When you’re in the mood for a little bit of everything, tapas is always the answer. It’s probably one of my favourite kind of meals to go for, variety is the spice of life after all. Lunya, located in a beautifully converted 18th centre warehouse in the heart of the Liverpool One shopping centre is Liverpool’s first Catalan inspired deli, restaurant and bar. Lunya is about bringing passionate and inspirational dishes from their kitchen to your table and is easily one of my favourite places to go as the sun is finally starting to make an appearance. Tapas, sangria, good company, what more could this city girl ask for?
I headed down with Just Add Ginger blogger and personal bestie, Jackie, for a catch-up-lets-eat-all-the-food session. Being a Friday night in the big city, I managed to book us a table online, there was no way I was going to wait around getting hangry. We were seated upstairs, surrounded by 300-year-old exposed bricks and beams adorned with fanciful and brightly coloured Catalan artwork (turns out all of it is for sale too - now that’d be an interesting doggy bag to take home!).
The worst thing about tapas is trying to choose. I love a little bit of everything but Lunya has such an extensive menu and such a wide variety of dishes, from true Spanish favourites to old school classics with a Catalan twist. They also serve up traditional, freshly cooked paella too. Everything is a labour of love at Lunya, they locally source everything that goes into each and every dish, so you know you’re only getting the good stuff here.
I usually opt for 3 - 4 plates per person, so that’s what we did. We deliberated over a very delicious Port of Dragons gin and eventually made our choices. All food comes out as and when it’s ready so there’s always something fresh on its way and the dishes are well paced, giving you time to enjoy each one.
Cabrales was a recommendation of our waitress, a very strong cheese and cider pate in mini pastry cases with caramelised walnuts…was what the menu said. What we got were essentially mini breadsticks and a dip. OK, slightly disappointing, not what we were expecting but we dived in. If you like Herculean strength cheeses, then you will love this. It was nice but I found it too over powering and could only handle a little at a time. We ordered the piquillo pepper hummus as a fresher alternative, that again was described as coming in pastry cases but came to us as breadsticks and a dip. I get that they don’t always have what’s on the menu but I felt like we should have been told things might be a little different. Not ones to fuss we gave it a try and this, I really liked. I love hummus and this was full of flavour.
Bacalao was a battered salt cod with garlic, parsley and tartar sauce served up in a mini brioche which was really scrumptious and tasty, a little fishy nugget of delight. We also ordered some croquetas, little-mashed potato balls that often come in a variety of flavours. We forgot to ask the waitress what today's flavour was but it definitely had a deep, meaty flavour to it that was absolutely gorgeous. Only I could order something off the menu and not have a clue what it is!
Now, comes the dishes that I have no name for. I’m a terrible blogger, I know, you don’t need to tell me twice. Lunya changes their menu all the time so more often than not you will find new and exciting dishes every time you dine. Now that's variety for you. I’ve scoured the menu but I can’t find anything that comes close to describing the last two dishes we had. So I guess I better get creative.
Fancy pants black pudding was probably one of my favourite dishes of the night. It was so light and soft, nothing like the black pudding I’m used to having on a fry up, served with a piquillo pepper dressing. The black pudding had rice running through it and an almost paprika-y after taste. Last, but certainly not least, my favourite dish of the night (why is it I love the ones I have no name for? What’s wrong with me?) the Call me Cauli-Cauliflower. Jackie had been tweeting Lunya earlier that afternoon to see what they recommended and this was the dish they were most excited about. The Cauliflower was cooked almost like a pakora meets an onion bhaji, full of flavour and seriously, I couldn’t believe it was cauliflower! It came with the most amazing dip that we ended up using on everything we had because it was that good.
Lunya is high up on my Summer eats list, they have a few tables outside that would be the perfect place to a gin and nibble and just watch my beautiful city go by. All with a sangria in one hand of course. We had a brilliant evening, filled our boots and had a great catch up. The deli is full of all kinds of can’t find elsewhere in the city delights, including fresh, straight off the bone, cured meats, olives and oils as well as some very delectable wines and spirits.
Have you eaten at Lunya before? What do you prefer, tapas or one big main meal?
Until next time,