What’s better than having one of the best Pisco Sour spots in the city? Having two of them…
Those of you who are familiar with the culinary delights bought to you by COYA of Mayfair will not be disappointed by its little sister in the city.
Tucked away behind the Bank of England, COYA at Angel Court offers a warm, friendly vibe from the moment you walk in. Staff are inviting, friendly and eager to please.
We were welcomed in to a reception of Pisco Sours – the national cocktail of Peru. A strong, sharp, yet sweet cocktail made with lemon juice, egg whites, sugar syrup and Pisco (grape brandy), it’s a great little aperitif. For me it was the perfect intro, as I like my cocktails on the zesty side, but I also have a sweet tooth. What’s more, although I’m not always a huge fan of egg white in drinks, the Pisco Sours are made with incredible care at COYA, with the egg white frothed just enough that you don’t taste it, but not so much that you’re left with mostly meringue in your glass.
No sooner had we settled down at our table, I was ready to hop up again and explore. This new, expansive restaurant has a cool layout that creates an open environment whilst also providing intimate nooks all around the room for private groups.
My attention was immediately caught by the generous pops of colour that darted around in the corner of my eye. These rainbow flashes belonged to the striped cushions in a curtained-off part of the restaurant, just beyond the main floor. From this area, you could see the chefs at work, creating a more immersive experience if you’re in a small group or on a date. The space was flanked by teal zig-zag walls and comfy leather sofas set across from plump lime green seats. It was just one of many quirky spaces the new COYA has to offer.
In the centre of the restaurant, another private dining space can seat up to eight in plush royal blue seats around a grand, solid wood table. What makes this space special is that it’s overlooked by looming editions of some of Peru’s oldest photographs – among the rarest images of Peruvian cultural, dating back to the late nineteenth century.
And then came the food. COYA is the place to experience authentic South American cuisine and a hot spot for sampling Peru’s national dish, Ceviche. Ceviche is a seafood dish made from raw fish cured with citrus juices and peppered with Aji, a type of chili. Pisco Sours and Ceviche is one of those culinary marriages that can only have been made in a Peruvian heaven; blessed by the sun gods themselves.
We sampled a few different Ceviche dishes: familiar fleshy fish like sea bass and tuna balanced with more adventurous choices like Kingfish and Cuttlefish. I loved the Cuttlefish, which was served with ginger and squid ink, but the tuna was also excellent.
As an island girl at heart (I’m half Mauritian) I always have high standards when it comes to seafood, and was glad to find the offerings of COYA fresh and well-seasoned, which is always reassuring when opting for a raw fish dish.
However, for those of you who shudder at the thought of raw fish, there’s plenty more to be had at COYA. The sticky pork buns, served in miniature form, were bursting with flavour and just delicious. The salmon fillet was also melt-in-the-mouth perfect. For the veggie lovers out there, I’d recommend the patatas bravas with huancaina sauce, which is also based on the spicy aji pepper.
When we were fit to bursting, we were treated to a refreshing berry sorbet followed by ‘mousse de coco’, a rich coconut mousse with jivara chocolate and pineapple sorbet. I loved the berry sorbet; it was the perfect palate cleanser after such an assortment flavours and a nice, light finale following the feast!
All in all, this was the perfect Peruvian treat. With its cool but casual vibe and many sharing dishes, it’s a great spot for dinner with friends, while its intimate nooks and crannies offer privacy for date night. I so look forward to going back and seeing what else COYA has to offer – and seeing if I can be tempted by something other than its scrumptious Pisco Sours! 100% would recommend.
31 Throgmorton St