Who doesn’t some love Spanish food!!
Well those in Manchester definitely do, with an abundance of Spanish Restaurants to choose from, they all have to make sure that they stay at the top of their game to survive.
Lunya is one such Restaurant that does just that. A family run affair, it consists of Restaurants in Liverpool and Manchester also with award-winning deli’s, and a soon to be launched Lunyita (little Lunya), which will also be based in Liverpool at Albert Dock.
Their Delis are superb and stock a wide range of Spanish delights. Peter Kinsella (Owner of Lunya along with wife Elaine) refers to the deli within their restaurants as being the best pantry ever, and who could disagree with so many fine and authentic Spanish ingredients to choose from. There are cheeses galore, dips, fish and snacks.
Also in the deli you will find some of the finest hams, carved to perfection including the beautiful and melt in the mouth Jamon Iberico de bellota. I have tried carving ham myself like this at home, and failed miserably. All of the ingredients in the shops can also be found online for delivery here
I have eaten a few times at both the Liverpool and Manchester restaurants, with my latest outing being part of their ‘Colçotada Festival’ event.
Colçotada is a Cataluña festival which celebrates the calçot, this is a large type of Spring onion, they are grilled over burning coals without being cleaned or trimmed – when cooked you peel of the charred outer and eat them dipped into a Romesco sauce (A tomato, pepper, almond and garlic based sauce). This really is a messy affair, and everyone needs bibs!! They have a fairly subtle, more of a leek type flavour and are best soaked in the Romesco Sauce.
The Calçot from the city of Vall’s have origin protected status and Lunya sells them direct in their deli until the end of March.
Another very messy tradition of Colçotada, is the drinking of wine from a narrow spouted ‘Porron’ poured from a height straight into your mouth. Its great fun to try, and despite doing it a few times now in Spain, I still can’t get it all in my mouth! In all honesty I have found it easier in the past using Red Wine, think that may be a combination of the fear of staining whatever I’m wearing or the fact that it doesn’t fizz up like the Cava. – You think you’re doing so well pouring this into your mouth, when all the bubbles start to fizz up – so don’t pour for too long like i did!!
After the Calçot feast, we are invited to try some of the great produce on display from the Deli – these included some amazing cheeses, ham and ever Caviar Crisps.
The Colçotada festival is all about barbecues, where the Calçots have been cooked, once these have all been chard, the coals are the used to cook up a meat feast, with tonight’s occasion being no different, with some amazing spicy sausage, lamb and chicken all combined with their mouthwatering and slightly spicy Patatas Bravas.
Along with great food, Lunya also some a host of great wines available, I tried out their Malbec and Rioja, both of which were beautiful.
If wine isn’t your thing, they also have a good stock of beers, one that we tried was Estrella Damm Inedit, developed in collaboration with famous chef Ferran Adria to be used as an alternative to wine, its really aromatic and fruity, partnered perfectly with fish dishes instead of a white wine.
No visit to a Spanish restaurant is complete without a dessert, with this outing eing no exception. The Crema Catalanya was another stunning dish and a perfect way to finish of the night, with the creamy and sweet dessert being lidded by a crispy sugar top.
My latest visit to Lunya was an amazing visit and I was thankful to be able to try so many new ingredients and dishes. So if your in Manchester or Liverpool be sure to check out both the restaurant and deli areas.
Lunya Manchester and Liverpool are both online here