Saturday, January 12, 2013

Maya La Chocolaterie- Chocolate Lovers Heaven!

"Forget love, I'd rather fall in chocolate!" 

Can you imagine a restaurant where you can not only eat and drink chocolate, but smell its fragrant aromas, experience the different textures, feel its silky softness, taste exotic and surprising chocolate flavors and be surrounded by flowing liquid chocolate! All that in a space decorated with delicious chocolate-y colors! Sounds like a chocolate paradise, and Maya La Chocolaterie could be called just that. The motto of Maya La Chocolaterie is "chocolate for a better world".
Maya has three branches in Riyadh; one on the end of Tahlia street, one in Hayat mall and the newest one opened on Ouroba Road at the Oasis business complex. I'm so glad Maya opened its new branch because the restaurant on Tahlia, although excellent in food and service, lacked a nice atmosphere. Maya's Tahlia branch is small, crowded on weekends and worst of all full of partitions, making the entire place feel suffocating. They don't even play music there to soften up the ambiance.
Maya La Chocolaterie on Ouroba however is open and airy inside and the place is very inviting.  Here you are welcomed with a cozy and laid back atmosphere and it's not as crowded as its sister branches. As an added bonus they play groovy and soulful music matching the warm chocolate theme. You forget you're in Riyadh once inside this little chocolate haven!

Inside the Maya restaurants they have a shop for all sorts of chocolate delicacies, pralines, truffles and cocoa. Maya is THE place for a hot chocolate and a delicious dessert to go with it. It's one of my favorite spots in Riyadh for sure.
 Maya La Chocolaterie offers an extensive menu of pure chocolate indulgence. Starting from their specialty hot chocolates and signature fondues to the delicacies from the decadence boutique or the home made pastries; Maya will surely get you on a sugar and endorphin high. The only problem with eating here is the menu: it has too many tempting options to choose from and you can't possibly eat that much chocolate on one sitting!
Check out the goodies for sale at Maya Oasis branch!
They have a chocolate bar too.
Something quite awesome about Maya are the huge churns filled with liquid chocolate. They have milk and white chocolate churns that lead to pipes that running along the ceiling carrying the liquid gold all over the restaurant!
Our dining experience at the newly opened Maya was very enjoyable, especially on a cold winter night there's nothing better than warming up with a cup of hot chocolate.

Maya's signature chocolate fondues are a must try. Comes in white, milk or dark chocolate flavor and also sugar free options are available. You can choose a variety of different items to dip in this heavenly liquid. The chocolate is served from a fondue pot that has a candle underneath keeping the chocolate at an optimal temperature. 

We started the chocolate feast with milk chocolate fondue wit a platter with mini cakes, marshmallows and strawberries to go with it.. The chocolate itself is divine. Dipping just about anything into this stuff would taste good! Even cardboard paper! Some of the little cakes that came with it were a bit dry but it didn't keep us from gobbling them all up dipped in the delicious chocolate.
Maya has an interesting selection of different hot chocolates to choose from. White chocolate, dark chocolate, African, rose and orange flavors all sounded tempting. We settled on Rose and Java blend and also tried some of their coffees.
The waiters here are always super friendly and swift and we quickly got to sip on our chocolate elixirs. There is truth to the saying chocolate has healing powers. The smooth rich flavor of the hot chocolate was absolute perfection. So silky and soft and somehow soothing and relaxing at the same time. One of those moments when you taste something so good you can only smile, sit back and enjoy.

The Maya menu is impressive. It’s hard to choose from the list because well, you want to try almost everything. Thank goodness they also have sugar free options available for the health conscious and diabetic customers.  I didn't find Maya to be a particularly a kid friendly environment, it's more for adult taste in the evenings and they didn't even have high chairs at the new branch. They do have a kids menu with chocolate pizza on it! 
We tried their Belgian waffle and Chocolate Crepes for "main course". The waffle too was a bit chewy but the chocolate drizzled on top saved it. The crepe is filled with milk chocolate and comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and more chocolate drizzled on top. I was surprised that the dish wasn't overly sweet with all that chocolate going on. Their milk chocolate is something I would love to drink straight from a bottle, it's just too good to be true.

For "dessert" we had the brownie mousse which is served in a dark chocolate shell. It was easy to finish the mousse, which was light and fluffy in texture, but the chocolate cup was too much to handle! Talk about chocolate overload.
The waiter recommended a Maya specialty dessert, the cardamon and milk chocolate mille feuille. I've always been a big fan of cardamon and I think it goes with lots of things but hadn't tried it in chocolate before. This dessert reminded me of Finnish Christmas foods where we use lots of cardamon. The taste of cardamon was not overpowering and it was just a subtle touch that partnered well with the chocolate in the cake. Delicious!

The chocolate feast started to make us dizzy and giggly from the sugar high.
Modern science has proven that eating chocolate produces certain "love hormones" in our bodies which makes us feel happier and in a similar state of being in love. Visiting this chocolate “love clinic” released so much endorphins and serotonin it certainly kept the spirits high for a long time.
It's the perfect place for a romantic night out in Riyadh!

Maya Chocolaterie
Ouroba Rd Oasis business complex

Star ratings:
Overall *****
Value For Money:****
Kid Friendliness: ***
Romance Factor: *****


Fafa Lane said...

owh my! thats heaven


SlashOfArabia said...

"Would ma'am like chocolate with her chocolate?"

I know it's bad, but I won't be able to get this place out of my mind.

Aafke-Art said...

Oooohhhh! A bit out of my way :(

Did you see the movie ''Chocolat''???

Doreen Pendgracs said...

What a lovely post! I've never been to Saudi, but know that the Middle East is indeed filled with chocolate lovers.

I can certainly relate to being on a chocolate high, and the wonderful endorphins we get from chocolate as artisanal chocolate is in my daily diet.

Thanks for introducing me to Maya La Chocolaterie. I'll certainly visit them when I'm working on the edition of my chocolate book about the Middle East.

Petra said...

En kesta katsoa edes kuvia apua ihanaa! Sulle on haaste mun blogissa, korjaa talteen kun ehdit!

Layla said...

SlashOfArabia- oh YES please :)

Layla said...

Aafke-yes I did many times because I love Johnny Depp in that movie!!

Well maybe when you come visit to KSA we can take you to Maya lol

Layla said...

Hi Doreen and thanks for the comment :)

Fruitful Fusion said...

I just saw this over on Ya Salam Cooking and I'm wondering if they're going to open in Jeddah, not that I'm as addicted to chocolate as I once was LOL!

Soile said...

OMG! If I'm coming back to Saudi (and I might...!) that's going to be the first restaurant I visit ;-)

Moh LL1 said...

this is horrible... I can't begin to imagine the amount of sugar in those confectioneries. Such decadent and gluttonous influences I don't welcome in my country