Six intrepid 'hounds lunched today at the recently opened Halfun on traditional Mayan cuisine. With just twenty-two days since the May First opening, the chef/owner offers an array of flavors in the most comprehensive Mayan menu in the neighborhood. Service is friendly and provides a helpful guide to unfamiliar dishes with well-paced attentions. We dined comfortably in the simply-furnished richly-hued ochre dining room with afternoon sunlight streaming through the window. Easy parking on the street.
Appetites were piqued by two salsas; tingly habanero-jalapeno, a mild tomato salsa and hot thick wedges of tortilla accompanied our refreshing Aguas Frescas ($1.75) of sandia/watermelon and Tamarindo/tamarind, both freshly prepared from watermelon or tamarind pods not too sweetened —and beers on draft - Samual Adams. Anchor Steam and Ranger IPA ($3.50). Bottled beers are available for $3. Soft drinks for $1.75 and other Aguas Frescas are Melon, Jamaica, and Horchata.
The Haltun Platter ($16.50) is a sampler of two each: Tamal, Panucho, Salbut', Empanada, Pol-Can, Dzoto-bi-chay, Kot's-dzito garnished with pickled onions and radishes.
Tamal Colado $3 -steamed banana leaf corn dough dumpling of annatto-flavored stewed chicken
Brazo de Reina $3 - steamed spinach corn dough stuffed with hard-boiled egg, crushed pumpkin seed and tomato with a tomato-onion sauce
Sopa de Lima $$4.95 - shredded chicken in an excellent piquant-tangy lime broth with fried tortilla strips
Pan de Cazon $14.50 - crumbled shark meat in layered corn tortillas in a black bean puree
Cochinita Pibil $10.50 - my favorite dish on the table, one to set standards - pork marinated in annatto seed sauce, roasted wrapped in banana leaf and served with a habanero sauce with freshly handmade tortillas. This is prepared fork-fall-apart-tender and the sauce is spoonable and savored.
Relleno Blanco $11.50 - shredded turkey simmered in white mole sauce with tomato-onion sauce
Relleno Negro $11.50 - shredded turkey and pork meatloaf in black mole sauce served with a side of tomato rice
Manjar Blanco $4 - creamy coconut milk cake
Quesa Napolitano $4.25 - vanilla cheesecake a la Yucatan
$20pp with tax and gratuity and a rousing thank you to Melanie Wong for organizing this forray and for the excellent esprit de corps of our attending chowhounds - resplendent with knife skills, photography, and culinary acumen.
Haltun Mayan Cuisine
2948 21st Street, San Francisco, CA 94110