Monday, 19 January 2015

An evening at Maray Liverpool


What an amazing time I was lucky enough to have on Saturday. A cold and dreary winter's evening, was brightened up by the dinner invitation I had received from Thom, Dom and the rest of the talented team at Maray on Bold Street in Liverpool. I have heard nothing but praise for this place for months, so I was more than eager to try it for myself!
Maray specialises in a wide array of small plates, such as Falafel, Kofta, Hummus and Halloumi. The emphasis here is on sharing; reaching over to sample a bite of this or a mouthful of that from your companions. I think that this approach to dining is fun and sociable and fun is exactly what going out to eat should be about.
As the sun set, I threw on a long black dress and heels and slipped out into the night, ready to experience the flavours of Le Marais district of Paris in cold and windy Liverpool. Nestled at the top of Bold Street in an area which is now bursting at the seams with great restaurants, Maray is inspired by the cocktail bars and Falafel restaurants of Le Marais, aiming to bring that same lively but laid back Parisian vibe to the Liverpool scene. I can safely say that they have achieved their aim. The restaurant threw open its doors in Summer 2014 and it is already attracting rave reviews. I hopped into a taxi to the top end of town to meet my plus one, and I was delighted to see the welcoming maroon facade of the restaurant awaiting me, as I vaulted from the cab under a cloud of hailstones!
Maray would not look out of place on a Parisian street and I soon discovered that the atmosphere inside was delightfully warm. It was bustling with contented customers, many of whom were seated at the long table which dominates the room. There was soft candlelight flickering from the tea lights and I immediately felt at home. There was a relaxed but busy feel to the place, and not only is the long table a focal point of the restaurant, but it also encourages a sociable style of dining. Thom beckoned us over straight to two seats at the bar, and after a warm welcome he quickly whipped up two Cynar Gin Fizz cocktails topped off with a healthy dose of Prosecco and garnished with ribbons of cucumber. These were delicious in every way and certainly got the night off to a great start. There is a good selection of cocktails on offer, as well as wines and beers too. There were also glass bottles of water provided, which I thought was a lovely touch, as many places do not provide water until you ask. 


I have to start off this post with a picture of the amazing food!


Thom puts his mixology to work!

Cynar Gin Fizz 

It was lovely to chat to Thom about the Parisian inspiration behind the restaurant , and how Maray has been a real labour of love for himself and Dom. Before long though, the conversation was halted as the amazing food began to arrive. The first dish was a special of slow roasted Lamb shoulder with crispy onions and Harissa hummus. I do not eat Lamb, but my plus one said it was delicious and cooked to tender perfection. I sampled the crispy onions and hummus, which were amazing all on their own. 


Slow roasted Lamb Shoulder served with delicious crispy onions and Harissa hummus. 

Whilst I was still glorying in the flavour of those onions and Harissa hummus, my heart skipped a beat as a Halloumi dish was presented to us. This was not just any Halloumi however, but rather a genius marriage of flavours as it was served on a bed of roasted vegetables and garnished with Pomegranate seeds and a Balsamic glaze.
What an amazing combination this was, and my tastebuds took flight as I savoured the best of the Mediterranean and the Maghreb combined on one plate. The mild and creamy flavour of the Halloumi was perfectly complimented by the crispy and sweet roasted vegetables and the tangy pomegranate seeds which danced around the edge of the dish adding a subtle tang.


 


 Halloumi with roasted peppers, red onion and pomegranate.


 As I began to eagerly devour the Halloumi, Maray's signature Falafel arrived, served with an amazingly refreshing Bulgar Wheat salad and Hummus. 
This was already a feast fit for a queen  and I was literally in my element tucking into so many incredible dishes The Falafel were crispy and delicious and the Bulgar wheat salad was light as air with a refreshing hint of mint.All around us, laughter and conversation filled the air, reminding me of the 4th arrondissement. Some restaurants just feel cold, especially when you have not visited them before, but Maray has such a warm and welcoming feel to it which makes even the shyest souls feel at ease. 


Falafel with hummus and Bulgar wheat salad. 

The plates were jostling for space already when another wonderful dish arrived. This was a fried egg served with the perfect slightly runny yolk, flat bread and a Harissa and tomato sauce. This dish made me think of a glamorous version of egg and soldiers for grown-ups. The flat bread was just begging to be torn up and dipped into the egg yolk and the tomato sauce. Yes everybody, I was overcome by enthusiasm for this dish to the point where I abandoned my decorum (and my cutlery!) and tucked straight in. Intense and delightful flavours tap-danced around my mouth. The spicy and sweet sauce had a delightful zing, which was complimented by the perfectly fried egg and the flat bread. It was a dreamy dish which tasted as good as it looked. Now I just want somebody to come to my house and make this for me every morning for breakfast. Did I mention that Maray also serve a range of delicious flat bread sandwiches from 12-5pm? Hmmm, maybe I should just camp outside until they open every day. I am just kidding, sort of!


