The vibe A Latin American restaurant wave (viz Ceviche, Lima London, La Bodega Negra and Sushisamba) has reached London over the last couple of years and Coya, the glossy new bar, restaurant and members’ club from Arjun Waney, the co-owner of Roka and Zuma, is a worthy addition to the scene. It’s particularly welcome in its location at the Hyde Park end of Piccadilly: you can enjoy shopping in Mayfair knowing that there’s now somewhere stylish to eat and drink afterwards. As at Zuma, its interior design (by David D’Almada) is textured, multi-layered and glamorous.
The food Modern Peruvian with a London inflexion. Peruvian cuisine has numerous influences, including Japan, Spain and Africa. Head Chef Sanjay Dwivedi, who has cooked at Le Caprice and The Ivy in London, as well as Cala, Astrid and Gaston in Lima, has made sense of these myriad influences to produce food that’s light, satisfying, beautifully spiced and effortlessly refined. As well as superlative charcoal-baked chicken, lamb and beef, don’t miss Coya’s ceviche bar: sea bass, sea bream, salmon and yellowfin tuna melt in the mouth like butter. Signature ingredients include quinoa, pomegranate, shiitake, asparagus, and white corn - if you’re vegetarian, as long as you eat fish, you’ll find plenty to enjoy.
The drinks The classic Peruvian cocktail is a pisco sour (pisco, egg white, lime, syrup). Coya serves a mean classic, as well as several twists. Don’t be fooled by their light-as-air texture: a good pisco kicks like a mule. The bar menu also includes numerous Latin staples such as tequila, mescal and rum, plus a long list of western wines, beers and spirits. Live music in the evening will have you believing you’re actually in Lima.
The details Coya, 118 Piccadilly, London W1J 7NW, tel 020 7042 7118. Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday. Bar closes at 1.30am. Set lunch menu from £28 for 3 courses. Members have a dedicated dining area, outdoor terrace and members’ bar. Visit coyarestaurant.com
By Kate O’Donnell