Won't you take me to Funky Town? The Roof Garden at Mamasan is answering our calls, combining mixology and music with pan-Asian small plates. Think DJ sets and musicians from Liverpool Disco Festival, alongside lighter meals for fuelling up while you sip cocktails. As a self-professed lover of disco dance moves (mainly a lot of pointing and dad-like grooving on my part), the chance at an upbeat dinner before a night on the tiles really caught my attention. Channelling my party spirit and with my man on my arm, we made our way over to the Liverpool ONE restaurant.
Being a bit of a rainy post-heatwave Saturday, we settled down at the floral-adorned floor just inside from the rooftop space. Here, blossom cascaded from the ceiling, birdcage-inspired seating was entwined with autumn leaves and lights hung all the way down to the lower floors. Quite the look. To top it off, we were right in front of the DJ, who was accompanied by an enthusiastic percussionist adding a few jungle vibes.
We got things started by perusing the long list of cocktails. I couldn't miss the chance to slurp through a matcha melon sour (£11). Green tea is a flavour I always go for in desserts, while something a little tart regularly catches my eye in the drinks department. Having been intrigued by this particular pairing, I was really impressed by the outcome: a frothy, colourful tipple that was perfectly balanced. For the other half? A Tiki Mark (£10) of coconut rum, banana-infused falernum, floral pandam and a squeeze of lime - a tropical number that instantly hit the spot.
Food arrived quickly while we happily drank our expertly-mixed concoctions. In my opinion, small plates offer the ideal dinner - an elevated and more flavourful version of the famous picky tea - so, I was waiting in anticipation of these four dishes. First up, the lobster tail and king prawn toast (£10), a more meaty, sesame-coated and luxurious version of the Chinese takeaway classic. Its accompanying sweet chilli jam was absolutely moreish too. Similarly, the katsu chicken bao (£9) was easily munched, boasting a bouncy bun filled with crisp, juicy chicken alongside crunchy slaw and pickled chillies. To slather it in? An aromatic curried mayo. Although, we felt this sauce didn't quite make up for the lack of flavour overall.
Finishing off the food were our veggie and vegan options: the root vegetable spring rolls (£8) and sweetcorn fritters (£8), respectively. The filling for the former was sweet and rich, pairing with a welcome jalapeno coriander namjim that packed one helluva punch to boot. Meanwhile, the latter was my personal favourite, fronting a fried coating on the outside and a delicious, doughy centre that was warmingly spiced.
However, we couldn't end our visit without another two of those stunning cocktails: a Pineapple Spice (£12) for me and a hot margarita (£12) for him. My other half was able to choose the chilli level of his drink, opting for a solid four out of five. This sweet but punchy marg's heat hit right in the back of the throat, although real spice-fiends could easily choose the restaurant's hottest level. Mine, while not customisable, was equally quaffable; the mix of rum, Aperol, spiced white wine reduction, lime and fruit swilling down the hatch with a satisfied sigh.
The DesignMyNight Digest
The Roof Garden at Mamasan is ideal for munching on delicately flavoured pan-Asian snacks while you drink, especially if you're going to make a night of it. Incredible dipping sauces? Check. Instagrammable interiors? Big ol' tick. Plus, those stunning drinks and rhythmic tunes are the icing on the cake.
💰 The damage: £80 for a light meal and cocktails between two.
📍 The location: Liverpool ONE, L1 3DS.
👌 Perfect for: A fun bar experience with small plates to pair.
⭐ Need to know: Sundays at The Roof Garden see 90 minutes of unlimited dim sum washed down with a cocktail for £25 per person.