Sunday, 14 June 2015

Lunya, Liverpool

My parents (and my sister’s family) have lived in Spain’s Andalucía region, for a number of years. Over many visits, I have come to know the local cuisine quite well (see my recent Seville ‘Tapas Trail’). One regional dish that I’ve never been completely sold on is “migas”.

Derived from the Spanish word for ‘crumbs’, migas are traditionally a breakfast dish, which shepherds would make by on their campfires by frying up left over bread with oil and garlic. If they had some, they would often add chorizo, ham or even fruits.

Advising a twitter pal recently on what to eat whilst visiting southern Spain, I made my feelings on migas clear – this led to Lunya’s self proclaimed Hispanophile Peter Kinsella throwing down the gauntlet by declaring that if their version was not better than any I’d eaten in Spain, then I could string him up by the castanets (or some such forfeit).

As Lunya has been “on the list” as one of those places I have wanted to eat at for quite some time, I promptly accepted the challenge and headed to Liverpool to check it out.

To cut a long story short, Lunya’s Migas was indeed better than any I’d eaten in Spain – rather than heavy, oily, soggy bread, their crumbs were crisp, light and toasty. Not only were the crumbs good, there were generous chunks of chorizo; with pieces of pancetta and morcilla (Spanish black pudding) and a poached egg, all helping to make a heartily rich version of the dish – the likes of which a Spanish peasant shepherd could only dream.

My wife and I enjoyed Lunya so much we returned the following week with friends – favourite dishes included the ‘Quartet of anchovies’ ‘Lamb fillet’ ‘Presa Ibérica’ and the ‘Chipirones’, stuffed with morcilla and rice in a beautiful light tomato consommé.

My only complaint was with the Chocolate y Churros as the chocolate was nowhere near as thick as I’d have liked; I’d have liked more churros too (but I am greedy).

Pickled garlic

Catalan tomato bread – tomatoes on “coca bread” from Barcelona


Ibérico Bellota Morcón – large chorizo style

Catalan Scouse – our signature fusion dish with chorizo & morcilla

Butifarra – Catalan pork sausage with roasted peppers &
giant judion beans in a tomato & oregano sauce

Pollo al moro – slow cooked chicken in a cumin, saffron
& preserved lemon infused sauce

Lamb fillet – pan fried, pea puree, spiced fried chickpeas

Presa Ibérica – rosemary & spinach tortilla, red wine jus

Monkfish, chorizo and rosemary pintxos with a Piquillo pepper sauce

Slow cooked rabbit – deep-fried with Romesco sauce

Duck breast – pan fried with a raspberry sauce & vanilla infused pear

Chipirones – stuffed with morcilla & rice in a tomato consommé

Dorada – with cured white asparagus & crispy pancetta

Mojama – air dried & cured tuna loin from Andalucía

A quartet of anchovies:
Cantabrian cold smoked anchovies – lightly smoked sweet, soft flesh Hot smoked baby anchovies – tiny & flavour packed
Boquerones – marinated anchovies on potato crisps
Salted anchovies – glorious intense umami flavours

Mackerel – smoked whole baby mackerel

Gambas píl píl – king prawns in chilli, garlic, olive oil & vanilla

Pulpo – chargrilled octopus, potatoes, smoked paprika, sea salt

Tortilla – Spanish potato & onion omelette

Patatas bravas – with spicy tomato sauce & allioli

Padrón peppers – Galician green peppers, mostly mild, sometimes hot

Spanish cheeses

Crema Catalana

Chocolate y Churros – Churros, sprinkled with cinnamon & sugar, served with a cup of extra thick hot chocolate!

Good news for Mancs – Lunya are set to open a deli, bar and restaurant in Manchester’s fabulous Barton Arcade on Deansgate in October.

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