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Maya Restaurant Manchester
Address40 Chorlton Street, Manchester M1 3HW
Phone0161 517 0000
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Maya - Soft Launch
Restaurants Of Manchester (Wednesday 27th March 2024)

Maya - Launch March 2024 Maya - Launch March 2024
Maya - Launch Menu Maya - Silverware
This week sees the launch of Maya; one of the most anticipated new openings which Manchester has seen in a fair while.  Housed in the former Mash and Air site on Chorlton Street, Maya is set over multiple levels as per its iconic predecessor.  There’s a high-end dining room and stunning bar, a bistro, and nightclub in the basement, so a diverse and comprehensive offering. 

Shortly before the doors opening, Maya played host to one of the best coordinated and most elaborate launch events that I can remember ever taking place in Manchester.  Set over a few days, it comprised of launch parties,  a local press lunch and several soft launches, all culminating in a wave of social media content, a thousand covers being fed, and countless cases of Charles Heidseick being quaffed.  We personally visited three times over five days in various capacities, but are focusing on the soft launch part for this preview, because that’s the closest of the three events to a proper service for you to compare your own future visit to.
Maya - Launch March 2024 Maya - Launch March 2024
Maya - Menu Maya - Charles Heidseick
So, how was it?  We arrived and by this point were on first name terms with most of the staff after those 2 prior visits.  We were shown to our moodily lit table which was pre-laid with bespoke silverware; which you sense is just begging to get pinched.  That’s largely because I’m reliably informed that a single fork, craft fully made by Inkerman of Sheffield, costs an astounding £38 per piece!  Plates are fine China, costing 3 figures per plate too. I’m just hoping that any inevitable breakages don’t come off staff tips to be honest.  But what Im trying to outline here is that no expense has been spared in the conception of Maya.  It’s a fabulous looking place and deserves your eyes being cast over it in person. 

Lighting was a little dark in the dining room so we had to resort to the influencer-esque practice of illuminating our plates with phone lights to get decent pictures, something we try not to do as we like to show you what you’ll experience in its natural setting.  And we were not alone.  You sense that the lighting situation will need to be evaluated on the arrival of paying diners, who will likely want to show their peers that they are eating expensive things, via social media.  You’d expect Maya to also want that, since the food is uber-photogenic once illuminated.  Which takes us nicely to the food.
Maya - Launch March 2024 Maya - Launch March 2024
Maya - Turbot, Sauce Bonne Femme Maya - Roasted Dry Aged Duck Breast
We started with Turbot and sauce Bonne Femme which was classical, delicious and generally a delight.  Well cooked, meaty fish, in an elegant butter and mushroom laden sauce, garnished with extra mushrooms to finish the plate. 

Our second starter was Duck with green lentils and saucisse de Morteau which was another solid example of Chef Gabe Lea’s classically-trained  background.  A tranche of perfectly cooked duck breast; pink in the middle and properly rendered on the outside, sat atop a lovely velvety lentil ‘stew’, for want of a better term.
Maya - Launch March 2024 Maya - Launch March 2024
Maya - Lobster, Vanilla Bisque Maya - Rib Eye, Onion & Short Rib
Lobster with vanilla bisque was simple, yet precise and laden with luxury across the plate.  A perfectly cooked lobster tail, topped with quality caviar, dressed with delicate leaves.  Perhaps a nod of carb would have made the plate feel more complete. 

Rib eye, onion, short rib and sauce Bordelaise was a delight, and had stepped up a notch from the press lunch version just a day before.  The beef was cooked really well, with strong provenance.  That braised beef garnish was again unctuous, rich, and hearty, plus the saucing was exceptionally good.

Wines were a choice of either red or white, but in both cases were outstanding, with special mention going to the 2016 Margaux; in this case a Chateau Labegorce.    Rolling out such high-quality juice at a soft launch is another example of Maya refusing to cut corners.
Maya - Launch March 2024 Maya - Launch March 2024
Maya - Chateau Labegorce Margaux Maya - Tenuta San Giacomo Gavi
Brillat-Savarin Cheesecake was another dish which we tried at the press lunch.  With an outrageously rich and deeply flavoured cheesecake filling topped with raspberry jelly.  Perhaps a slightly thicker biscuit base would have worked better, but this was still a refined and highly enjoyable piece of pastry work. 

Citrus milk chocolate curd was the final plate of the evening and was a great way to end.  A divine chocolate mousse, complete with Maya stamp, sat atop a biscuit base, topped with a rocher of sharp lemon sorbet and some edible flowers.  A fresh way to finish our Maya experience.
Maya - Launch March 2024 Maya - Launch March 2024
Maya - Brillat-Savarin Cheesecake Maya - Citrus Milk Chocolate Curd
We were served throughout the evening by a lovely young lady called Kashmir, who’d never worked in a venue on this level before, but whose natural charm shone through whilst taking great care of us the whole evening.  We gladly tipped her generously. 

After service we had a brief chat with Chef Gabe Lea, who clearly has high ambitions for Maya’s food offering.  Any why shouldn’t he?  Cooking is solid, classical, yet modern with a lightness of touch, and very visually appealing.  Plus the kitchen has clear backing and a generous produce expenses account, with a real emphasis on using high-end ingredients.    Just keep an eye on those forks Chef!

So, Manchester has a new destination to be added to your list of must-tries.
Maya - Launch March 2024 Maya - Launch March 2024
Maya - Watermelon Rose Maya - Launch Night
** Our experiences were all gratefully comped **
Maya Reviews

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