Maiyango Tasting Room

Maiyango is celebrating its 10th birthday here in Leicester. It can now boast a contemporary, boutique hotel and one of Leicester’s most celebrated restaurants. It’s cocktail bar is also widely recognised in the city and beyond. With such a sterling reputation, I had high hopes of their new tasting room, open now on Highcross Street.

These expectations were roundly met. Catering for both private groups and special events put on by Maiyango’s dynamic and experienced team, the tasting room has an intimate, relaxed feel which is a world away from the bustle of the city centre. 

Sumptuously decorated in Maiyango’s signature style of muted, earthy colours and cosy but chic accessories, the room is suitable for smaller groups – certainly no more than 20, but perhaps optimised for 10, we were treated to one of their famous cocktail masterclasses, along with some delicious canapes.

We were greeted with a seriously unusual grapefruit and coriander G&T – for me more suited to a dessert menu than a welcome drink, but seriously delicious and fascinating at the same time. A light gin jelly was topped with a coriander and tonic granita, which was by far one of the most delicious granitas I have tried. It was topped with a candied grapefruit, which had a sweet, crisp and spicy flavour. A spoon was needed to attack this delight, and I relished the opportunity to try a gin and tonic with so much unexpected texture! Although the gin did not come through as the leading light, I loved the light coriander spiciness that developed on the finish. Certainly this set the scene for the rest of the evening.

The room is already being used by private parties, hen do’s and other small groups looking for a luxurious alternative to a house party. You can bring your own tunes to create your ideal ambience. We had a relaxed mix of music to accompany the rich and roundly filled duck confit spring rolls, organic cheddar and red onion croquettes and antipasto boards which were offered around the room by the reserved, but friendly waiting staff, who maintained Maiyango’s high standards of effortlessly dedicated customer service throughout our evening.

On to the cocktail masterclass, and we all enjoyed making our own ‘Bye Bye Apple Pie’, an iced long drink with a sugar rimmed glass, cinnamon rum and apple puree which created a seriously autumnal flavour in the mouth and was served with a buttery shortbread biscuit. Delicate spice came through from the cloves and star anise and we all patted ourselves on the back on a job well done.

Image courtesy of Cool as Leicester

We were treated to tiny chilli doughnuts with a crisp sugar glaze, followed by a beautifully rich chocolate brownie (which sadly had a rather sticky topping meaning that the popping candy garnish was already popped, but was lovely nonetheless) before moving on to our next cocktail – the absolute highlight of the evening. The mint chocolate martini was beautiful in both colour and flavour. Creme de cacao, creme de menthe, vodka and dry martini were shaken over ice, miraculously without any guests having unfortunate accidents, and served in a petite martini glass with a spoon of dark chocolate and chantilly cream on the side. Letting the chocolate melt lightly in your mouth before sipping the drink evoked many feelings, all pleasantly positive, of Christmas, celebration and times with good friends.

Bring yourself along to the Tasting Room. Book it out for a bespoke celebration or keep an eye out for food and drink tasting opportunities that will bring new voyages into flavour. 

I have little doubt that I will be back here, to enjoy the excellent service, beautifully comfortable space and exciting tastes. Thanks to Maiyango for inviting myself and The Boy along and being such generous hosts.


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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