These dishes were almost too pretty to eat. I said almost!


 Egg with flat bread and a spicy tomato and Harissa sauce. 



 After savouring the last bites of the egg and flat bread, a colourful dish of homemade slaw garnished with sesame seeds arrived. This was fiery, crunchy and sweet in equal measure and both the flavours and the presentation were show stopping. Alongside it appeared grilled Salmon with Quinoa, I must say I was enchanted by this dish. So healthy and perfect for anybody following a 'clean' style of eating, but lacking nothing in terms of flavour and heartiness. My plus one then happily devoured a plate of Lamb Kofta and we decided to order a Latte and an Agent Cooper to round off the evening. Had you guessed that the cocktail was for me?! Well I would hate to be predictable, but a good Espresso Martini is one of my favourite drinks, and the Agent Cooper was one of the best I have ever tasted. Rich coffee flavour with a decadent alcoholic kick, it was the perfect way to end the feast. Or so I thought, as little did I know that we were also about to be treated to two excellent desserts!


 Homemade slaw with sesame seeds, red cabbage, carrots and onions. 




Grilled Salmon with Quinoa.



 Lamb Kofta with Pine Nuts and Tahini.


The Agent Cooper cocktail:
Vodka, Kahlua, Frangelico, Espresso and Chocolate Bitters. 

The icing on the cake (so to speak!) of this excellent meal was the appearance of a wonderful pair of desserts. Firstly, there was a chocolate, peanut butter and salted caramel tart garnished with handmade nut brittle. My goodness, what a slice of heaven! The crumbly pastry crust and the gooey chocolate and peanut butter filling was made all the more delightful by the crunchy brittle. This is a dessert which I will be remembering for a long time to come! The Rhubarb jelly with meringue was light, sweet and sharp. It was a pot full of fresh and summery flavour, everything you could want to contrast with the rich decadence of the peanut butter tart.


 The desserts!
An excellent chocolate and peanut butter tart with homemade peanut brittle and a Rhubarb jelly with meringue.



 This was heaven on a plate! 



 The long table provides a lovely focal point to the restaurant and lends a convivial feel to the whole dining experience. Dom explained to me how much people really embrace being seated at the main table and I can see why. 


 Even the water bottles have the Maray logo, which I thought perfectly illustrated the attention to detail which runs throughout the whole restaurant.  The coffee was excellent, deep and rich with a definite caffeine kick! 


 Agent Cooper I presume?! Pleased to meet you.


 The chic bar area, I love the exposed brickwork and the Anglepoise lamps.





 A delicious Agent Cooper cocktail being prepared. 


 Here I am with the lovely co-founder of Maray, Thom. Thank you for the lovely evening of food, drink and conversation. It was such a pleasure to meet you all!




 The chefs hard at work. 
I always think that an open kitchen is the hallmark of an excellent restaurant, and this is certainly true of Maray. 


 The welcoming facade of the restaurant. 


 Clipboard style menus, again an excellent eye for detail! 


Not a morsel left in sight, always the sign of a good meal! 

As we enjoyed the food, Thom explained that the experience he and Dom had gathered in the bar and restaurant scene stood them in good stead for founding their own restaurant. After inspiration hit, Maray was born and you can truly feel their passion for the restaurant in every little detail from the eclectic interior and excellent cocktails to the exquisite food.
Maray has a uniqueness which sets it apart from the crowd, merging Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food with a hearty sprinkling of Parisian je
 ne sais quoi which results in a charming combination. 
It is a true pleasure to see a place like this emerge on to the Liverpool scene, where so many chain restaurants seem to dominate. As restaurants go, this new kid on the block has captured everyone's attention for all the right reasons and I feel that this will be only the beginning of a beautiful relationship between Liverpool and Maray. It is the perfect choice for lunch with friends, a romantic dinner for two or a family meal. In fact, every occasion you could think of would be made more pleasurable by all that Maray has to offer, it is bohemian and fun and the food is just divine.


After a wonderful meal, it was finally time to bid everyone at Maray a fond farewell. I felt like it was the perfect ending to a fairy tale evening, when soft flakes of snow began to fall as we wandered back through the city full of good food and happy Parisian vibes!

Good luck guys, you deserve every success and thank you for an amazing evening!

