Coya, situated on Piccadilly – arguably London’s most prestigious road, is a Peruvian restaurant and bar that is the one of the latest offerings from restaurant guru, Arjun Waney. With neighbours including establishments as heralded as The Ritz, Fortnum and Mason, and Hatchards; it would seem Coya has quite a lot to live up to.
If you could walk down Piccadilly and have a glimpse into each venue before entering, Coya would stand out as a beacon of modern glamour. The luxurious décor is dipped in the rawness of South-American culture. It shouts inspiration from a culture from afar but whispers a reminder that you are in one of London’s most elegant areas. The restaurant and bar is split up in to three areas: the main bar area is made up of a long bar that lines one side of the space; comfy, raised bar stools; small and intimate tables, and a makeshift dance floor. The restaurant area has tables for groups from 2–8 as well as tables at the open kitchen (allowing you to see the cooking process of your food). The Pisco bar sits at the back – come here for pisco cocktails and a liver-tingling 40 strong tequila collection.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
Coya’s bar– is a lively hub of cocktails, bar nibbles, frantic but composed bar staff and great party-starting house music with special guest DJs on the weekend. The clientele is a blend of the young and glamorous, alongside the discerning restaurant goer. One group is there for cocktails and a party-vibe, the other for the top drawer cuisine. Such is the size and composition of Coya, however, it is extremely easy to escape the hubbub of the bar for a quiet tip into South-American cuisine, without being accosted by party revelers.
The Food and Drinks
Coya impresses, greatly, before you’ve taken your seat, but the real magic happens when you sample the food and drink. Perusing the menu sparks a feeling of utter dread – you want to try everything but you just can’t. You will have sleepless nights thinking of dishes you neglected to order. Dishes and drinks that cannot be overlooked are: Gambas – Crispy Prawns (£10), Costillas De Chancho – Pork back Ribs in a Tamarind Glaze (£14), Atun Nikkei – Yellow Fish Tuna, in a fresh chilli sauce (£12). The sweet corn ice cream (dessert - £8) should be knighted for services to taste buds; and the Uva De Coya cocktail (£9.50 - Pisco 1615, agave, apple, pear) was the best non-martini cocktail I’ve ever tried. Big praise.
Watch your food being prepared (on the left) or enjoy more intimate seating in this restaurant bar.
There is no doubt the South Americans are coming for London. There are some truly spectacular and highly sought after places that have hit the London food and drink scene in recent times, namely: Sushi Samba, Asia De Cuba, Snr Ceviche and Zoilo. If any new restaurant is half as good as Coya; long may the Latin invasion continue. A remarkable place that ticks every box for any version of nightlife you are seeking. Viva Coya!