At last, it’s happening. The rumours have been boundless, but now (finally) it’s all been confirmed. Liverpool small plates favourite Maray is coming to Manchester, and we’re very excited about it.
Nationally-acclaimed, the eatery is so popular in its hometown it has not one, not two but three sites – making this new Manchester opening the fourth for the restaurant group (and its first beyond Merseyside).
Known for killer cocktails and adventurous small plates like its ‘Disco Cauliflower’ – served whole and doused in chermoula, harissa, tahini, yoghurt, pomegranate, almonds and fresh herbs – the move means that, for the first time in eight years, Mancunian fans will no longer need to hop on a train in order to get a taste.
Rather, they’ll soon be able to get a hold of all the favourites for which the group is known right here in the centre of Manchester.
Opening in the Bruntwood Works’ Union building on Brazennose Street next to ‘The Hidden Gem’ church, the new restaurant is due to open its doors in Manchester this summer.
In a central location that’s slightly off the beaten path, it will form part of the transformation taking place around the Town Hall and Lincoln Square.
Maray recently became the first independent in the north west to achieve a 2 star Sustainable Restaurant Association rating since lockdown.
Founded in 2014 by James Bates, Tom White and Dom Jones, the concept was originally inspired by the owners’ experiences in the Le Marais district of Paris – a vibrant area of the city famed as a culinary melting pot of Middle Eastern flavours and stand out cocktail bars.
In a nod to this, the menu at Maray features a selection of mezze, and small plates like falafel, lamb shawarma and baked halloumi.
It also boasts an extensive vegan and vegetarian offering – think wild mushrooms with cannellini beans, sweet potato with tahini and date molasses, and spiced lentil and rice mejadara.
The drinks list is just as stellar. When it opens its doors later this year, diners can expect a range of bold and delicious cocktails and an incredible wine list.
Drinks on offer include a margarita bolstered with Turkish apple tea and sumac salt, a house G&T made with beetroot infused gin, and guest favourite – The Agent Cooper, Maray’s famous riff on an espresso martini.
Wines from across the world also feature, with a focus on grapes and varieties originating in the same area as many of the recipes.
Speaking on the new opening, Managing Director James Bates said: “Opening a restaurant in Manchester has long been an ambition of ours and we have combed the four corners of the city to find somewhere we felt was just right.
“We’re so excited to get going at Union, we love the area and feel like we’re going to be right in the middle of it all, in a city with a huge reputation for loving restaurants, nights out and a good drink!”
Feature image – Maray