Lunya may be located amid Liverpool ONE’s many eateries but make no mistake… this independent deli, bar and restaurant truly stands out. Located in a converted 18th century warehouse, the premises are beautiful yet functional, with outside seating, bar area and restaurant upstairs. The deli boasts a mind-boggling selection of delights!
Paulo and I had popped into the deli on an earlier trip and were so impressed, we made a point of making dinner plans at Lunya the next time we were in Liverpool. A few weeks ago, we had this opportunity. We had to skip lunch due to travel and work, so we had an early dinner, just after 5pm. Staff were very welcoming and friendly and showed us to a nice table in the bar area. As we were early, we didn’t sit upstairs in the restaurant but our table was right by the window, with lots of sunlight.
We were immediately captivated by the extensive menu as well as the specials. There were authentic Catalan tapas as well as some fusion dishes. It’s a good thing we were famished as we were able to try quite a few of the tempting menu items. The wine list was comprehensive and well-organised. We chose to share a bottle of Chispas Garnacha, which was excellent.
We started off with some olives and chillies. I was intrigued by the giant Gordal olives stuffed with fresh orange and chilli flakes. What sounded like an odd combination was actually very tasty, first the sweetness of the orange, then the slight hint of chilli. My tastebuds enjoyed being out of their comfort zone! The olives were indeed giant-sized and very fresh. Paulo had the pickled Guindilla chillies, which were not spicy… they were sweet and sour.
After seeing the full legs of cured ham in the deli, we decided to share the Ibérico Bellota meat platter featuring the finest quality meats: chorizo, lomo, salchichón and jamón from acorn fed pigs. The flavours were strong and complex and each slice melted in our mouths. It was definitely worth the price for this quality!
The Mojama tuna loin from Andalucía was a real treat. Very thinly sliced, the tuna was air dried and cured so it almost tasted like ham. The quince on top was a nice touch.
We enjoyed the Catalan-style garlic bread (pan allioli) made with Coca bread from Barcelona. The tapas were coming at a steady pace by now, all served at the right temperature. They smelled wonderful and we tucked into the homemade beef meatballs (albóndigas), which are one of my favourite tapas. These were large and tender and the tomato sauce was very tasty. They went very well with the patatas bravas, which were topped with a spicy tomato sauce and allioli. The croquetas’ flavour of the day was chicken and chorizo, one of our favourite combinations, and they did not disappoint. They were crispy on the outside with a smooth texture on the inside.
Apart from the Mojama tuna loin, we chose other fish tapas from the menu: gambas pil pil, which are king prawns in chilli, garlic and vanilla… another unexpected but delicious flavour combination. The calamari was excellent as the batter was made with Estrella Damm beer.
The hand dived scallops with morcilla and parsnip puree were simply divine! We finished our tapas meal with some delicious Catalan style mini chicken burgers, with sweet chilli jam and allioli.
We were pleasantly full by this time, but the desserts looked so tempting we just had to indulge. I decided to try a traditional dessert, the leche frita, described as a real old fashioned dessert. This was breaded deep fried custard, dusted in a cinnamon sugar and served with a rhubarb compote. Simple yet delicious. Paulo had the ubiquitous Catalan dessert, crema catalana, a silky smooth Catalan custard infused with orange peel and cinnamon, with a burnt sugar crust. Espresso and tea followed, with Paulo treating himself to some Spanish biscuits and Rabitos Royale (brandy chocolate fig bon bons) and a Don PX Gran Reserva brandy.
We can both categorically say that Lunya offered the best tapas experience we have ever had in the UK, and the deli is a treasure of delights. Liverpool is very fortunate to have such a wonderful establishment serving authentic, high quality food and drink at a very central location.
The owners, managers or staff did not invite me to visit this establishment and were unaware that my experience would be the basis of a written review. It is based on my experience at my own cost and I did not receive compensation for my review.
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