Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Mayan Grill – Authentic Mexican Restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan 正統道地的墨西哥餐廳在台北

Mayan Grill 餐廳外觀

Crispy Tacos

Traditional Mexican Desserts Flan 傳統墨西哥甜點香草焦糖布丁

Sangria 雞尾酒

According to a featured article on Yahoo! Travel Taipei is one of the world’s most underrated cities. I’ll second that in a heartbeat! Taipei is truly a hidden gem in Asia. Yes, I’ll admit that Taipei is not as international as Hong Kong or Singapore and it will never be for some odd reasons. But the people are the friendliest folks you’ll meet among the Mandarin-speaking countries!

I’m always fascinated by foreigners who wanted to set up their businesses in Taiwan. And I happen to know a few who started their restaurants in Taipei. The most recent story has to be Mayan Grill by Erik Siddons.

Upon first encounter I can’t help but wonder if this guy is serious about running a restaurant in Taipei, let alone a Mexican joint! I kid you not. He looks like he’s one of the lawyers on Boston Legal – tall, charming, handsome with a killer smile.

Growing up in Southern California Erik was introduced to Mexican cuisine at an early age. As a child he showed great interest and enthusiasm in cooking. So he started making fish tacos & margaritas for friends and families before he reached the legal age for drinking alcohol. In other words, Erik has perfected fish tacos and margaritas with 20 years+ experiences! These two items are highly recommended on Mayan Grill’s menu.

It’s fair to say that cooking is Erik’s lifetime passion because he gave up 10 years+ law practice to start a Mexican restaurant in Taipei. When asked about the career change, “My income now is 1/10 of what I used to make,” Erik says with a broad grin on his face.

For first time visitors to Mayan Grill some might find the place too upscale because it’s a contemporary Mexican restaurant, not a hole-in-the-wall taqueria. That quality also reflects on the food served here. It’s healthy and not greasy! Everything on the menu is made from scratch in the kitchen. And the menu consists of traditional dishes as well as Erik’s modern original creations. If you enjoy spicy food, be sure to sample Erik’s homemade Diablo hot sauces – Devil’s Water is the entry level and Devil’s Tear will bring joy to those diehard hot sauce lovers.

As for desserts chocolate brownie and vanilla flan are heavenly. Imported Mexican beers are perfect to go with any dish you might choose from the menu. Let’s not forget about tequilas and I really love the rum from Guatemala!

Fluent in Mandarin Erik can easily communicate with his staff and customers, explaining the concepts of Mayan Grill. He believes that Taipei is ready for an authentic Mexican restaurant like Mayan Grill and so do I. Taipei might not be international like Hong Kong and Singapore but we sure love good food! On top of that who doesn’t love made-from-scratch healthy cuisine that only uses the freshest ingredients?

Mayan Grill
No.6, Lane 65, Section 2, ZhongShan North Road, Taipei City(MRT Shuang Lian Station Exit #1/Behind Ambassador Hotel)
11am~10 pm (til 11pm Friday & Saturday)