Manchester restaurant makes Michelin Guide just two months after opening

-Credit: (Image: Sean Hansford | Manchester Evening News)
-Credit: (Image: Sean Hansford | Manchester Evening News)


One of Manchester's newest arrivals to the dining scene has already received a mention in prestigious food bible The Michelin Guide - just two months after opening.

Maya restaurant and bar is spread over three floors inside the iconic former Mash&Air building on the corner of Canal Street and Chorlton Street in the city centre.

It boasts a canalside bar and brasserie on the ground floor, a luxurious restaurant on the first basement level and a subterranean nightclub in the floor beneath. It arrived on the scene with a string of glitzy opening events in March.

READ MORE: You can now have afternoon tea in one of Manchester's historic Grade II listed buildings

Now it has won its first foodie honour with a nod in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland. The guide praised the "beautifully appointed" interiors and "skillful, classically based cooking."

The ground floor bar and brasserie at Maya -Credit:Sean Hansford | Manchester Evening News
The ground floor bar and brasserie at Maya -Credit:Sean Hansford | Manchester Evening News

The guide makes monthly announcements with new inclusions. On Wednesday it revealed it would be adding 7 restaurants in May.

It says the new entries: "showcase the wealth of quality and diversity of styles in British and Irish dining, from a traditional pub to excitingly modern openings".

The May bulletin hailed Maya for its location "inextricably linked to the city’s nightlife" at the heart of the Gay Village with a nod to its illustrious past as the iconic Mash&Air restaurant and club.

It said: "The restaurant itself doesn’t disappoint, with skilful, classically based cooking that's sure to be a hit."

The Dining Room at Maya in Manchester
The Dining Room at Maya in Manchester -Credit:Sean Hansford | Manchester Evening News

The Michelin Guide entry for the restaurant itself reads: "It’s an elegant, beautifully appointed place, with an art deco feel and a large cocktail bar that feels appropriate for an area of the city known for its party scene".

Dishes were praised for their "modern make-up but the kitchen’s classical skillset is evident in finely executed elements".

The food at Maya is overseen by head chef Gabe Lea - previously of Michelin-starred establishments like Le Manoir and The French. His menus will rotate with the seasons, promising the best local and seasonal ingredients.

Opening menus included starters like turbot with bonne femme, mussel and white asparagus, as well as tomato and burrata salad, plus roasted dry-aged duck breast, green lentil and saucisse de morteau. For mains, diners can expect shorthorn ribeye with onion and sauce bordelaise, as well as poached lobster with vanilla bisque.

Chef Gabe Lea will head up the food at Maya in Manchester
Chef Gabe Lea heads up the food at Maya in Manchester -Credit:Supplied

The restaurant and bar concept is the creation of Scottie Bhattarai who, alongside Maya, is the CEO of Isabel Mayfair and its sister brands. Previously, Bhattarai led restaurant brands in the Soho House collection, as well as Petersham Nurseries, to Michelin-starred recognition.

When it first opened, he told the MEN he wanted to make Maya a "dinner plus" destination.

Scottie said: "Obviously, there's a lot of great restaurants doing great food and beverage, but what we provide is that extra experience and that's how we've designed the space - it's a one-stop shop where you can have great food and drink, but also great entertainment."

Also making the Michelin Guide's May new entries is Chester restaurant Boheme which is based on one of the city's famous 13th century rows.

Michelin said of the venue: "This impressive establishment operates as a café and bakery in the mornings, then slowly morphs throughout the day into a full-blown restaurant for dinner. There are three dining areas to choose from, all with a smart brasserie-style feel to them."