Lunar

British, International·
££££
·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Lunar

Gold Award

Josiah Wedgwood and the forward-thinking Lunar Society predicted many things. But even they probably couldn't have seen this coming. Having earned Whatley Manor two stars, and himself Young Chef of the Year, Niall Keating has headed back to his native Stoke-on-Trent. Here he has opened Lunar, a restaurant that melds the Lunar Society, Wedgwood pottery and his own, unique cooking style.

While the restaurant is worlds away from Whatley, Keating’s unique style courses through its veins. Having orbited the giant moon sculpture, sipping on the ever-popular Gusbourne rosé, we landed and the real journey began. Brandy snap-esque tempura - a Keating classic - here housed melty courgette and aubergine, tinged with yuzu aigre-doux. Velvety kimchi congee formed a plinth for black pudding and a quail's egg; a triple hit of umami. Simple, elegant and punchy, each dish is a masterpiece. What might look like sweet and sour chicken yielded to a gentle bite, revealing its true identity: miso caramel veal sweetbreads. Soft, nutty and dangerously addictive.

The use of stunning Wedgwood crockery celebrates the restaurant's location. But Keating takes this a step further, entombing chicken in the Staffordshire clay itself. Armed with a hammer from head chef Craig Lunn, we gleefully smashed it open to feast on the succulent prize within. Aside from the obscene decadence of velvety pomme puree, the sides were lighter, with fermented lettuce and pickles providing a welcome kick of freshness.

A spiced pineapple tarte tatin ended this explosion of a meal with a resounding bang, and the chewy, almost-blackened pastry will live rent-free in our heads until we undoubtedly return. Aside from the secret bar hidden behind a false bookcase, the most surprising thing about the restaurant is the pricing. Three courses here will only set you back about £50, ensuring that many more can enjoy this utterly perfect cooking.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
British, International
Ambience
Cool, Fine dining, Fun, Luxury, Quirky, Themed, Unique
Other Awards
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch, Sunday roast
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Terrace
Special Features
Chef’s table, Vegan options, Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
People
Birthdays, Celebrations, Dates, Group dining [8+], Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About

Lunar Restaurant is the brainchild of renowned chef Niall Keating, who was crowned champion of champions on The Great British Menu in 2020. Aside from his TV success, Niall has also accomplished winning the Michelin Young European Chef in 2018 and Rising Chef Trophy in 2019. Niall became Britain's youngest chef with two Michelin stars from his previous roles, and has carried forward the high quality and standards to Lunar. Here, the team recognises that working towards a better future means sustainability, less food miles and more creativity, and incorporates this into the menu.

The Lunar Experience menu brings guests a 12 course feast that has been carefully curated to take diners on Niall Keating and head chef Craig Lunn's personal journeys through their career to date. Inspired by their love of food, travel, life, sustainability, local produce and working with some of the finest restaurants in the world, the pair have created a menu that is constantly evolving.

Due to the dishes being so unique, and the fact that each week is so different from one to the next, the menu isn’t published and is left as a surprise to everyone who visits. However, there is a sample menu available, where you’ll find dishes like Orkney scallops with dill pickle and mussel veloute, linguini with autumn truffle and aged parmesan as well as rhubarb, ginger and goats milk for dessert.

For those looking for something slightly less extravagant, there is also an a la carte menu where guests can choose from three courses. Whilst guests are unable to see what they’ll be eating in advance, the restaurant is still able to cater for allergies and intolerances. However, with regards to subjective tastes, guests are encouraged to open their minds and mouths and travel on the journey with them.

Their mission is to create an experience that people will remember forever, through creating a tasting experience like no other using local sustainable produce.


FAQs

Is the restaurant open daily?

The restaurant is open from Thursday to Sunday.

Helpful? 0

Who is the head chef at the restaurant?

Craig Lunn is head chef and Niall Keating is chef director.

Helpful? 0
Meet the team
Lunar

Niall Keating

Chef-Owner

Born in Staffordshire, Niall Keating undertook his first kitchen role back in 2010 when he joined the Michelin-starred Bath Priory Hotel. He's since worked in Michelin establishments across three countries, won Michelin's Young European Chef Award in 2018, and starred on Great British Menu in 2020 when he was crowned Champion of Champions. At Lunar, he has created a modern dining experience where he balances various culinary influences from Asia and Europe.

Lunar

Craig Lunn

Head Chef

Lunar head chef Craig Lunn started his career at Bath Priory as a 16-year-old apprentice, and since then he has worked all over the world, for the likes of Alain Ducasse in Qatar, Gordon Ramsay at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, and with Niall Keating at Kong Hans in Copenhagen. When Niall returned to the UK to take over the restaurant at Wiltshire hotel Whatley Manor, Craig joined him, and the pair won two Michelin stars for the Dining Room at Whatley Manor over the subsequent three years.

The strong working relationship and friendship they had built meant that when Niall was looking to open Lunar, Craig was the natural choice as head chef, and he remains the backbone of Lunar’s very successful kitchen.


Lunar is featured in

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Event Party Venue

Lunar

Location

Lunar World of Wedgwood, Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST12 9ER
Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu 12:00-14:30
Fri 12:00-14:30
Sat 12:00-14:30
Sun 12:00-16:00
Dinner
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu 17:45-20:45
Fri 17:45-20:45
Sat 17:45-20:45
Sun Closed

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