Coya’s theatrical new City location is a swanky Latin American joint with three open kitchens, multiple dining rooms and curtains that section off private tables. It was Friday night, the music was thumping and slightly elevator-ish, and the colourful dining room was full of first dates and client dinners.
The chefs have nailed Peruvian sashimi: it’s the star of the ceviche bar. Salmon peruano was wonderfully fresh and artfully plated with yuzu, fish roe and a smudge of spicy purple corn. Other small plates, such as celeriac tacos with winter truffle, or Chilean sea bass croquettes, were also excellent.
The rib-eye steak also came as a small plate, so it was expensive for the size, but absolutely delicious: tender and salty with a zesty spoonful of chimichurri on the side. A kale and manchego salad with candied walnuts was the perfect accompaniment. Dessert was a different story. I took a risk and ordered the Sundae de Maiz – a corn sundae with sweetcorn ice cream, crushed cookies and pineapple foam. It was literally a soggy biscuit.
The food at Coya is mostly first-rate, but you’ve been warned: this is pricy stuff. Also, the staff were hugely welcoming but tried to upsell constantly. But if you steer clear of gimmicks and choose your small plates wisely, you’ll have a great night. Or wait until payday. Then order that salmon.