We saved Maxal for our last dinner during our stay at the Hilton Cancun All Inclusive Resort. I was incredibly excited about this meal, as we had been hearing others in our travel group raving about it all week. We were not let down.
Let’s talk about how beautiful it is…
Maxal had the most striking entrance and visuals of any of the hotel restaurants that we visited. Textured Glass art adorned the windows framing the door and throughout the rooms. Massive crafted chandeliers hung from the ceilings, creatures all their own bringing a whimsical and magical touch to the lighting. Traditionally inspired art pieces were tucked away in bookshelf coves above the tables, lining the walls. My personal favorite was a pot shaped like an over rounded cow that looked particularly proud of its placement. Tables mats and chair backs were stitched in traditional designs, colorful and bold. Maxal feels luxurious while not isolating itself from being a family dining experience.
Looking around, there were romantic parties, family parties, business parties, and friends saying goodbye after week-long adventure parties. Dark woods in the tables and flooring were a striking and complementary contrast to the bright colors in the rest of the decor and even the food.
Maxal requires reservations. Make sure to use the Hilton app to make any restaurant food reservations or room service orders during your stay.
We showed up for our reservation and were seated immediately. Our waiter held our chairs and presented our cloth napkins before taking our drink order. Unsure of what I wanted exactly, I asked if he would be willing to surprise me. He asked a few questions about my taste and nodded. He returned shortly, smiling, and presented a cocktail made from frothed sweet coconut milk and mango nectar with just a splash of tequila. This was the best drink I had during my entire stay. Cool and refreshing with just the right touch of sweetness.
Our waiter then brought us the physical menu, saying that the digital menu that we had been asked to scan on our way in was not up to date. He brought fresh, zesty pico and guacamole with house-made tortilla chips to snack on while we perused the menu and made our final choices.
We started with the Tuetano A La Parrilla (Grilled Bone Marrow, Fore Esquites, Tajin, Fresh Cojita Cheese). It came quickly, served on a hot rimmed stone plate. Served grilled, still in the bone, colorfully plated with fresh corn, cilantro, and Tajin, this delicacy had a variety of textures and a spicy finish.
We couldn’t decide on just one thing, and we split the Mole de Cafe Oxaqueno and the Barbacoa.
The Mole de Cafe Oxaqueno was a blackened beef tenderloin in a coffee and black chili mole, plated alongside a slice of grilled sweet potato. The steak and potato were good, but the real star of this dish is the mole sauce. The coffee flavor is very apparent, and there are notes of cocoa as well, smoothly finished with a slight zing from the black chili, enough to know it was there but not enough to overpower the other flavors.
The mole was perfection. The Barbacoa, instead of the traditional beef or pork as one might expect, was lamb. This slow-cooked, melt-in-your-mouth meat was served with freshly made corn tortillas. The meat was rich and spiced perfectly. If I had to go back and choose only one, I would go with the Mole.
Though we were full from our entrees, we couldn’t leave without at least trying the dessert. We choose the Pasta de Elote Yucatan, or Yucatan Sweet Corn Cake. This cake was just sweet enough to be considered dessert. It has a small decoration of cream cheese frosting placed to hold up a sharp baked cheese crisp and topped with a few sprinkles of cojita cheese as well. I was surprised that such pungent cheese was included in this dish but delighted at how it all came together.
A Note on Big Guy Seating.
The seating at Maxal is a combination of booths and wider chairs. The chairs, while comfortable, may not be comfortable for all larger people, but the armrests are short, so simply moving a bit forward should help with this. Ask for the booth to ensure you have the most comfortable dining experience at Maxal. Tables are movable, so you don’t have to worry about squeezing in.
Overall Maxal was one of my favorite dining experiences at the Hilton Cancun All Inclusive Resort. The friendly service, unique decor, and traditional, flavorful food is an experience that I will not soon forget.
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Big Guy Big World is a travel blog, following Mark Jacoby’s journey as a big guy on a bigger journey, exploring the world during a global pandemic. Follow along as we experience some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic places.