James, Thom and Dom are the trio behind Maray, a restaurant on Bold Street where falafel, small plates and cocktails of the highest quality take centre stage.
Before Maray existed the three friends had always wanted a place of their own and eventually decided to take the journey together. With this power of three, Maray is an amalgamation of all their ideas, influences and travels, meaning something special has been created here in Liverpool.
‘Maray’ is named after the bohemian district ‘La Marais’, a district renowned for its abundance of falafel shops, and more recently, very cool cocktail bars. It was here that the friends stumbled across L’As du Fallafel (The Ace of Falafel), the most famous falafel joint in Europe. After queuing round the block at midday to try the world famous falafel and being taken aback by the quality and taste they knew they had to bring the concept to Liverpool with their own twist. After gorging on falafel between cocktails at some of Paris’ top bars, they knew this could be a great combination. Deciding that they would run with this concept they travelled around Europe and New York for inspiration and research, all of which is evident in the dishes, interior and atmosphere.
The long dining table is central to the whole idea of Maray – all of their plates are made for sharing which creates a relaxing dining experience. You can come in, sit down and socialise over cocktails with your friends and have a bite to eat late into the night (the kitchen shuts at 22.00 in the week and 23.00 at the weekend). The broad influence of the dishes in Maray are Middle-Eastern inspired, though there are nods to cuisines from all over the world in their menu. Being a falafel restaurant, it would have been rude of us not to try the falafel wrap first. The falafel process in Maray takes 24 hours from dry chickpeas to falafel. The chickpeas are soaked for 24 hours – it is this process which gives their falafel a crunchy outside and soft, green inside after being packed with fresh herbs. What we love about Maray is their specials (Thursday to Saturday) which can be found accumulating ‘likes’ on their Instagram feed. All of the specials we have tried are completely different and dishes you cannot find anywhere else in Liverpool.
The interior of Maray is a collection of all three of the guy’s ideas and influences. The exposed brick and large bar is New York inspired, and the low lighting in evening is very reminiscent of a bar in Berlin. The stories behind the features in the restaurant are also very interesting. The wall lights are from a broken down ferry which was decommissioned in Germany and sold for parts – a subtle nod to Liverpool’s maritime heritage. One table is actually a 200 year old door, and all tables have old Singer sewing machine legs which are still fully functional. The chairs are old French school chairs, which kids have been sitting on for the last 30 years. All of these pieces come together very well and creates a unique space.
Good news for Independent Liverpool Cardholders is that they are offering 10% off Sunday-Friday all day (max 2 people per card) so make sure you pay them a visit to satisfy all your needs. Like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and follow them on Instagram for mouthwatering pictures of their dishes and cocktails. Don’t blame us if it makes you hungry, you’ve been warned!