When a Manchester girl goes to Liverpool….
This week I was invited to visit The Albert Dock and experience some of the wonderful attractions and restaurants they have to offer as part of their #AllWrappedUp campaign.
I have been to Liverpool lots of times but I have to admit I have not ventured onto The Albert Dock to try the restaurants they have there and oh boy have I mised out!
The Albert Dock is a perfect mixture of culture, food and actvities and at christmas time a beautiful view to enjoy.
Before the feast….
What better way to sir up a hunger than to play an escape game,
I have an obsession with escape games and play them often and normally before a good meal out. For me thats a perfect day; feed my mind before I feed my belly.
They also help me to manage my anxiety as a way of focusing my thoughts on the activity rather than the anxiety. Settling my mind helps me to relax and when im relaxed I get my appetite and are more open to trying new foods and restaurants.
This wasn’t the typical escape game I have played, not to give to much away its less locky and more puzzley!
There are several rooms to play indoors, they also offer at home games and a outdoor game which gives you the opportunity to explore the Albert Dock further, how cool is that!
And of course we got out, we had me on the team!!
This place is now on my radar and will be going back to take that first spot.
Now that I had worked up a hunger at the escape game I was off to Maray a beautiful restaurant on The Albert Dock serving middle eastern meals.
Like most times when I go out to a new restaurant I am a little apprehensive, especially during the pandemic and so close to Christmas.
Last thing I want in my christmas stocking is a bad belly and the fun and games that go with a food whoopsy!
I did however do my prep and checked out their website before going and I was really suprised by the amount of GF and vegan meal options they had to offer.
Their website is easy to follow and really clear with what allergens are in what meals, to find this information you need to click the link at the bottom of the menu page as the menus themselves do not note GF options.
Maray have been working with a Liverpool based start up called Menu Guru. Their app allows guests to select what allergens they need/choose to avoid and provides them with approprate menu options. The app appeared easy to use but was set up for me by the server so even more easy to use!
“We are meticulous in how we deal with our allergens guests and feel strongly that people with allergies should be able to enjoy dining out as much as anybody else, comfortable in the knowledge that they are in safe hands“Maray.
On arrival we were shown to the upstairs dining area which overlooked the dock which was beautifully lit by christmas lights.
The room was set out well spaced and all the servers were wearing face coverings. On arrival were not asked to scan the NHS QR code or leave details; but Im hopeing most visitors will now automatically do that as this process is now routine. The menu’s were not disposable but were covered with a plastic covering which are wipable.
As the allergen menu is app based by Menu Guru so it was on a tablet. Obviously not disposable but could be wiped down carefully.
There IPC was well managed and made me feel safe as a visitor.
Maray offer several GF and vegan optons in both their mezze and small plate menus.
I don’t think I have ever said this before and i’m delight to say it….
I was spoilt for choice and I love it!
So many option and none I have ever tried before so what to pick?
I finally decided on the a mezze and 2 small plates; the cauliflower bhaji’s to start followed by roasted carrots and aubergine shawarma. My friend, who is not vegan or GF, ordered the disco cauliflower their signature dish so I could have a try of that dish too as it fits within my dietary needs.
The first dish to arrive was the roasted carrots; which kind of threw me off as I had ordered these as a main but I wasn’t going to argue as they smelt delicious.
They arrived dressed in crispy kale, chopped almonds and curried vegan yoghurt. Although the menu states “small plates” they were a perfect size to mix and match with. The carrots were really big and tasted beautiful, cooked perfect and worked well with its friends on the plate.
The next plate to arrive was the cauliflower bhaji’s. Onion bhaji’s are one of my favourite nibbles but are often fried with gluten containing items so are a no go. So to find a bhaji that is GF and vegan how could I not go for them. They were everything my mouth needed! Really tasty and accompanied pefectly with roasted red pepper puree.
My last plate to arrive was the aubergine shawarma; a mix of roasted aubergine, tahini, date mollasses and crispy onions.
Now, crispy onions are a bit of a weird zone. Most pre made crispy onions are not suitable for a GF diet as they contain wheat flour however home made ones, as long as fried in a GF fryer and not mixed with wheat, are fine. There was some confusion around crispy onions on the menu as the Menu guru app which was set for GF options clearly stated “without crispy onion” however when my meal arrived it had them on. I asked the server to double check with the chef which she did and happily returned to infom me they were handmade and GF suitable.
I can’t lie they made that meal for me! I miss those little onion buddies so much!
The disco cauliflower we also ordered arrived and was a spot on in size it looked about 1/3 of a whole cauliflower topped with tahini, chermoula, harissa, pomegranate and almonds. It was cooked perfect and full of flavour.
The options for the mezze and small plates was really good, however there were no choices for a dessert if you are GF and vegan.
But this did not stop Maray and I was offered some vanilla vegan ice cream off menu.
I just expected a bowl with a few scoops plopped in and that was it, but they had the other thoughts and it arrived topped with crushed pistachio’s.
Simple but delicious.
Maray is a cool restaurant set perfectly within the delights of The Albert Dock.
Great food, fun adventures and in a historically beautiful location.
Worth a visit any day, I shall be back Liverpool!