New Manchester restaurant Maya lands in the Michelin Guide, just weeks after opening

"This is something I’ve dreamt about since I was a boy..."

By Ben Arnold | Last updated 31 May 2024

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Maya, the restaurant helmed by chef Gabe Lea, has already found itself listed in the Michelin Guide, just weeks after opening.

It’s named among just a handful of Greater Manchester restaurants in the Guide, and follows the recent additions of Higher Ground, which opened last year, and Örme, which also opened last year.

Speaking to Manchester’s Finest, Gabe said: “It just feels a bit surreal really, this is something I’ve dreamt about since I was a boy, to be involved in the guide somehow.

“I know it sounds strange to be obsessed by this little red book but it’s dream come true.

“To be recognised so soon after opening just shows the hard work we’ve put in early doors. We’re constantly evolving our menu and techniques, tweaking dishes to ensure the best quality and experience. Each month is different, it’s amazing to be recognised so early in our journey.”

Gabe joined the project, from the team behind restaurants like Isobel in London, after stints in world class kitchens like those at The French at the Midland Hotel, under Simon Rogan, Northcote Manor under Lisa Allen and Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.


The brand new listing reads: “In the heart of Manchester, close to the famous Canal Street, sits this impressively renovated basement restaurant. 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.

“The dishes often have a modern make-up but the kitchen’s classical skillset is evident in finely executed elements like a well-made sauce bonne femme to accompany top quality turbot. Four smart bedrooms are attached if you’re visiting from afar.”

They join city centre spots 63 Degrees, Erst, Mana, El Gato Negro, Adam Reid at The French, Another Hand, The Sparrows, Osma, Where The Light Gets In, The White Hart and The Pack Horse in Hayfield.

Maya sits on the former site of the groundbreaking Mash & Air, opened by restaurateur Oliver Peyton in 1996.

Its upscale menu shows off Lea’s love of classic French techniques, while downstairs, its bar serves cocktails into the early hours.

As for the future, Gabe added that ‘we keep pushing see how far we can really go.’

Maya’s new brasserie is open now.

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