunches or brunch with friends. The restaurant welcomes its customers with a thin curtain of bamboo and Jessamine shrubs. The well-lit and spacious area is decorated with lime veneer, leather and wood furnishings.
The specialties of A Café are all-day breakfast meals that will surely give you a wonderful day. Have some scrumptious Eggs Benedict with smoked ham, potato hash and a thick hollandaise sauce, or a mound of hot and fluffy buttermilk pancakes. Other hearty options include the eight-ounce Angus burger and the heavy skillet breakfast of two fresh eggs, bacon, sausage, potato hash, and beans. For lighter meals, you may opt for some savory sandwiches, fresh salads and creamy soups. The restaurant also serves a full range of main courses.
Equipped with Abacá Group’s philosophy of “serving simple, good food, keeping in mind that simple does not mean simplistic,” A Café is the perfect intimate upscale dining venue in Cebu.
A Café is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, and from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. For inquiries, you may call (032) 505-5692.
For more information on the Abaca Group, visit http://www.theabacagroup.com/