Maray. 
91 Bold Street, Liverpool. 
L14HF
Email: info@maray.co.uk
Telephone: 0151 709 5820

Instagram: MarayLiverpool
Twitter: @marayliverpool

*Disclosure:

We were kindly invited to try the delicious food and drinks at Maray as a guest of Thom, Dom and the team, the meal was therefore complimentary for review purposes. All opinions expressed here are nevertheless my own and honest, we had a wonderful time and I highly recommend the restaurant to everybody.

82 comments:

  1. lovely post! I'll check this place out the next time I visit Liverpool! Frankie x www.joieandthevivre.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, I thoroughly recommend it :)

      Camille xo

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  2. The food looks delicious! :)

    www.lifeinthefashionlanee.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Shannon, it was :)

      Camille xo

      Delete
  3. Everything looks delicious!


    Please help me by checking the sheinside link on my post
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Helder :)

      Camille xo

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Thank you so much Saci, it was amazing :)

      Camille xo

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  5. Oh yum what a great review, you describe it all so well! Great to see a non-chain making it's mark xo
    www.lovedbylaura.com

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  6. oh dear lord! tons of good food in this blog! :)
    damn... I really wanna go to Liverpool just to drink that cynar gin fizz! :p

    definitely, your blog in an inspiration.

    C.weetie - trends & other stuff



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  7. All that food looks so delicious! YUUMMM.

    Hope you have a wonderful week! xxx

    www.simplydavelyn.com

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  8. Ugh, this looks incredible -- the falafels in particular. Now I have to go to Liverpool!

    :] // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

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  9. The food :(<3

    http://simpleplaintruth.blogspot.co.uk

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  10. This looks like such a wonderful night out full of great food, drinks, and company! I am so glad you had a great time.
    the-creationofbeauty.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Shannon :) I hope you had a fab weekend too!

      Camille xo

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  11. Replies
    1. Thank you so much Cassie :)

      Best wishes,

      Camille xo

      Delete
  12. Looks absolutely delicious and it's making me have late night cravings right now!
    Enclothed Cognition
    Instagram

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, it was so good I could eat it all again! :)

      Best wishes,

      Camille xo

      Delete
  13. oh my! ♥_♥ the food looks tempting! :) especially the dessert! I'm drooling for it :) yum!

    By the way, I hope we can follow each other's blog.

    xx
    Rica
    www.switbbydoll.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, it really was so delicious and the dessert was amazing :)

      Best wishes,

      Camille xo

      Delete
  14. Yummm the food looks amazing! Totally hungry again now :)

    Tina
    www.justatinabit.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Tina, it was really amazing :)

      Best wishes,

      Camille xo

      Delete
  15. OMG that food looks so good!

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves
    ♥♥♥

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Candice, it really was so good :)

      Best wishes,

      Camille xo

      Delete
  16. Replies
    1. Thank you very much, I loved the plates they use too :)

      Have a great day!

      Camille xo

      Delete
  17. My mouth is absolutely watering. The food looks so stunning *runs off to the fridge to make everything!* Ha, lovely post hun, looks like you had a great time :)

    xx

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Ellie, I am still day dreaming about the food now ha :) I hope you are having a great week!

      Camille xo

      Delete
  18. The food looks yummy. I'll have it in mind for a night out in the future :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Anca, I definitely recommend this restaurant for a great night out :)

      Camille xo

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  19. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, it was lovely :)

      Best wishes,

      Camille xo

      Delete
  20. Replies
    1. Thank you so much Lizzie, it was delicious :)

      Best wishes,

      Camille xo

      Delete
  21. Todo tiene una pinta estupenda.
    See you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Muchas gracias! See you soon and thank you for stopping by :)

      Camille xo

      Delete
  22. Thanks for stopping by my blog lovely! If you want to, we can follow eachother on GFC! Let me know, I'll follow right back :-)
    Have a lovely week dear!
    xo from Italy,
    Sonia Verardo
    http://www.trenchcollection.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting my blog too, I will definitely follow you with GFC too. Have a lovely week!

