Mayan Grill

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Re: Mayan Grill

Postby micb » 26 Jul 2011, 22:28

reading the other reviews, I think unfortunately we went to Mayan grill at a bad time. My guess is they just hired some new staff that was still being trained? anyway, this was my experience:

First of all, the food is very nice. Very fresh, authentic flavours, the meat was very good quality too. Unfortunately the service we experienced was so bad that I'll never go back to this place again.

First of all, every time we were looking for a waiter, it took us a couple of minutes of actively trying to attract their attention before somebody came to our table. The place was not particularly packed, and there seemed to be plenty of staff around, but for some reason they were never close to our table when we needed them.

When ordering my cielo chicken I asked if it would be possible to get it without the masa bed, as I can't eat corn. I actually asked them if it would be possible to replace the masa bed for some extra avocado salad, but this was not possible, so I just ordered it without the masa bed. When my dish arrived, it came with the masa bed. after I finally managed to get a waiter to our table I explained the situation to him and he said he understood and would fix it. I'm glad my taiwanese friend asked him again in chinese, because it turned out he hadn't understood a word of what i told him, even though he told me he understood. Anyway, he took my dish to fix it. Overal it seemed that the staff didn't really speak english, but again maybe they had some new staff that was still being trained.
10 minutes later the same dish came back but without the masa bed. Unfortunately by this time the chicken was cooled off a lot. I decided to eat it anyway because it tasted still good even though it was cold.

My friend ordered the chicken with rice and tortillas (chicken arroz? not sure of the name). She said the food was very good, but too dry. it didn't come with any guacamole, sour cream or salsa. By the way they were out of guacamole which was another disappointment, but that was just bad luck I guess.

At this point we were a bit concerned that our comments were not getting through so we asked for a word with the chef. Fortunately he came out and apologized to us about the chicken. We tried to tell him about the chicken rice being too dry, and kindly suggested perhaps he could serve it with sour cream or salsa, but he told us this was not possible because Taiwanese people only want chicken with rice (I think if Taiwanese people would want chicken with rice they probably wouldn't go to an upscale Mexican restaurant??) and if he would serve salsa with the dish it would get too expensive because he imports all ingredients from Mexico. When I thought about this later I realized he didn't understand what we were trying to explain...we weren't trying to ask for free salsa with the dish, we merely thought it would be a good idea that if someone orders this dish the waiter could say that it doesn't come with any sauce, but offering to order salsa or sour cream on the side in case the customer would want a sauce with the dish. This way people who simply want chicken and rice won't have to pay for the authentic Mexican salsa, but people who do like some kind of sauce with their dish will be aware of the fact that it doesn't come with any and they can order it on the side.

All in all we were pleased with the quality of the food, but the fact that we had to pay 10% service charge while the quality of the service was so bad made us leave the restaurant with a negative feeling. I do have to mention that the chef gave us a 10% discount on the chicken cielo dish to make up for the mistake, which was nice of him.
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Re: Mayan Grill

Postby Rotalsnart » 27 Jul 2011, 19:10

My gf and I had dinner at the Mayan Grill for the first time last night. I think we were sitting at the table next to micb, and generally echo his sentiments about the food (very good) and the service (lots of kinks), but overall felt quite positive about the place (i.e. the service kinks didn't bother me so much, though I do agree they really need to work them out to achieve the overall experience and ambience they are clearly striving for).

We had the chips with green tomatillo salsa and red salsa. I love tomatillo salsa and this was a delicious rendition, and the red salsa had just the right amount of heat and smokiness. We also were brought a bottle of the "Diablo" salsa, which is quite hot, but not overwhelmingly so. We had the Chicken Cielo and the Steak. There was a choice between a sirloin -- if I remember corrrectly -- and a New York strip. We chose the latter, cooked 五分熟 at the house recommendation, I guess you would call that rare-medium-rare, i.e. seared nicely on the outside and red but not bloody on the inside -- this was definitely the correct doneness for my taste ). The Chicken Cielo was delicious and I was glad to have read the advice elsewhere beforehand (DB? Hungry Girl? -- can't remember) to try to get a bite of all the bits and sauce together in each forkfull for the full flavor experience. The steak was extremely flavorful, and nicely accompanied by fried potatoes and a vegetable medley. The steak did have a vein of tough gristle running through it, but this did not bother me, as it was quite a large steak, and I simply cut the more tender meat from around the gristle. Also, the Mayan Margharita (we chose the regular, not the slush kind) was delicious -- not too sweet and apparently made with fresh lime.

