I had visited Maraia Fusion Bar and Diner years ago and I wasn’t impressed, which tends to be the summation of my restaurant visits, but what prompted me to return was the fact that this veteran establishment had been voted restaurant of the year… A friend who had attended their celebratory function for the award said that the place was pretty good…
The Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association awarded Maraia Fusion with its top honors for 2012. I am not familiar with this organization and confused them with Bacchus magazine’s annual dolling out of accolades. Nonetheless, I was hoping on hosting an EGL dinner and Maraia seemed as good a place as any.
The concept of the restaurant is fusion, but that is not related to the blending of two distinct cuisines like Japanese and Bulgarian… the “fusion” is the fact that they have two different menus… not really fusion, but whatever.
Off the bat, the interior was very “fusion-y”. They illuminated circular stone bar with probably the most difficult to clean glass chandelier, which was surrounded by a wall that I assumed were covered in astroturf (faux grass), aside from that they kept the dark and shiny vibe consistent throughout.
When we arrived at about 19:00, the server to customer ratio was skewed a bit high to the former. I always find it uncomfortable when there are so many staff mulling about, but that could be the one of the criteria that helped to secure their win, numerous and attentive staff. All in all, the service was probably what shone through for the BHRA
because the food was nothing spectacular.
I orded the sushi because they had a decent selection that didn’t contain cream cheese or mayonaise. It is sad how my criteria has changed… They did offer, which it was the first time that I have seen it on a menu in Bulgaria…. KAMPYO
Other people at the table ordered from the non-Japanese portion of the menu and were quite satisfied, although I hate places that serve out of season… I might have mentioned that before, but the biggest gaffe of the night went to the Crunch Prawns with Zesty Sauce and Mint… The shrimp were not cleaned… They were fried, so unbeknownst to the customer you get a mouth full of shells… and other bits… I wonder if that is what they meant by crunch? If you are going to fry the shrimp clean them… that is definitely in the 101 category of cooking, oh and there was not mint.
Overall, Maraia is not my sort of place… many people like it; I can see the appeal, but not for me. If you have had a good or bad experience please share and comment below.
123 G.C. Rakovski St./ул. Г.С.Раковски 123
Hours Mon – Sun: 8:00 am – 2:00 am
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