Lunya has been serving the best in Spanish food and drink from its deli, bar and restaurant in Barton Arcade since 2015 – and the passion of founders, Pete and Elaine Kinsella, for everything Catalan has cemented Lunya as Manchester’s leading Spanish food purveyor. The bar, stacked with gin and vermouth (‘vermut’ in Catalan), is a draw – and if it’s choice you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. The deli’s cheese selection includes Monte Enebro, a goats cheese and repeat winner of ‘Best Cheese in the World’ at the World Cheese Awards while the shelves splutter under stacks of chutney, crackers, bottles of Rioja and artisan chocolates. The bar’s gin direction takes in Menorcan export, Xoriguer, alongside bottles from Spain, Manchester and Liverpool (where the Kinsella’s are about to open their third Lunya at Albert Dock). Must tries include La Copa, a traditional vermut by sherry maker, Gonzalez Byass, using a 200 year old recipe (£7.50), and cava-based ‘champagne cocktail’, Sagrada Familia (£8.95) layered with more vermouth, sugar and bitters. Olives, breads and kikones (fried, salted giant corn kernels, £2.95) can be guzzled at the bar, while the restaurant specialises in tapas, sharing deli platters, paella and whole roast suckling pig (advance orders only). New options for summer include small plates of guisantes y panceta (£5.95) peas, pan-fried with smoked Leon panceta and buttery-clear shallots, while botifarra amb mongetas (£6.95) is a punchy Catalan sausage sliced in two and served over giant, white baked beans. Crisp-skinned, tender chicken thigh on a slick of bright romesco sauce (£6.25) is a delight – and the perfect ending has to be burnt San Sebastián cheesecake (£6.25), served with raisins soaked in sweet Pedro Ximinez wine. The only let downs are spring lamb chops, served slightly overdone on an underwhelming Piquillo pepper hummus, and Crema Catalana (£5.95), which is too sweet and grainy for my palate. To drink, the Kinsella’s recommend the Cab/Shiraz blend Abadal 3.9 Reserva which comes in just under £40. It’s powerful without being overpowering – a really good choice – while the Secastilla Old Vine Garnacha, DO Somontano (£38.95) and Eos de Loxarel, DO Penedès (100% shiraz -but not as you know it) in the same bracket offer more intrigue. For something at the lower end of the spectrum there’s an excellent organic, vegan 100% Monstrell grape red, Honoro Vera, DO Jumilla, (£25.35). Look out for upmarket rose (Petit Arnau Rosado, DO Penedès, £32.95) – and if its Rioja you are after, they don’t come better than Miguel Merino Reserva (£48.95).

Lunya, Barton Arcade, Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BB. Tel: 0161 413 3317,

Mon 18 Jun
Ruth Allan
Published on:
Mon 18 Jun 2018