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Maray throws the doors open at the Dock

One of Liverpool’s favourite restaurants joins the independent crowd at the Dock

Maray, one of Liverpool’s favourite cocktail bars and restaurants, has joined us at Royal Albert Dock Liverpool. The team threw open the doors to its biggest venue yet with a launch party on June 11. We caught up with co-founder Tom White to get the inside track on plans for some of the tastiest food in town...

Maray

Maray has made its name as one of the city’s favourite eating out spots with an exotic array of cocktails and small plates, influenced by dishes from the Middle East, Mediterranean and North Africa.

Foodie favourites including its lamb shawarma with herb feta, apricot and pistachio, falafel with hummus and tabouleh and glittering disco cauliflower with tahini, yoghurt, harissa, chermoula and pomegranate will be making the short trip to the waterfront. ‘Our chefs will be putting on weekly specials where they’ll get to flaunt their creativity and imagination,’ says Tom, while admitting that – if he had to choose one Maray dish to eat for the rest of his life – it would be lamb kofta. ‘And we’ll change our staple menu seasonally,’ he adds.

Maray
Maray
Maray

When the opportunity arose to open at the Dock, ‘it was one of those moments where the decision is made almost immediately – there’s no way we weren’t going to do it,’ says Tom. ‘It’s breathtakingly beautiful and to be part of Liverpool’s history and ongoing narrative is both humbling and exciting. And the Docks have personal connotations for all of us, so it means a lot to be here,’ he adds.

‘It’s our biggest site, laid out over two floors.’ The ground floor houses a bar, a kitchen dining area, large communal table, circular central tables and long booth seating overlooking the Dock. ‘We wanted to create three different dining experiences here,’ says Tom. ‘You can come on a midweek lunchtime and take a booth with views across the dock, or take a pew at the kitchen counter on a Saturday and enjoy the buzzing theatre of the kitchen. Upstairs, our mezzanine boasts incredible views over the water, lends itself very well to large parties and group bookings. It’s a lovely space,’ he smiles.

The team has spent time sourcing unique interior features to compliment the space, including antique Parisian light shades and reclaimed parquet flooring on the mezzanine, salvaged from a school gym.

The bar and drinking area promises to be pretty special, too. Tom says: ‘it’s the first thing you see when you walk in – the views are beautiful and we’re really pleased with it. The bartenders will look after you’ – and will also be showing their creativity with weekly cocktail specials. ‘Our drinks list has a solid reputation and we put a great deal of effort into our cocktails – it’s a balanced mix of riffs on classics as well as wholly original concoctions from our bartenders. The emphasis is on big, unique and bold flavours without pomp or fanfare.’ The cocktail list includes Seychelles Sanctuary, comprising Takamaka coconut rum, pineapple, jasmine green tea and Suze, and ‘we’re working on a special daiquiri menu to tie in with the narrative of the docks,’ he says. ‘Keep an eye out…’

Maray
Maray

Joining a growing community of independents, including Lunyalita, Rosa’s Thai Cafe and the soon-to-arrive Barrie Brothers’ new restaurant, ‘is great – it’s exciting,’ admits Tom. ‘To be a few doors down from the likes of Rough Hand Made, for example – I remember buying pittas from them on Penny Lane. It’s amazing to see them grow from strength to strength. I’m looking forward to being at the Dock – proximity to water is a big thing for me. It’s calming and serene down here,’ he says. 

"And I’m really excited about our brand being introduced to people from all over the world – there are so many tourists that visit, it’s crazy to think that someone from Tokyo or New York could go home and wax lyrical about the great time they had with us."

Tom White

Wherever in the world guests come from to eat at Albert Dock, we’re pretty sure they’ll be waxing lyrical about Maray.