Food profile - Lunya, Manchester
PUBLISHED: 00:00 14 June 2018
Catalan cuisin in the heart of Manchester
Oh I love Spain! I have spent weeks and months at a time there since I was four years old, most of which has been in a tiny Catalan village about an hour north of Barcelona, so when the owners of Catalan tapas restaurant Lunya decided to open in Manchester, I was very excited – and having now immersed myself in the delicious dishes on offer there, I can tell you it’s marvellous!
Tapas are meant for sharing, a fact even my husband submits to, though his love of red meat and my need for vegetables means it’s not entirely equal across the board. We chose the house’s own Chorizo, simmered in white wine; Carrilladas - slow roasted Ibérico pork cheeks; Estofado - traditional Catalan stew with slow roasted ox cheeks; Cauliflower chuleton - roasted and pan fried ‘steak’ of cauliflower topped with tahini yoghurt; and deep fried Monte Enebro goats cheese.
Oh my goodness – it was all so good! The chorizo was soft and crumbling in the mouth and filled with flavour. The Estofado was rich and darkly flavoursome, while the Carrilladas melted in the mouth. I loved the cauliflower and we fought over the goats cheese, finally settling on me winning that while Mike finished off the Estefado. It’s all beautifully presented, in surroundings that feel very familiar – Spanish café dark wood, scents of red wine and a background of regional music. We sipped a velvety Rioja during our tapas course, a recommendation from the waiter that went down very well indeed.
For me, any Catalan meal has to be finished with Crema Catalana, a silky smooth custard infused with orange peel and cinnamon, topped with a burnt sugar crust. It’s similar to crème brûlée, but yummier. Mike, well he chose another bowl of chorizo.
Lunya is the perfect place for a fast lunch, or spending long Spanish hours over a series of delicious small plates, sipping a café cortado and setting the world to rights. The deli downstairs is a real bonus; I can now get my hands on that incredible chorizo any time I’m in Manchester. They also carry fabulous fresh cheeses and meats and fresh hams carved on the bone, Spanish style.
Hasta pronto, Lunya – I’ll see you soon!
Lunya, Barton Arcade, Manchester
0161 413 3317 | lunya.co.uk