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Flavour of the month: Summer menu at Lunya

First of a series casting a close eye on what's new and happening in Liverpool restaurants

Published on May 29th 2014.

Flavour of the month: Summer menu at Lunya

 IF your idea of jazzed up hummus is a couple of chopped up olives in a tub of Tesco's Finest, then you have much road to travel, amigo. 

Think, instead, of a different journey – one swaddled in a shimmering, Miles Davies heat, Sketches of Spain and the slow, smouldering, earthy flavours of Lunya's roasted piquillo pepper hummus. 

Lunya Liverpool Menu %283%29Steak pinchos with a hummus that has you reaching for the Miles Davies 

A sunset strip on a plate, it is the official partner in an all new tapas: beef steak pinchos (£6.65). 

But this is a hummus that likes to put itself about a bit.

Let off the leash and you will find it playing away with Pluma Iberica (£7.95), a sublime, steak-like pork from acorn fed Spanish pigs, grilled rare. Or, perhaps, bathing in a bowl of its own, with only breadsticks for skinny-dipping (£4.35). 

You'll never find Lunya resting on its laurel leaves. It takes the Spanish food and drink experience too seriously. This month it launched its summer menu with several new dishes: “Our menus will change with the seasons and with the ideas and inspirations of our chefs,” they say. 

Mini chicken burgers: who knows what they were likeNot for sharing: mini chicken burgers guarded by a foaming, jealous dog 

Confidential showed up thirsty and hungry, in that order, on Light Night – the College Lane venue acting as a natural halfway point between a performance by the Harlequin Dynamite Marching Band and Kazimier at the Tate – and a balloon thing at the Anglican. 

There were thousands of people out on the streets and the best place to observe them was on Lunya's terrace as the sun lowered to the west over the Apple Store. 

Drawn by the regular Friday flamenco talents of Jenny Nelson on classical guitar, we ordered everything new that they could throw at us. 

Such as Mini Chicken Burgers – Catalan style, with sweet chilli jam and alliol (£6.95). There are two in a serving. Who knows what they were like? A member of our party got to them before anyone else. One crunch into the first prompted him to guard the second like a foaming, jealous dog. 

Lunya Liverpool Menu %289%29Aubergine crisps soaked in milk for 24 hours

Nevertheless, there are plenty of aubergine crisps (£5.45) for sharing. This is maybe the only way to eat aubergine. Wafer-thin slices are soaked in milk for 24 hours before being wrung out and dusted in some sort of imported Spanish flour (you can buy it in the deli) . Deep fried they are dry, crunchy perfection. A new dish that was an old favourite by the time it was devoured. 

Moorish and moreish is Ras al Hanout, the sweetest lamb fillet, pesto encrusted, on a patchwork quilt of roasted Mediterranean vegetables (£7.45). Served pink as one of Herbert's suits, it was a clear winner in the meat tapas round. 

Lunya Liverpool Menu %286%29Ras al Hanout, winner of the meat round

We missed another fresh arrival: deep fried Monte Enebro goats cheese with orange blossom honey and beetroot crisps (£5.85). However it may not have fitted on the groaning table. The gaps had been filled by some top flight Barcelona-inspired tomato bread (£3.65), and old stalwarts hard to pass by: calamari (£6.95) and patatas bravas (£4.85). 

Oh and chips: Lunya now do chips (£3.25) and they are everything you would expect from an award winning gaff like this, especially when the whole thing is knocked back with a delicious cold and fruity Montado blanc (£6.15 for a 250ml glass). Or two. 

Could it be four years since Lunya opened? Blimey, it could, according to the Liverpool Confidential archive. 

Lunya Liverpool Menu %282%29Catalan tomato bread

It started out as something of a niche restaurant, the dream of Peter Kinsella, a former educational psychologist with simply a passion for all things Catalunyan to go on. 

Could it work? Well it turns out it could. 

Guitarist Jenny Nelson Every Friday At LunyaGuitarist Jenny Nelson The proof of the padron peppers is in the eating and now Lunya says it is the largest Spanish online deli in the UK. Theof them, but see here for all the info on that. 

We never made it to the balloon thing at the Anglican. There was some jazzed up swing band playing in the Bluecoat Garden, Lunya's nearest and prettiest neighbour, to fly us to the Moon.

Peter Kinsella “must be the happiest restaurant owner in Liverpool”, observed one of our number.

No one can know the truth of that, but the torch he blazes through all things Spanish continues to give Lunya's followers much to beam about. 

Flavour of the Month is not a sponsored advertising feature. Confidential writers turn up without prior notice and the company picks up the bills. That said, if you've got some hot, remarkable menu action coming up, email editorial@liverpoolconfidential.net and let us know what's happening.

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Absinthe & Turks

That ought to have read "Excellent IN all respects" obviously.

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Absinthe & Turks

Slap-up feed at the outside tables there this evening. Excellent is all respects. The drinks were…

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Manchester is desperately in need of a branch of this fabulous Spanish restaurant/deli. Maybe in…

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Reader Xxx

Bestr wishes to Lunya and all who wassail in her. Sorry about that bit of self-indulgence, and…

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