Maray Manchester

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor
Ian Jones

Few dining experiences manage to be both innovative and accessible. Maray is special precisely because of this – the menu is full of people-pleasing dishes that are packed with all-new ideas and unique flavour combinations. 

It’s been causing a stir in Liverpool for a few years now, and dazzled Mancunian  diners when it launched last year. As we head into summer, the team has added some new equally-matched additions to the excellent menu. 

First up, move over disco cauliflower, it’s time for – you guessed it – disco broccoli. No, not a new Ceebeebies show, it’s Maray’s superb vegan dish based around roasted broccoli and a gloriously full-bodied tomato sauce. The secret ingredient? Fermented tofu, which gives an almost melted cheddar-style depth to the whole thing. Add a touch of roasted coconut and you’ve got one of North’s truly great vegan dishes. 

The braised carrots don’t disappoint, incorporating black garlic-infused tahini and some teeny tiny potent sour grapes that explode with cheek-sucking flavour. Both combine with the soft, sweet carrots to create a cleverly textured and multi-faceted dish. It’s a credit to the kitchen that they can take a vegetable often treated as an afterthought, and elevate it into the main act.

It’s worth keeping another new veggie dish, the smacked cucumbers from the mezze section, on the table throughout the meal, as they mix and match with a host of dishes. They’re also a treat in their own right, whether as separate elements – satisfying squishy confit garlic cloves; thick, creamy and tangy labneh; and bashed-up zingy cucumbers – or as one big greedy mouthful, sending all the flavours fizzing to your brain. Your call.

Cod, done properly, is one of life’s great pleasures but many restaurants struggle to pull it off. Not so with Maray. It arrives resting on braised leeks and creamy crab butter, thick and fleshy, with a perfectly crisped skin. Dish of the day, and that’s against some serious competition.

Not least the lamb skewers, which come piled on a bundle of parsley and roasted red onion, and a thick smudge of gently spiced baba ghanoush. Again, stuff it all in your mouth, close your eyes and sit back to let those flavours wash over you. Better still, stick it in a warm pitta bread with some smashed cucumbers and enjoy the greatest kebab of your life.

As for desserts, they’re pretty as a picture, come in enormous portions and taste outrageously good. Let’s be reductive, there are two types of dessert people: sweet and creamy, and dark and dense. If you’re the former, pick the baklava cheesecake – it’s made with rose, pistachio and comes smothered in a crème anglaise that tastes like gold-plated, luxury Horlicks (a good thing).

All about that cocoa? You’ll not find anything richer than the chocolate and coffee ganache. Despite the name, it’s light on Java, just a mere hint to bring out the essence of the chocolate. The roughly hewn chunks of sunflower seed praline add some textural heft, while the scoop of Chantilly cream is a pleasing yang to the ganache’s yin.

Few restaurants are as consistently impressive as Maray. Whether you’re in for a drink from the cocktail menu or surprisingly extensive wine list, or want to stuff your face, you can stab a pin in, eyes closed, and you’re guaranteed something superb. Manchester has a bunch of decent Middle Eastern-style restaurants, but Maray is on a whole new level.

14 Brazennose StManchester M2 6LW View map
Telephone: 0151347 0214 Visit Now

Opening Hours

  • Monday12:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Tuesday12:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Wednesday12:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Thursday12:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Friday12:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Saturday12:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Sunday12:00pm - 8:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

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