Unless you’re only just awakening from a deep autumnal slumber, I doubt I’ll need to give you much education in the new “it” spot that is Mackie Mayor.
But just in case it’s sneakily slipped under your radar, or you’re an out of towner looking for the latest hotspot to grace Manchester town; let me indulge you in this cornucopia of exceptional dining.
From the masterminds who brought you Altrincham Market; Nick Johnson and his team have taken the previously empty, weary Mackie Mayor building and transformed it into a Mecca for food enthusiasts, families and food operatives, stationed to bring the freshest flavours and bangin’ bites to the far side of the Northern Quarter.
We arrived on Mackie’s weekend debut; with rumbling bellies and a taste for delight. As seasoned market-goers, we took to the inevitable hustle and bustle like ducks to water, grabbing ourselves a bottle from Reserve Wines and nuzzling into the nearest vacated spot.
The space itself is really quite spectacular.
Exposed brickwork, achingly beautiful original features and dozens upon dozens of lights emitting a soft glow create the illusion of a cosy cavern in a vast space, capable of catering to over 500 people.
We greeted our new neighbours like old friends, and wasted no time in getting the gossip.
“I love your hat! Can I hold your dog? Where did you get that pork sandwich from?”
On these occasions, it’s always best to bypass the formalities and get right down to the good stuff.
We ordered a plethora of plates.
Herb Crusted Rabbit, courtesy of Little Window.
A harmonious balance of crispy-fried crunch against delicate waifs of cucumber and dill.
Sausage and Pistachio from Honest Crust; a complete revelation and marvellous creation. Savoury with sweet, nestled into oozes of melted mozzarella. Tremendous!
Squid from Fin; delightfully fresh, fragrant with an unexpected kick.
Dauphinoise from Nationale7. Paper-thin potatoes, layered and baked in a creamy bath, topped with cheese, a crispy-topped dream! My only wish was for it to be bigger (about the size of my face should do it).
The only thing missing for me from this decadent hive, is a sweet sanctuary. Unlike it’s South-West sister, Altrincham Market; Mackie Mayor is a bit of a no-mans land when it comes to dessert; a serious trick missed if not rectified.
If you haven’t yet found the time to visit Mackie Mayor, I insist you place it to the very top of your to-do list. There’s choices aplenty to appease all and too much for one visit alone, there’s no way to book, but find yourself a sweet spot amid the madness and while away your hours in people-watchers-paradise; trust me, it’s going to be your new favourite hideout.