You’ll probably all be familiar with Lunya, a favourite authentic tapas and deli sitting directly on Hanover Street, always choc ful of people enjoying authentic Spanish cuisine. With the roading success of Lunya’s relaxed vibe, delicious small plates and traditional antipasti offerings comes younger sister restaurant, Lunyalita. Lunyalita still has the unmistakeable authenticity and homely feel of a classic Spanish eatery but is nestled amongst bars and restaurants on our beautiful Albert Dock, bringing with it great food and wine, Liverpool gin and a fantastic view of the three graces. Perfect.
Having ventured down to the docks a few times recently to visit the new and exciting bars and eateries, id walked past Lunyalita, thinking it looked like a small slice of rain in an otherwise cold and rainy Liverpool – so when we were asked to nip in to see what they got, i was extremely happy to oblige. We arrived at 6pm and already the restaurant was busy with people, all laughing and chatting over boards piled high with cuts of cold cut meat, scatterings of juicy green olives and sourdough bread – it was the perfect Friday night atmosphere after a busy week of work and well, life.
As soon as we sat down we were brought two balloons of Liverpool Gin laced with Valencian Orange – true tastes of the Mediterranean. The menu offers a wide selection of tapas plates and sharing boards but if you want dishes that work well together, you can opt for one of the banquets – essentially a collection of some of Lunyalita’s best selling dishes, drip fed to your table as and when they’re ready. We opted to choose our own tapas and sat back as it was prepared, sipping gin and looking out over the rather picturesque dockside sunset. First up was the Babaganoush and flatbread with a board of sliced Chorizo. The Babaganoush was the perfect creamy texture with acidic hints of lemon juice and the characteristic smokey notes of aubergine running through it – piled on top of a piece of flatbread, it was a great first choice. The spicy Chorizo sausage was served on a wooden plank and every bit as salty and flavourful as it should be.
Following our first dishes, was, in my opinion, the star of the show. The deep fried Monte Enebro oozed the delicious taste of melted goats cheese complemented by a generous drizzle of orange blossom honey, an indulgently rich dish with all of the inevitable, indulgent elements of deep fried cheese. We also ordered the calamari – delightfully light in flavour and texture, the perfectly cooked lamb and a deliciously salty, fluffy potato tortilla, a traditional – and ridiculously moreish – Spanish favourite. Last up, adhering to the theme of best-loved Mediterranean plates was soft, tangy tomato bread, rubbed with fresh garlic and salt crystals.
Vowing as usual to skip the dessert after a couple of gins and a very full belly, when we saw the menu included Churros with a melted chocolate dip, all sensibility went out the window. Before we knew it we were dipping warm Churro sticks deliciously sweetened with cinnamon into a rich and creamy chocolate pot, served so generously we finished the remainder with a spoon. Sorry not sorry.
Slightly hidden away in the historic walls of our Albert Dock, Lunyalita does older sister Lunya proud, with its offerings of small plates and antipasti specials. It’s relaxed vibe means its the perfect place to drink coffee with breakfast, sip wine with tapas of enjoy gin balloons on a Friday night. With views over the dock, service with a smile and food of a fantastic quality, it is well worth a visit.