      Camille xo

      Delete
  23. Oh that all looks delicious, especially dessert! Thanks for visiting my blog, sorry it's taken me so long to pop over and say hi!! :)

    captaincharghley.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much it was such delicious food! Thank you for visiting my blog too :)

      Best wishes,

      Camille xo

      Delete
  24. Great post Camille. The food looks absolutely delicious - the desserts in particular. I've never been to Liverpool but I'd love to visit one day. It isn't even particularly far from Manchester, is it?
    Christina x
    christinacampbellhughes.blogspot.co.uk

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  25. The food looks incredible. I almost caught myself drooling at the majority of it, especially the halloumi with roasted peppers, red onion and pomegranate :D Xx

    THEFASHION-JUNKIE

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  26. That food all looks so delicious!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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  27. Great post my dear. Like that food :). Kiss

    ReplyDelete
  28. http://mylovelyfashionbih.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you so much for your lovely words :)
    I'm following you back on bloglovin!
    XX
    www.walldrawingss.blogspot.pt

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wow, everything looks delicious!!!
    Follow each other? :)
    xxx
    S
    http://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.it

    ReplyDelete
  31. looked like you had a fab time, yummy food and cocktails :) Yummy

    www.bumascloset.com

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  32. hello, by chance I discovered your blog and I loved it, I prefer to follow you, I invite you to visit me in http://www.thesecretofmystyle.blogspot.com.es/
    a Kisses

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  33. This post has made me very hungry. Great post.

    I invite you to take a look at my travel blog http://www.gavindarvell.blogspot.com

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  34. Looks like an amazing night! Yummy :)

    Erica
    www.eggcanvas.me

    ReplyDelete
  35. Looks beautiful and delicious!! X

    www.carlaginola.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. Looks like such a lovely place! If I lived anywhere near the area, I'd definitely be checking it out :)

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. I've now followed you on GFC as well :)

    Abby
    Life in the Fash Lane

    ReplyDelete
  37. Such a lovely and detailed post, you have a great way of describing flavours! I love Paris so any piece of it here in England I'd definitely give it a try! The restaurant looks amazing and I love the look of that salted caramel tart! I hope one day I can visit for food, it looks delicious! It's on my to do list!

    Thanks also for commenting on my blog lovely!

    Kay xx
    Idreamofcoco.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  38. The food (and dessert and drinks, yum) looks awesome and the place sounds really neat! Thanks a lot for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  39. This looks so lovely, what a great night out!

    Brooke
    pumps and push-ups

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, it was great fun :)

      Camille xo

      Delete
  40. Deliciuos! After this post I can say that I'm very hungry! ;)
    I follow you. Would you like to follow me too?
    xx

    http://www.candiescloset.es/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much and of course :)

      Camille xo

      Delete
  41. Hey, great post, love it!
    I follow you on GFC , hope you will follow me back!
    Thanks!
    http://www.descude.com/2015/01/i-want.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much and of course :)

      Camille xo

      Delete
  42. These pictures are lovely I hope you had a great time xxx

    http://izzyk1998.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, it was good fun :)

      Best wishes,

      Camille xo

      Delete
  43. Place looking so great
    Great Post. Lovely Blog. I am really loving your blog.
    I am following your blog. Hope you will follow back. xxx Keep in touch
    BeautyDrugs new blog post click & comment

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much and of course :)

      Best wishes,

      Camille xo

      Delete
  44. I love your blog and we'd love to see you at Beau Bloggers, a blogging community. Its open for everyone and its a great way to share an promote your blog. If you're interested you can find out more here: http://izzyk1998.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/beau-bloggers.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Izzy, I had not heard of Beau Bloggers before so I will definitely check it out :)

      Camille xo

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  45. Hi! Great blog!
    Would you like to follow each other on GFC and stay connected? Let me know on my blog! ^^
    Kisses!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much and of course :)

      Camille xo

      Delete
  46. Nice photos! Looks like a great night out! :)

    brycemedina.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Bryce, it was a lot of fun :)

      Camille xo

      Delete
  47. hahaha your post gave me hungry
    all very charming.

    kisses xoxoxoxo

    http://sdlapabreak.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, sorry to make you hungry ;) I love your blog!

      Camille xo

      Delete
  48. I can't believe I've never tried falafel before. Your pictures are making me really want to go out and find a restaurant that serves it though!

    I love your ombre hair. Gorgeous!

    V
    Life+1

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, so sweet of you :) I can definitely recommend Falafel, it is so delicious!

      Camille xo

      Delete
  49. Thank you for your lovely comment. :) I am following you via GFC and Twitter xx

    http://bblluusshh.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. That's so weird.... My family owns the same blue plates

    -Kate
    http://katekoutures.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  51. Wow that food looks amazing, wish I lived in the UK to try it :(

    http://milkshakekingdom.com

    ReplyDelete
  52. I've just found your blog and I think it's really inspiring, it will be an honor for me if you can visit mine too, and if you want to follow, it will be a pleasure to follow you back! :) <3

    By the way I am having a cute giveaway on my blog, you can win a lollipop necklace, I hope you join and If you do, good luck, I hope you win! <3

    Fashion gets Fierce.
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