Maray Albert Dock
£££ Eastern Tapas In Albert Dock
Written byBecky Taylor
Unit 4, Britannia Pavilion
0151 709 5820
Since opening on Bold Street in 2014, Maray has blown away diners in Liverpool on a consistent basis. The beautiful small plates on offer are exciting and innovative, carefully crafted like little pieces of art and are like nothing else that you can find in the Liverpool food scene. Most importantly, EVERYTHING is delicious. Maray offers fancy food that is definitely accessible.
With the move to open on the Albert Dock in 2019, the third Maray restaurant has cemented its place at the heart of Liverpool cuisine. Whereas just a few years prior to this a move by a local independent restaurant might have been viewed with some suspicion, you’ve now got some of the best local independents there, such as Lunya Lita, Rough Handmade and Dig Vinyl running out of the iconic scouse location.
Cool, calm and assured, Maray is comfortable in its skin and every single member of staff understands how it all comes together to provide the perfect dining out experience. The other two Maray restaurants are excellent, warm and inviting, but the dockside Maray is something else, with much more space to play with and a view of the Albert Dock that is welcoming and calming.
The ground floor is expansive, with high ceilings and large windows that gaze out on to the calm Albert Dock. The tables are much larger than the counterparts in the other Maray venues and the long bar along the side offers some waiting areas or more informal dining options for individual and couples that don’t mind drinking and eating at the bar. Upstairs is more intimate, with smaller tables and candles creating a more romantic appeal, whilst there are some cute outside wooden seating areas outside to enjoy in the nicer weather. The venue is very much on-brand for Maray in service and standards, whilst simultaneously creating a brand-new ambience in the space and light that the new venue affords it.
Well. What can we say about the food? It is incredible. The TiL team have been here countless times, so we’ll talk about the things that we ALWAYS order. To be honest though, we’ve worked our way through the menu so many times, and because of how the small plates work, you could easily afford to try one of everything on the menu if you are going to Maray with a group of friends. Usually, if there is a group of 4 of us, we go for about 10 plates in total, and it is more than enough.
Maray is one of the best places for vegetarian food in the city and even for our big meat-lovers at TiL, it’s easy for them to come away from Maray without touching any meat and still have a fantastic time. This can be seen best in what is considered the standout dish for 99% of Maray regulars – the Disco Cauliflower, which is a cauliflower creation like no other including harissa, yoghurt, pomegranate, almonds, chermoula and the freshest of herbs. Always, always get the sweet potato, we won’t say any more about it – just go and try them, it’s incredible. The buttermilk fried chicken with a fresh slaw and harissa, and the falafel sharer with a warm, inviting flatbread, hummus, tahini and harissa and some pickles too, create a great sharing plate for you and your friends.
One thing we will ask (if anyone from Maray is reading this), is can they please bring back the cabbage dish?! It was insanely tasty for an item on a menu that only read ‘Cabbage, Ash, Anchovy Butter’. We could have easily just sat there with 6 dishes of the cabbage and ordered nothing else that first time it was sampled. Incredible, absolutely incredible and the best thing that the collective TiL mouth has ever tasted.
At first glance, the prices at Maray might be towards the top end of what you would expect to pay in a Liverpool restaurant. The focus though, is on shared small plates that makes it a flexible menu and you party can make what you want from it, ordering as little or as much as you like, adding to the table throughout your reservation if you want to try something else. On average, when we’ve gone to Maray with a group of 4, we’ve typically ordered around 10 plates, sampling the wide range of the menu, with a drink each and paid anywhere between £70-£90. Which, for the quality on offer, is absolutely amazing. The restaurant also has a regular midweek daytime offer of 3 small plates for £12 – a great way to sample the classic dishes on offer.
And now Maray on the Albert Dock is back! The success of Café Maray at the Bold Street and Allerton Road restaurants during the backend of lockdown has led to the team keeping those open in that format, whilst the Albert Dock restaurant opens up to the post-lockdown crowd in a safe and exciting way. The high ceilings and large tables certainly lend it to a comfortable and spacious dining experience under any circumstances.