Review of 'Mackie Mayor'

A personal favourite

A few months ago we had a short guided tour of Manchester. Circumstances meant that though we were able to peak through the door we never did visit “Mackie Mayor”, a trendy “street food hall” in the Northern Quarter only a 10 minute walk from Piccadilly Gardens. We swore we would return and so we did on our next visit.

Stairs

Mackie is housed in a 1858 grade 2 listed building that was one a part of Smithfield Market and still maintains many of it's features with a wonderful glass ceiling, wood floors, iron railings and a general air of industrial-sheik. It consists of 9 independently operated vendors that serve everything from pizza to tacos to Thai curries as well as, of course, a good assortment of drinks to wash it all down.

Welcome

The way it works is you pick a table that is free which has a spoon with a number on it. When placing your order at any of the stalls surrounding the seating area you give the number to them and when the food is ready it will be brought to you. Simple.

Stalls

Stalls

Stalls

I wandered around for a few minutes looking at what was on offer: Step 1, figure out what it is they sell and if you are interested, step 2, see what specific dishes they have that might appeal. Prices were generally quite good and the place was not terribly busy in the middle of a Saturday afternoon.

It was hot on the Saturday we visited so we chose fairly light options with my companion picking some “chicken bites” (£8) from Mumma’s Fried Chicken served with a rather tasteless mayo and scattered with slices of jalapenos. The chicken was beautifully tender with a lovely crunch skin but, again, not a whole heap of flavour.

Chicken

I went a few stalls down to order from Chilli B Thai which looked a bit intriguing. The “Spicy Prawn Crackers” (£4) went down very easily - Crunchy with a slight fishy flavour, as they should be, and a nice sweet dip. Quite a good sized portion too.

Prawn Crackers

My main was a “Chicken Green Curry” (£14) with, for a change, brown rice. This huge portion of curry served in a bowl did not at first have a lot of flavour but as you ate it you started picking up the flavours and heat from the hot peppers. It went well with the rice which was served plainly on the side leaving you to mix the two together. So, sadly, a bit disappointing.

Chicken Curry

We know that we were not entirely in the best of moods to eat with the heat (no air conditioning here, not great if you are sitting in a hall under a glass roof with the sun blazing on your table) so we really didn't give Mackie the best of our attention but our initial impressions are: Great idea, but fairly ordinary and tasteless food. Prices are great, service is wonderful. Having said that, we will be back to give it another go.

Seats

Seats

Standard street food done very well but not a huge amount of imagination. I love the atmosphere though and the whole idea of what they are doing really appeals. We will be back to see what else we can sample.

Ceiling

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2022-08-13


Cuisine: Food Courts/Street Food Halls

Address: 1 Eagle St, Manchester M4 5BU ENGLAND

Location: Manchester (England) - Northern Quarter

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URL: https://www.facebook.com/MackieMayorNQ/