As for the service, none of the servers seemed to have much experience or training, and there did not seem to be any more experienced service staff on hand to guide or coach them. They were friendly enough, but did not seem to be coordinating efficiently with each other or the diners. Our two main courses came out at least 10 minutes apart. As it happened, this worked out fine for us, because we finished sharing the first one just in time to begin sharing the second. But I can imagine that some diners might have been quite unhappy with this timing (for example if one companion didn't eat beef or didn't like chicken, and so the two couldn't simultaneously enjoy their main courses).

The erratic service would not stop me from going back (and I definitely plan to go back to try some of the other menu items), but it would definitely make me hesitate to go at a peak time such as a Friday evening. To the waitstaff's credit, they do get points for being able to tell me the recommended doneness for the steak and to recommend trying the Diablo hot sauce (which unlike the other sauces is brought to the table in bottles).

The chef also stopped by our table and chatted with us, and was very pleasant and informative. All in all, delicious food and a good experience. I expect it will only get better as they expand their menu and work out the service kinks.
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Re: Mayan Grill

Postby Dragonbones » 27 Jul 2011, 20:30

We have only gone at very off-peak times (e.g. early afternoon on a Saturday or Sunday), and the service was fine, quite good actually.
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Re: Mayan Grill

Postby Mayan » 06 Dec 2011, 16:46

Thanks again to everyone for your compliments and suggestions. We took it all to heart and made many adjustments per your requests, and thankfully our service staff has come a long way in our first 8 months in business. Its hard hiring good people when you just open up, but we're finally past that! My apologies to anyone who had a bad service experience, and gratitude to those who put up with it and came back anyway. They're still not perfect, but so, so much improved!

Just wanted to let everyone know that we have added some new items to our menu, including - by popular demand - a couple of vegetarian items (the Calabacitas Flautas are awesome even for an avowed carnivore like myself!) and black beans. We've also made some adjustments to the recipes to give more heat and flavor to ward off the winter chill! Try the Arroz con Pollo again if you haven't in a while.

Also, I want to invite everyone down to try our our Tapas Menu, which we serve every Thursday night. The menu ranges from the very traditional (Empañadas, Flautas de Puerco, Chilaquiles) to the creative (Diablo Buffalo Wings - so spicy, super-awesome!), and items start at only nt65. We also open up some of our specially-imported tequilas with a different focus each week. This week's focus is premium blancos/platas. Oh, and all drinks, including our specially-imported Mexican beers, are about 30% off on Thursday nights, yippee!

We've held some smashingly successful private parties for up to 150 persons in the last few weeks, so if you're looking for a place to hold your EOYP, Weiya, or Chunjiu, keep us in mind! The second floor holds over 80 and capacity for the entire venue is about 180. Of course, we also have VIP rooms for much smaller groups!

Oh, and if you're a fan of the Mayan Grill, don't forget to vote for us in Forumosa's "Best Mexican" category! Thanks so much!
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Re: Mayan Grill

Postby chainsmoker » 01 Apr 2012, 19:13

Here is a quick review of my visit to Mayan Grill. First of all, going in it feels like the lobby of a hotel. The staff was very untrained. It was the kind of staff where they stand back and watch you eat and awkwardly say "sorry, sorry" when they bring food. I feel for the owner in this area because it is really hard to get good staff, but then again, I wouldn't charge premium prices until I worked that out. We ordered the tortilla soup and it came totally lukewarm. Big mistake on an island where soup is arguably the national dish. Ok, one strike. Then we ordered their super premium awesome margarita which was (not sure if it was 300 or 400nt) but basically it was cointreau margarita in a small tumbler glass. Small and nothing special and very expensive. The gf ordered the taco rice and I ordered the enchiladas. Honestly, the enchiladas were not bad, just nothing special. The taco rice was basically just unseasoned white rice with 30percent stuff on top. Really disappointing. So in the end the two of us where excited to be out on our little date and we went far to to go to Mayan Grill and spent about 1600nt. If it had cost half of that I wouldn't be writing a pissed off review. Basically you know its bad when you go somewhere and not only does it not add anything to your dining experience, but you leaves pissed off.
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Re: Mayan Grill

