Knightsbridge isn’t short of chic brasseries, but few are as well appointed as Maia. Situated just a few strides from Harrods’ Hans Crescent entrance, this all-day Italian is a great spot for a pre- or post-shopping pick-me-up, whether that’s coffee and a plate of eggs, a light salad or a hearty pasta dish.
Glass walls on two sides, wood-panelled walls and brown leather seating are somewhat nondescript, particularly compared with the OTT décor of Harrods across the street, but the colourful clientele more than make up the shortfall. When we visited on a Sunday we clocked an eclectic procession, from suited men to selfie-snapping fashionistas, families, and sports-clad teens from the local private school who were evidently meeting friends for a post-match smoothie. It’s also hard to miss the large, red teddy bears dotted around which, in spite of being rather gimmicky, seem to make it into a lot of Instagram posts.
It was easy to understand why Maia is such a draw for so many once the food and drinks arrived. We kicked things off with a plump burrata drizzled with proper Italian basil-infused olive oil and accompanied by warm bread and sweet cherry tomatoes, which was delicious from start to finish.
We then opted for a couple of dishes from the brunch menu, which sports all the usual suspects, along with an artichoke and avocado salad and a quinoa salad. The salads lacked flavor, but both egg dishes were superb. The eggs royale was soft and silky with a perceptibly fresh Hollandaise sauce that brought the whole dish together beautifully, while the shakshuka won points for its concealed mozzarella ball masquerading as an egg.
Dessert is where Maia excels, though. Whether you opt for the creamy mango mousse cake, the expertly-made tiramisu or three scoops of zingy lemon sorbet, you can be sure everything will be fresh as can be and so tasty for it. We noticed Maia also hosts afternoon tea which, judging by the patisserie we tried, is a capital idea for anyone with a sweet tooth.