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“Excellent Attention to Detail” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Xulam The Mayan Fisher - CLOSED

Xulam The Mayan Fisher
Av 10 # 1 esquina 3 sur Plaza Antigua | Before enter at Playacar Palace, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
984 803 35 67
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Price range: $10 - $18
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Delivery, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Transit: Taxi
Description: Xulam is a unique restaurant concept where you can taste the ancestral Mayan flavors of Mexico with specialties in regional cuisine, including exquisite dishes from the rest of Mexico, with an ambience of colors and sounds from the jungle. Coming to Xulam will be great atmosphere, architecture and gastronomy awesome food will make your dining experience an unforgettable trip through Mayan History. Xulam es un concepto unico en restaurantes en el que podras degustar los sabores ancestrales de Mexico con especialidades en comida regional, sin dejar fuera exquisitos platillos del resto de nuestro pais, en un ambiente donde los colores y sonidos de la jungla se hacen presentes. Venir a Xulam es toda una experiencia donde la Arquitectura, Fauna y Gastronomia se combinan para hacer de tu estancia un viaje inolvidable al pasado de nuestros Mayas
Santa Barbara, California, United States
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Excellent Attention to Detail”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013

My family and I had dinner here while we were on vacation in Playa del Carmen for a couple weeks. Our hotel concierge (at Fairmont Mayacoba) recommended we give Xulam a try for dinner. As a server at a 5 star resort, I was very impressed with the service and food quality we received.

FOOD
Welcome drinks were presented to us as we marveled over the diverse menu. My brother and I chose "arrows" which were presented on skewers dangling from a natural wood base. All our plates were presented beautifully and the food was amazing! The tortillas were homemade and the meat was savory and grilled in a way that made it tender and juicy.

SERVICE
Upon our arrival, we were greeted warmly by the owner who made us feel right at home. Our server was highly attentive, anticipating our every need. He even wiped up the most minor of food spills throughout our meal (maybe a little overkill). The manager checked in with us regularly to ensure that we were happy.

ATMOSPHERE
Xulam's interior is designed to make you feel that you've walked into a cave with spiraling tree roots and branches. The decor is intricate and creates an authentic and unique feel to your dining experience. The outside is not exception to the ornate quality of the restaurant. Colorful parrots perch themselves in the thick trees and rustic cages surrounding Xulam. A mix of lanterns and twinkle lights make for a peaceful atmosphere outside.

OVERALL
I highly recommend checking out Xulam if you're in Playa del Carmen. The attention to detail is apparent in Xulam's service, delicious food, and decor.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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380 reviews from our community

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English first
Fairfax, Virginia
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“place to experience Mayan cuisine!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

Had dinner here with my husband in July 2013. Authentic mexican cuisine and wonderful service. Very impressed with the decor. Amazingly delicious food and presentation was unique. We had a great time at Xulam.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“I think everyone should try this place at least once while in Mexico”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

My boyfriend and I were staying in Playa del Carmen for 2 weeks, and have read many good reviews about this restaurant so we decided to check it out. The place was AMAZING. The place looked very authentic, and it also felt a bit mysterious. The waiters were very friendly and literally made us feel like royalty. Our waiter introduced himself to us and proceeded to tell us all about the menu items, including the ones that were more authentic and traditional. We started off with the spicy seafood soup and it was probably one of the best seafood soup I've had in a long time. They were very generous in their seafood portions (shrimp, calamari, octopus, mussels,etc.,), and the soup was enough for the two of us. I can't remember the name of my dish, but I had some kind of fish exclusive to the region, and was wrapped in banana leaves. The fish was soft, juicy, and flavourful. My boyfriend had one of the fajita dish and he loved it! The waiters brought him a hot bowl filled with strips of steak, cheese, vegetables,etc., to put in the tortillas and my boyfriend finished the entire thing, even though he was already full from the soup and the tacos that we shared. The food tasted fresh, exotic, and very homemade. Nothing tasted artificial; the food was plentiful, flavourful, and not salty/filled with unnecessary fat or grease. We would definitely come back here in the future.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coquitlam, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Another memorable Playa evening”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

Very enjoyable evening in the outdoor patio. We were accompanied by harmless parrots idling by. The food was excellent. The service was outstanding: gracias, Miguel. Beware of unwanted visitations from rather large insects; we obviously invaded their space. Harmless enough and a great excuse for an extra margarita (to calm one's nerves, of course).

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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NY
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Not sure how I feel, but not good!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

We went to this restaurant strictly because of the rating from Trip Advisor. We were a party of 5 (2 Moms, and 3 teenage kids)

When we arrived at 8, we were the only people in the restaurant, which made us a little nervous, since the other restaurants in Playa were packed.

