Food profile - Lunya, Deansgate, Manchester
PUBLISHED: 17:00 04 October 2016
Sharing Catalonian dishes with friends at Lunya on Deansgate is one way to recapture a holiday mood, writes Janet Reeder
Alas the summer holidays seem a dim and distant memory but fortunately you don’t have to travel too far to recapture them thanks to the recent explosion of fantastic restaurants in Manchester.
The city has for a long time offered the world on a plate but no more than now and one of the favourite cuisines in the city has been Spanish, or more to the point tapas, smaller dishes intended for sharing.
One place I had been intending to visit for quite a while is Lunya, a lovely looking Catalonian deli, restaurant and bar in the Barton Arcade. I wasn’t disappointed. Downstairs it has a relaxed dining vibe, where you can grab a coffee then shop for goodies in the adjacent deli, while upstairs it’s a proper restaurant offering a wide selection of hot and cold dishes.
We nibbled on marinated olives, £3.95, and sipped deliciously dry as a bone Loxarel Saniger Brut Reserva, a very elegant cava that could easily be mistaken for champagne, £30 a bottle, before choosing a selection of starters. Louise, the editor, opted for Brandada de Bacalao, a cold salt cod dish with an olive tapanade that was cold and not quite what she imagined but after that, things really picked up.
The traditional tortilla must have arrived straight off the plane from Spain it was so authentic. Patatas alioli, £4.95, was actually a deliciously creamy and garlic-infused cold potato salad dish and the Monte Enebro goats’ cheese, £7.95, was a thick wedge of punchily flavoured cheese that had been crisply fried to yielding point so it was the perfect texture for a swathe of sweet orange blossom honey.
Also making an appearance on the now groaning table was a light, fresh Pollo al Moro, moist chicken in a light broth infused with preserved lemons and Moroccan spices, which our friend Ms P. pronounced her favourite, and a perfect burger in miniature served with caramelised onions in a mini brioche bun, £4.25, as well as patatas bravas, £5.25.
One of the specialities of the house is its cheese, so we added even more inches to our waistlines with a platter that included a delightful manchego. You can also add extras like chutneys with prices varying according to the variety of cheese. Louise had Manchester Tart Catalana, basically a Catalan custard with the added Manchester tart elements of jam and coconut, £5.65, which she found delicious and not at all like those stodgy versions you’d be offered a school.
We ended our dining experience at Lunya with coffees, including a French coffee which had been livened up with a shot of Cointreau. Well, we needed an excuse to linger a while and enjoy the views as night fell over Deansgate.
7 Barton Square, Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2BB 0161 413 3317 lunya.co.uk/manchester