It has been a while since I last had Peruvian food, which was at LIMA. I remember it being flavoursome, with different levels of spice and sharp citrusy flavours but most of all, fresh. After my experience at LIMA, I had many friends recommend trying COYA, which was on my list to go. When the time came to visit COYA in Mayfair, my plans fell through which meant I never got to go in the end. Recently a new COYA restaurant opened up in Angel Court near Bank station, making it the perfect opportunity to visit.
The newly opened restaurant boasted gorgeous sleek interiors that invited the local business crowd, in their suits and ladies in cocktail dresses.
We all settled down around a round table, before being served up a welcome drink. A Pisco sour is a Peruvian speciality which is quite zesty and alcoholically strong. It is made with lemon juice, egg whites, Pisco (a grape brandy) and sugar syrup. I love the detailing that the drink had on it, making us feel very welcome to the new COYA.
In true Peruvian style, our welcome drink was swopped with a delicious glass of sweet and light white wine that set the mood for the rest of the evening.
One of the main delicacies in Peru is ceviche, which is generally made with fresh raw fish. The fish then cured with citrus juices and aji which is a spicy sauce which is made with tomatoes, coriander, aji pepper, onions and water.
Many people that follow my blog know that i’m not a fan of raw fish or seafood generally, but I was urged to try the ceviche and come to a conclusion afterwards.
There were four different ceviche’s served, the first one being sea bass with red onion, sweet potato and white corn. It’s a dish that is often known as bringing two elements together, sea and land. Where fish is mixed with the finest ingredients found on land to offer a world of new flavours. A mix of freshness, acidity and spice. I was pleasantly surprised, as I enjoyed the white fish ceviche the most.
The second ceviche was made with kingfish, dashi (a Japanese stock/soup), truffle oil and chives. I think the kingfish ceviche was my favourite, as there was a touch of spice in the dish, which a flavoursome broth that came with it. The truffle definitely masked the fishy taste which made it taste almost like chicken. Can you tell I don’t eat raw fish? 😉
The third ceviche was cuttlefish, with ginger, yuzu and squid ink. I tried a little, but I instantly knew it wasn’t for me. The texture is what put me off, but everyone else around the table loved it.
The final ceviche was yellowfin tuna with flavours of soy and sesame, topped with a shrimp cracker. I enjoyed the spicy aji sauce, but I would have preferred it if was served with a white fish like sea bass or kingfish.
Next up, we tried a few dishes from small dishes section of the menu. First up was the Chilean sea bass croquettes served with a chilli aioli dip. I enjoyed the croquettes, especially the crispy outer layer before delving into a mix of a potato and sea bass filling. There was also sticky pork buns served too, but I didn’t have any since I don’t eat pork. However, they throughly enjoyed around the table.
We were served up two main dishes of chargrilled corn fed baby chicken and miso salmon with cucumber, mint and golden beetroot. My favourite of the two was definitely the chicken, it was succulent and full of flavour. It was completely moreish too. I then had a taste of the salmon that was perfectly cooked to the point where the salmon just flaked off. The sweet glaze on the salmon gave it a lot of flavour too, just divine.
The dishes were served with garlic and chilli seasoned tender stem broccoli and the traditional Patatas Bravas which are crispy potatoes with spicy tomato and huancaina sauce. I remember trying a modern take on this in Le Meurice when I went to Paris recently.
It’s safe to say, after a huge spread of food across the table I was feeling rather full but I was intrigued to see and taste the desserts too.
We were served up two desserts. The first one was a rather refreshing raspberry sorbet and a piece of honeycomb followed by a sweet coconut mousse with jivara and pineapple sorbet. The sorbet was a great way to finish off a meal and cleanse the palate. However, i’m more into exotic fruits along with a sweet tooth, so I was completely in love with the coconut mousse dessert.
Overall, our meal at COYA was just delectable. From the attentive and prompt service to the fantastic food and great company. I definitely think visiting COYA was worth the wait. I can’t wait to come back again and try a different array of dishes already!
Until next time…