This once abandoned warehouse has been transformed into a trendy Euro/Asian-inspired restaurant and lounge. The 900-capacity restaurant will also feature a lower level available exclusively for private functions.
The cuisine is handled by chef David Adjey whose past credits include Sassafraz, Nectar and the Windsor Arms Hotel. Adjey will serve up a menu of dishes inspired by China, Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East, Portugal and Italy.
ate to start, the supper club concept has certainly taken hold of this city. With some wonderfully ballsy clubs out there – including Ultra Supper club and unsurprisingly short-lived emulations like Forget About It Supper club – Maro is the latest entry. Daringly enough, this badboy is located, not in the downtown core but, in an amped-up warehouse space in Liberty Village.
Indeed, Liberty Village is far removed from the restaurant and club scene. However, geography is immaterial to interior as Maro takes you on its own cultural expedition. Clocking in at 14,000 square feet, this monstrous venue soaks up every recent trend in global hot spots, from cuisine, under the rule of Chef David Adjey, to its Asian dcor overload.
Owned by the Brant Group (West Lounge, Brassaii, Brant House), Maros basic premise – high-level Euro-Asian fare served in a supper club setting – is a fairly attractive one. Co-designers Marc Kyriacou and John Tsoumaris have reached way beyond the proverbial box with their design; from the reno of the warehouse space to the floor-to-ceiling banquettes that fill the VIP lounge above the dining area.
Three marble-covered bars with an indoor brick backsplash have been cleverly spread from one end of the main level to the next, making bar access easy for those who dwell in the various lounge areas. The walls are accented by marble fireplaces, which in turn are covered by an intricate sheet of meshed metal and printed silk sheets that reach up to the Thai-inspired ceiling panels.
The open-concept kitchen, resembling an assembly line, is a frenzy of activity, with all tasks executed by Sir Adjey, who has his own vision for the menu at Maro. Inspired by the Silk Road Trade Route, he has concocted a menu that is divided between European and Asian flavours; concoctions are meant to be symbolic of 1st century BC, when China wanted to create a road connecting the Western World with India.
While the dishes are intended to be seamless, the description of them is ambiguous. That’s the way David Adjey operates. A simple description should be adequate and one should trust the chef and his experiences both in life and in the kitchen. His travels to Tokyo, Venice, China, New Delhi, and the Caspian Sea have influenced his creations and it shows. A dish such as the Beef Plate is worth mentioning. The collaboration entails ingredients such as arugula, balsamic and truffle for the Euro version and tempura battered asparagus, with shitake mushrooms tricked up in Sapporo for the Asian slant.
The menu ranges from appetizers like the Tempura Calamari with a ginger-infused dipping sauce to Steak Tartar, which rests on a butter crouton. A signature pan-seared vension foie gras with dates is served with squash gnoochi. Other mains include Lobster, Cod and Tuna to Lamb, Beef and Sole. The presentation is much more playful than you’d expect from Adjey.
Maro’s owners made the right choice going for an upscale party feel instead of a paint-by-numbers loft restaurant. By doing so, Maro has lured the young and upwardly mobile neighbourhood denizens with distinct tastes and the disposable income to pay for a Champagne-lubricated schmooze fest. Bring your Blackberry.