A busy little restaurant in a plain Jane shopping strip that has been tarted up and occupied by a trio of ethnic restaurants, Villa Maria is an eastern suburbs gem.
The décor may be simple, its lighting a tad bright but its menu offers a rare foray into the cuisines of Central and South America.
Dabbling in dishes from El Salvador, Colombia, Peru, Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina and Mexico it manages to execute all of them well, meaning a whole host of hearty rustic dishes to choose from: freshly made Columbian empanadas, tamales, Peruvian ceviche (raw fish marinated in lime juice and spice), Nicaraguan barbecued meat with plantain or the el Salvadorean chicken in alhuish (pumpkin seed, tomato, onion and garlic) sauce - to name a few. Most mains average between $18-$25.
Meantime the generosity of the servings add to the already great value as does the incredibly cheap $5.50 child’s menu.