By Lauren Jade Hill
Not long after the first COYA was established in Mayfair, it took home the accolade for Restaurant of the Year in the London Lifestyle Awards and subsequently went on to open in Miami and Dubai, followed by Abu Dhabi. Now the Latin American restaurant group has launched a second COYA in London. Having opened in May 2017, this new restaurant is already drawing a vibrant crowd into its space at Angel Court.
Taking up 4,500 sq ft, the inviting space combines a contemporary Peruvian restaurant with a Latin American bar, showcasing the seasonal dishes COYA has become known for. Led by executive chef Sanjay Dwivedi, the chefs here combine the recipes of traditional Peruvian cuisine with modern European cooking techniques and Asian influences, with a number of signature dishes created for the new venue including lobster ceviche with gazpacho and aji limo, cuttlefish ceviche with ginger, yuzu and squid ink, and a whole leg of Josper fired lamb with Chifa vegetables.
A meal here typically starts with guacamole that’s made at the table, followed by a series of small plates designed for sharing. The succulent lobster ceviche and its velvety claw meat is light in citrus and complemented by the avocado, cancha corn and tomato gazpacho. This is served alongside crunchy tacos filled with tuna sashimi flavored with wasabi and yuzu, and a cerdo bao in which the light steamed bun comes with slow cooked pulled pork, chipotle and criolla.
Dishes from the Pescado & Mariscos, Aves y Carnes, and Cazuelas sections of the menu arrive next, from a warming Arroz Nikkei cazuela comprising Chilean sea bass and rice with lime and chili, to a Solomillo de Res spicy beef fillet with crispy shallots, aji rocoto and star anise. The meal comes to a close with a refreshing Chicha Morada consisting of Peruvian purple corn colada with cherry and shortbread.
The focus inevitably falls on Peruvian cocktails such as the classic Pisco Sour at the bar, but the restaurant also has a discernible list of wines that are predominantly sourced from the wine regions of Chile and Argentina, with a number of French varieties such as Chateau Leoville Poyferre Pavillon from Saint Julien.
All of this decadent food and wine is savored in a space designed by London-based agency Sagrada, who are behind the décor of each of the COYA venues, fusing Japanese and Peruvian influence with contemporary design that’s distinguished by its black and white Peruvian photos, wooden furnishings and shots of blue and lime green. Pisco barrels hang over the blue tiled bar and hand-crafted Peruvian furnishings feature throughout. Art and music are both dominant here, owing to the brand’s initiative, the COYA Collective, which enhances the dining experience with vibrant showcases of art and live music.
Now as COYA Angel Court proves to be a welcome addition to the portfolio, venues in Shanghai, Singapore and Seoul prepare to make their debut.