Maya Café Mediterranean Lifestyle
5 Moon Street, Wan Chai
Tel: 2529 3319
Open: 8am-11pm (weekends until around 9.30pm)
Price: about HK$300 without drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: casual. The high-ceilinged room is painted in white, the floor is of poured concrete embedded with colourful tiles, and much of the long, narrow space is taken up by the open kitchen, which has a glass-fronted fridge in which ingredients and some of the prepared salads and desserts are stored. The specials are written on a white board wall.
Pros: we were given a warm, friendly welcome by one of the owners, who was talkative and happy to explain the menu and their concept.
Cons: some of the food tastes too healthy. The quinoa mixed salad (HK$90) was pretty, with separate piles of several types of vegetables - including sliced beetroot and shredded carrot - but we wanted more of the quinoa itself. The dahl of the day (HK$50), potato croquettes (HK$128) and frittata (HK$138) all tasted quite similar, and the latter two dishes were served with too much of the dull iceberg lettuce salad. Raw pasta with Alfredo truffle sauce (HK$120) turned out to be long strands of cucumber coated with a creamy, smooth sauce made of cashew nuts. It was fine for a few bites, but I wouldn't want a whole plate of it.
Recommended dishes: the trio of hummus (HK$80) - two made of chickpeas flavoured separately with olive oil and tahini, and the third made of puréed cauliflower - was a nice starter. My favourite dish of the night was the frittata. Made of sliced potatoes, zucchini and tomatoes bound together with a light, cumin-flavoured batter, it was very satisfying. My guest preferred the potato croquettes, which had cumin-flavoured crushed potatoes mixed with corn then shaped into small flat patties that were lightly pan-fried. Summer berries with cashew nut sauce (HK$45) and chia seed pudding with strawberries and coconut milk (HK$38) were light and refreshing.
What else? They serve a three-course dinner, with tea or coffee, for HK$188.