Thursday, 31 July 2014

Review: Maray Liverpool

Bare walls √ Unfinished Flooring √ Camping Plates √ Bearded Hipsters √ Snooty Vibes X. Whilst Maray may appear to be just another hangout for Liverpool trendsetters as soon as you walk inside it is clear that it welcomes all. I visited for lunch recently with my daughter and there was certainly no hesitation in the greeting of a toddler that was sure to be running around the table and spilling hummus all over the floor. Similar in layout and design to it's Bold Street neighbours Nolita Cantina, Maray keeps its decor simple and puts all of it's efforts into it's food. That is not to say that the food served in over complicated, the lunch menu is very limited but that is a good thing. Maray advertises itself as being all about falafel, cocktails and small plates, so that is what you would expect when you see the menu. Meat lovers need not worry as there was slow roasted lamb and chicken on the menu, with the evening menu boasting an array of special dishes, such as slow roasted pork belly with chilli jam and a ham, asparagus and pistachio terrine.

Our visit was all about the wraps. You can choose from classic middle eastern offerings of hummus, halloumi, feta and, of course, falafel. All wraps come unopened so you can build it up as you like with the side offerings of salad, olives and chilli sauce. The Lebanese flat bread was excellent, as was the slow roasted lamb and a superb falafel. I am such a big fan of falafel, as is my daughter, and can definitely say this is some of the best I have tasted. The highlight of my meal though, was the fresh jalapeno dip that was served as a side to my wrap. I am a chilli addict and this hit all the right spots. The portions are pretty generous and are very reasonably prices, which always makes me wonder how people choose a generic coffee shop with stodgy panini's and lukewarm soup. Speaking of coffee, Maray have it nailed. The coffee we had to finish off our lunch was very, very good indeed.

Our lunch stop was reasonable quick so I am looking forward to returning to sample the evening menu, with the aubergine risotto sounding particular good and I have heard nothing but great things about their version of the humble fish finger (or goujons as they prefer to be called in the hip places). More importantly, I wan to return to work my way through the imaginative cocktail menu, bring on the gin!

All images taken from Maray Website

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Food Gifts for Father's Day

With Father's Day on the horizon, there will be plenty of people rushing around to look for last minute gifts. I am a little cynical about the commercial aspects of Father's Day, Mother's Day and the like, but my emotional side says that an excuse to spoil people can't be that bad. We all know that we should show love to one and other all year round but sometimes life just gets in the way, so a day like Father's Day allows us to stop, think and give well deserved treats! Here are a few of my favourite foodie gifts for Father's Day, that will show a little extravagance without breaking the bank

Say it with Biscuits

The Biscuiteers have a fun collection of biscuit greeting cards on offer this year, like this simple ' I love You ' message or a fun beer glass biscuit. You can personalise your card and there are plenty of options, depending on your budget.

For the Chocolate Lover 

Sticking with a sweet theme, this Father's Day hamper, from Hotel Chocolat, has a variety of treats that is ideal for sharing!

Bring on the Beer

Predictable I know, but a lot of Dad's out there do like a beer or two. Browse through a fine selection of beers from the fantastic Ship in a Bottle, to find the perfect craft beer for you dad.

I'll Have a Wine

If your dad is more of a wine drinker, there is a good selection of wines to suit all budgets, over at Laithwaite's. With monthly subscription offers, this would be a good gift for siblings pooling together to get a larger present.

Bring out the Cheese

Cheese and Wine, aaaahhh cheese and wine. Find the perfect accompaniment for a special bottle of wine over at Liverpool Cheese Company. Visit their Liverpool base, for fabulous 121 service or pop over to throw online shop for a virtual sniff.

Spice it Up

If you are looking forward to a bonding session with your Dad, what better way to do so than over an evening of cooking. This Jerusalem Hamper from Ottolenghi is perfect for introducing something a little different to your celebration dinner.

Everybody Love a New Mug

For a foodie gift that will keep on giving, this Becka Griffin Mug  is a fun gift, for tea and biscuit loving Dads. What's your favourite?

Whatever gift you choose this Father's Day, make sure you add an extra hug on the side and don't forget that foodie gifts are meant for sharing.