If you’re looking to add a real dash of flare and flavour to your night, then COYA Mayfair promises to satisfy your cravings.
The Peruvian-inspired restaurant and pisco lounge is a sultry lair where your tastebuds are sent on a journey to the sunny wilds of South America.
I checked into the place on a Friday night and the dining room steadily packed out to create a buzzing yet refined atmosphere.
Taking a pew on a table next to a window, a friendly waitress came to run us through the menu and explained that dishes were best shared and that if we weren’t drinking wine there were lots of cocktails to choose from.
She was right. COYA’s drinks menu is certainly impressive and there are libations to suit all tastes.
If you are drinking vino there is a dedicated sommelier and the wine list is equally as extensive as the cocktail offering.
With a Pisco sour and Yerba Mate Gimlet to hand, we perused the leather bound food menu, with dozens of dishes designed by acclaimed chef, Sanjay Dwivedi.
Feeling peckish, we put in an order for an array of dishes.
If you’re new to ceviche, I recommend ordering the COYA ‘signature selection’. Our assortment, featuring tuna and seabass, was absolutely divine, with one of the raw fish concoctions marinated in a truffle-infused jus.
The ceviche was complemented by a three dinky Cornish crab tacos, which came topped with yellow fish roe and sandwiched with avocado. They almost looked too good to eat!
Moving on to some cooked seafood, we swiftly polished off a deliciously-moreish plate of roasted octopus, chopped up with potato and tomato.
This was then followed by a warming iron pot with a hefty chunk of Chilean sea bass and buttery rice lurking inside.
We both commented that this would be a dish we would return for, as the fish melted in our mouths and left us speechless.
If you’re vegetarian, there are also plenty of options at COYA and a couple of my recommendations include the colourful ‘trio of corn’ salad and the meaty aubergine skewers.
You also MUST try the guacamole, which is made at the table in front of you with the server smashing an avocado and adding a pinch of chili and salt.
This generous bowl of green goodness comes served with a rafter of corn tortillas and shrimp crackers.
We were feeling decidedly full but our chirpy waitress said we couldn’t leave without trying two of COYA’s winning desserts.
Like the cod, the conversation came to a halt as we ploughed our spoons into the Quinoa con Leche, which featured a seductive mix of creamy rice, quinoa pudding, topped with a dollop of mango sorbet.
The other recommended sweet treat, the Churros de Naranja, also caught our attention with the deep fried sticks served in a pot with a ring of dipping chocolate running around the circumference.
To help the stodge go down, the head bartender came over to recommend a digestive and he returned with a very punchy variant on a zombie cocktail, featuring a heady mix of aged rum, Japanese whisky, syrup liquor, angostura, absinth, grapefruit and cinnamon.
This seemed to slip down pretty easily despite the punch!
Feeling in very good mood and in the South American swing of things, we continued our night with a spot of dancing.
A good way to work off all of those dishes, which proved just too tasty to resist!
COYA Mayfair is located at 118 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7NW
To book a table call 020 7042 7118 or visit www.coyarestaurant.com