Postby finley » 01 Apr 2012, 22:42

Ah, OK ... I think I know what you mean. Food OK, but too expensive for what it is. Although that's kind of par-for-the-course, with foreign restaurants. I must say, I have noticed several foreign restaurants charging outrageous prices for mediocre food because they could get away with that back in the old country. It does irritate me when I'm sitting there thinking "I could have cooked this better at home". Quality expectations are MUCH higher in Taiwan than (for example) the US or the UK. Anyway, I've never been there before so I'm going to give it a try and reserve judgement ... and their Cinco de Mayo set menu sounds like pretty good value.
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Re: Mayan Grill

Postby Mayan » 07 May 2012, 18:57

Hey Forumosans! The Mayan Grill is happy to announce our new menu for Spring & Summer! A few highlights:

- Lower prices across the board. Having been open a year, we were able to negotiate with our suppliers, so there is zero sacrifice in quality or taste. Just about everything other than the big burritos, enchiladas, gourmet items, and items meant to be shared by 2-4 persons is now under nt300. :2cents:

- Mexican Tapas. Empanadas, Hot (really hot) Wings, and other tasty bites make for a fun way to sample the various tastes of Mexico. :lick:

- More vegetarian items. If you haven't tried our Calabacitas Flautas or Fragrant Corn on the Cob (made with an amazing herbed butter), you must! Plus, you can substitute our herbed black beans for meat in any of our traditional mains from enchiladas to burritos. :cactus:

- New Gourmet Tacos - Tri-color Chorizo tacos (red, white & green of course!) and spicy Volcano Shrimp Tacos are to die for.

- Organic Black Angus Ribeye. We've switched our 12oz ribeye to an organic supplier. Same great US beef flavor, but controversy free! :bravo:

- Virgin Cocktails. Miss Shirley Temple or Arnold Palmer? No, not the celebrities, the drinks! We've got 'em! Our pink lemonade is great too even though its not named after anyone famous.

And of course, we still serve the only real, handmade guacamole in Taiwan from imported California avocados, specially-imported beers from Mexico (Bohemia, Modelo, Sol, etc), rare and premium tequilas, and the best Margaritas anywhere. / 02-2511-6292 /
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Re: Mayan Grill

Postby Mayan » 07 May 2012, 19:51

chainsmoker wrote:Here is a quick review of my visit to Mayan Grill...

Thanks for taking the time to write a review, I appreciate the feedback.

I'm very sorry you had a bad experience at the Grill. Sounds like just about everything went wrong that could. Our rice is normally quite fragrant and hearty, and there are lots of toppings on the Taco Rice Bowls, we get lots of complements on those, so it sounds like you got shortchanged. These things will happen sometimes, for anyone reading this please let your server know and give them an opportunity to make it right. Their job is to make sure that every customer is 100% satisfied when they leave.

The Mayan is a great margarita, but its really for Tequila lovers. Its the Don Julio Anejo Tequila and Grand Marnier that makes it more pricy, but it has developed a strong following with a lot of our customers because it is a great Margarita. I'd suggest you just try the Casa next time - a great margarita at about half the price of the Mayan. That would have done wonders to help keep your overall bill down and ease your very legitimate frustration at the time.

Our staff is normally very good. However, service is one of the greatest challenges in this market as few people who grew up here experienced what Westerners expect, so its teaching a foreign concept. There is no excuse however, when service is bad, we will not charge a service fee, so again, its best to let us know and give us a chance to remedy as soon as an issue arises.

If you'd like to give us another chance, and I hope you will, please email me at, let me know who you are, and I'll do my very best to erase that unhappy memory on your next visit (no MIB lightsticks required).

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Mayan Grill
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Re: Mayan Grill

Postby kaikai34 » 12 May 2012, 22:21

I finally made my way over to Mayan Grill. I had the El Gordo wet burrito. Wife had the grilled fish. The chips seemed a little stale and the bowl wasn't all that big. Warm soup. Service was OK, although the waiter didn't know what the El Gordo was. The main course was pretty good. Overall I think the place is a bit expensive, but it is the best Mexican joint in Taipei that I've been to in my 12 years here. The other places really sucked so that's not really that great a compliment.
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Re: Mayan Grill

Postby Toe Save » 12 Sep 2012, 12:47

Last Wednesday evening, Mayan Grill hosted a Hot Models and Frozen Margs party for VNL Models. It was wall to wall beautiful people and great food and drinks. Thank you Mayan Grill for an awesome evening and thank you VNL for taking such good "care" of your talent. Mayan Grill owner ES was most accommodating (as he always is) and in speaking with VNL Director WW, I know we'll be back.

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