Coya’s original London site (there’s a second location in Angel Court), still pulls in the crowd with its glamorous take on Peruvian cuisine. In many ways, Coya is over the top: blown-up portraits of diamond-studded Rolex watches and vintage Champagnes line the walls, your bill is likely to top £100 and a riotous weekend brunch sees guests dancing in the windows and climbing onto the sofas.
Beneath the glossy surface though, Coya is turning out some seriously good food. It’s even tapped in to current dining trends by introducing a selection of vegan dishes which stay on the menu all year round – try the likes of puréed butternut squash served with purple potatoes and an aged vegan cheese which bears an impressively likeness in texture and taste to the real thing. We were also impressed with a cubed beetroot ceviche, also featuring vegan cheese, this time presented as miniature balls coated in chia seeds.
From the meatier parts of the menu, must-orders include a deeply smoky, slightly spicy beef fillet topped with crispy shallots, and a selection of ceviches, abundant with bold flavours and the likes of sparklingly fresh yellowfin tuna. Finish up with indulgent desserts, such as cinnamon-dusted orange and lime churros served with sinfully rich dulche de leche for liberal dipping, or a novel take on usually bland rice pudding, which features crunchy quinoa and a scoop of refreshing mango sorbet.
At Coya, eating is only partially the point, but top-notch ingredients and innovative takes on classic dishes help the food to stand out among the capital’s growing crop of Peruvian eateries. Our advice? Go in with eyes and wallet wide open.