We’d done culture (Tate). We’d done shopping (Liverpool One). It was time to do lunch. It was raining and Lunya was just round the corner. We’d been in its deli bit before but never eaten there. And we had it in mind that it had recently won some award. It has – the Good Food Guide’s Readers North West Restaurant of the Year. Now, to offer some balance here, I’ve been gob-smacked at a couple of previous winners (no names, no packdrill) but I reckon this is a worthy winner. Good service, good menu, well priced and good food. Oh, yes, good food. And that’s in spite of it being Catalan – not a part of Spain that I particularly associate with good tapas, which is pretty much all they do here.
Now, when I say well priced, that’s particularly so at lunchtime, where three tapas from a shortened menu, together with bread, come in at under eleven quid. So, that meant with a bit of discussion between us, we got to sample six different plates.
Escalivada is about as Catalan a tapa as you’re going to get. Roasted veg – pepper, aubergine, onion – on toasted sourdough. Almost certainly, this was a matter of opening a few jars, rather than roasting the veg in house but, hey, much of Spanish tapas cooking involves opening jars and the microwave. I know places in “Greater Catalonia” that buy them in ready produced from the catering wholesaler. Hermanos Brakes, perhaps. All that aside, we’d no complaints.
No complaints either about the other cold starter - salpicon de marisco. Finely chopped squid and some other (unidentified) seafood, pepper and onion in a light vinaigrette. No complaints but it was just a bit underwhelming.
On to the hot tapas. Pimientos de padron were nice fried peppers and patatas bravas had a lightly spiced tomato sauce and a dollop of mayo - both just as they should be. Migas was the best thing we ate – small dice of fried chorizo, morcilla and pancetta mixed with crisp fried breadcrumbs. Really savoury; really lovely. The final dish was, I suppose, a bit of fusion – described on the menu as Catalan Scouse. Well, you’ve just gotta order it. You get a flavoursome stew of morcilla, chorizo and potato.
Portions are generous and we certainly weren’t going away hungry. Eating lunch also gets you a 10% discount on any purchases that day from the deli. Which was nice, as we’d intended to buy some bits and bobs for our intended Spanish style Christmas Eve dinner.
((With thanks to Theresa for the reminder about this place)