lunyaGood news for Lunya – voted Restaurant of the Year at this year’s Liverpool Food and Drink Awards, just six months after opening, in College Lane.

We’re fans of this independent Catalonian restaurant and deli, and are pleased to see one of Liverpool ONE’s rare indies scooping the award.

Last time we visited, though, we didn’t like the huge plasma screen glaring out disaster scenes from BBC News 24. That’s not conducive to relaxed dining (what happened to the live shots from the kitchen?). And, if we’re honest, the Take That! soundtrack made us pine even for a touch of the Gypsy Kings. And we never thought we’d say that.

If we’re honest, we always feel that Lunya is an excellent deli with an OK restaurant attached. Certainly, its charcuterie, cheeses and cold plates are way more accomplished than its hot dishes: our Jamon Croquetas were an unappealing mush, we’re sorry to say. But we can’t fault their selection of ‘from the deli’ dishes.

You certainly won’t find a harder working team than owner Peter Kinsella and co, and the service is always friendly, and we really wish Lunya well.

So it’s a qualified well done from us. But, with hot competition from our favourite tapas restaurant, Salthouse Tapas, just around the corner, we’d say the future’s bright for Liverpool-meets-Seville cuisine around these parts.

Lunya
College Lane
Liverpool

  • Geoff

    Who votes for these things?? Salthouse Tapas is as you say, the better Spanish restaurant. But the best restaurant in the city is still Eureka on Myrtle Parade, but you won’t get that at an awards ceremony because it doesn’t play the game.

  • Mr Motivator

    On these same awards alma de cuba won best bar again. These are just awards for the best PR campaign, and to reeward those with the most friends in the business. Santa chupitos or mello mello or anything current doesn’t stand a chance at these backslapping dos. Liverpool’s ‘in the know’ crowd slapping each other on the backs again. Big yawn.

  • Ste

    I’m a little underwhelmed by both Lunya and Salthouse Tapas. I still pine for Don Pepe.

  • Tim B

    Sadly many of these awards do’s do seem to be about restaurants with heavy media presences (seriously, Alma de Cuba? again?!). It would be nice for some of the little, lesser known ones to get a look in sometimes: saying that, Lunya is definitely a nice little newcomer to the city.

  • http://www.sevenstreets.com David

    Ah, Don Pepes. That takes me back. But, let’s be honest, it was hit and miss. But brilliantly so. And always a brilliant atmosphere.

  • http://www.sevenstreets.com Robin

    I haven’t been able to fault Salt House Tapas when I’ve been, though I preferred the scallops with actual peas, rather than the modish pea puree

  • http://www.sevenstreets.com David

    you can take the boy out of Hartlepool…

  • Gary Jenkins

    Been to all of Liverpool’s Spanish restaurants, and would agree with the award. Lunya is definitely a cut above the rest. Belly pork, calamari to die for. also went to their Sherry Gourmet night, fine dining at its best. Tasca and Vina rubbish, Tapas Tapas passable, Salt House alright but still a long way to go. Pushka gives Lunya a run for its money.

  • Alfonso Montoliu

    Catalan working in Liverpool. Lunya és el millor. Lunya is the best. Great food (as good is some of the best in my home city of Vic), great service, friendly and attentive, and does not fall into the trap of being false – pretend barrels, chipped tiles ect.

    I like the way they take risks with the menu, like Catalan scouse. There croquetas are very authentic, nice and runny on in the inside as they are suposed to be.

    My family went to Salthouse to but were disappointed. Patatas Bravas was terrible, meatballs no good, but they did a nice chorizo. Service slow even though few people in restaurant.

    Everyone has there own opinions, these are mine.

  • David

    Great to have someone from Vic on here! Good to know that Lunya is hitting the mark. Our croquetas, sadly, were not runny. But that just goes to prove: there’s no such thing as a definitive restaurant review. Even the best kitchens can have off days. Tapas Tapas, though, that’s just poor. Period.

  • Ste

    I’ve always found Tapas Tapas to be perfectly acceptable.

  • Mark Flan

    Can’t agree re Tapas Tapas. Went there for a birthday bash & we had the party menu where nearly everything seemed to be microwaved or just not authentic…patatas bravas with no spicey tomato sauce & some awful looking strips of chicken in a creamy mush were just 2 dishes any Spaniard would recoil in horror at…no thanks!
    Far superior is Saharaa next to the Font, behind The Everyman. A Syrian gaff that serves up authentic dishes that are divine AND reasonable…oh and it’s a BYO place to boot, thereby saving even MORE dosh…get down there!

  • Tim B

    I’d not even heard of Saharaa before. Sounds great – will be hunting that one out!

  • geoff

    Tapas Tapas is really not great – and Mark’s right, dishes are reheated so much they’re stuck to the plate. It’s a shame because it’s in such a brilliant location, it’s wasted on them. I’m checking out Saharaa too, thanks for the tip off.

  • Chumki

    Having tried to hold my tongue, this has burst out of me, at the risk of sounding a crazed snob.

    I try and try to take Liverpool’s restaurant offering with a “pinch of salt” and be grateful for what we have, for what we are getting but I know, in the back of my mind, I am burying my head in the sand.

    Yes Lunya is fine and I am grateful for its arrival but I cannot convince myself that it is a patch on the better tapas bars in Barcelona, despite ingredients purchased, at least in the Deli, from a great Spanish supplier.

    As for taking risks, what risks (?!), everything is a watered down version of what it could be, where is the zing and sheer thrill I experienced in Barcelona, the sweetest of tiny red peppers stuffed with bacalao, miniature fillet steak on bruschetta, crumbly spicy black pudding, hot, sweet and smoky sausages laden with paprika, crunchy potato cubes in piquant, garlicky tomato sauce, juicy marinated char grilled prawns, meaty pinchos, succulently marinated in garlic and herbs (rather than the sadly stringy, gristly piece of unidentifiable morsel of pig on stick I encountered at Lunya) and so on and on.

    I applaud Lunya and other such restaurants trying to make a difference in Liverpool, I admire the effort, believe me I know it takes over your life but why, oh why does Liverpool appear to suck the flavour, the life out of food? Though we suffer lack of sun I am sure we can take its passion or maybe it is just me and my strange taste.

    Anyway, apologise for rant, I know everyone is trying so very hard and I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone even if I did know what I was talking about which I probably don’t.

    That’s it, got it out except to say am visiting the Salthouse next week, so might report back.

  • David

    Hey, save it for a feature! I’m with you all the way. Let’s talk later….