Jackie McMillan
24th May 2024

A night-time offering was always on the cards at Lunas. The former corner-store cafe by the crew behind local heroes, Sweet Belem and Fich, punched above its weight at brunch on my initial visit. What better night to return and sit before a blazing chouriço ($15) to roadtest dinner than one where the rain was cyclonic! Shaking off excess water we settled in with a basket of bread ($6) (baked at Sweet Belem), olive oil and the Domaine Naturaliste ‘Discovery’ Chardonnay ($70) plucked from a short list. I kicked myself for not asking about BYO ($5/person) because I had their flagship Chardonnay ‘Artus’ in my fridge at home. 

As you’d expect from a Portuguese-owned venue, bacalhau or salt cod, is well represented on the succinct menu. We took ours as a robust house-smoked bacalhau pate ($14) smeared on seeded lavosh provided in ample proportion. Grilled Fremantle octopus ($36) felt a bit less generous over under-done chat potatoes and a drizzle of molho verde. We doubled down on the green sauce with green rice ($26), basically a soupy risotto of snow peas, asparagus, mint and spinach with slices of Spanish galmesan cheese (similar to Parmesan) laid over it. It had the right level of warm stick-to-your-ribs comfort I wanted on a miserable night!