Our waiter was Miguel, and he told us that today was his first day on the job, and that he was recently promoted. His service was good throughout the meal, until the end...but I will explain that later.

They served a complimentary tasting of a seafood soup, which was fishy. Our party of 5 did not enjoy the soup, but it was a nice gesture. They also served chips and a dip. We also ordered 2 appetizers, which were OK.

The food was good,I wouldn't say exceptional..do not expect large portions. My sixteen year old son was still hungry after his steak and shrimp dinner, which was served very nice hanging from a wire on a wooden plate. I ordered the boar..it was tasty.

We ordered two dessert, both were tasty.

Now...here comes what I did not expect. I specifically asked Miguel if the tip was included in the bill, and he said it wasnt and that I could include it with the credit card payment. He than gave me a slip of paper, and asked if I could post a review on Trip advisor about his service. I told him everything was wonderful, and I would make sure the tip was in cash, and he told me it didn't make a difference. He asked if i wanted to pay in pesos or dollars, and I told him pesos. We tipped him the equivalent of 18% in US dollars. When I handed him the tip, he made a funny gesture, and than came back to our table, and asked if I had a problem with the service, and said that tipping is normally 15-20 percent (thanks for the advice, but I think I knew) and maybe I should give another $5-$10. I was totally taken back, and honestly didnt know what to say. So I foolishly opened my wallet and handed him another $50 pesos


Miguel noticed we were discussing how rude this was, and came back to the table, and asked if everything was OK. I told him it wasn't, that I have never experienced a waiter telling me that I did not tip enough, and that he shouldn't worry, that I would simply post my experiences on Trip Advisor.

We than proceeded to leave, and a Taxi was called for us since it was raining. Miguel than started to have a conversation in SPANISH with the person who was getting our taxi. We than learned that this was the Manager, who asked me in English what happened. I explained that the meal was wonderful, but that I have never been so insulted by a waiter, and that it ruined our entire experience, and because of that, I would never return. As I was speaking to the Manager, Miguel continued to speak to him in Spanish, so it was turning into a bit of a scene, and my friend told our kids to get into the Taxi as the conversation continued(this is not what you expect when you go out to dinner or on vacation). The manager was extremely apologetic, and informed me (in front of Miguel) that Miguel was new, and that he apologizes that Miguel misunderstood the tip we gave hime (i don't think so). He than said several times, that I should take his business card, and come back, and he would ensure our service would be better next time. I told him I would never dine there again. I explained to the Manager that we specifically choose this restaurant based on the reviews on Trip advisor, and we took a cab from the Grand Mayan (which cost $25) to eat in this restaurant. He finally said well what can I do, I suggested he could pay for our return taxi back to the Grand Mayan, and he did (I did noticed that he paid for the cab fare with part of the tip I gave to Miguel). We left feeling upset and couldn't believe a nice dinner out with our kids turned out the way it did. But it was a valuable life lesson for our kids...never let anyone take advantage of you!

So...we had a good meal, not great, expensive (meals are much higher priced than stated above), good service, and a terrible end....how did I rate that?

My girl friend and I traveled to Mexico with our teenage children (our husbands were back in the US), and I wonder if the waiter would have said this to us, if we were with our husbands. I also find it hard to believe that someone who was just promoted to waiter (and supposedly we were his first table) would ask for a larger tip..unless he was coached by other waiters, or he wasn't new, and knew exactly what he was doing (which took a lot of nerve!!!).

I value Trip advisor, and use it whenever we travel, so that is I why I felt compelled to write this review.In my opinion, this restaurant does not deserve the rating it has received on Trip Advisor, and wonder if the ratings are inflated by the waiters who give pieces of paper to their customers asking them to post reviews. In this case, it certainly did not work in their favor.

Based on our experience, I would not return. I found the decor to be very touristy "Disney" like and not authentic Mexican nor Mayan. There are so many great restaurants in Playa, I am sorry we wasted our night at this one!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
xulamplaya, Gerente at Xulam The Mayan Fisher, responded to this review, August 21, 2013
It's Our Privilege to serve the best Mexican and Mayan Cuisine! We've worked hard to build our reputation as fine Family Restaurants. I feel ashamed for drawback. That waiter is not working with us anymore, it is sad when only a person cheats and smash all our great job.
That night I visited your table couple times and we took great pictures with the macaw.
Please accept my sincere apologies and give me the opportunity to change your impression
Luis Masforroll Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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