May was very much the month that Londoners were able to rediscover their love of eating out, swapping hours spent over the stove and washing up, for waiter service and fully catered meals.
In the excitement, it’s important to keep in mind that not all restaurants are created equal.
Tucked away in Angel Court is COYA, a Peruvian restaurant under the stewardship of seasoned chef Sanjay Dwivedi. A man who, in spite of his decade plus at the helm, seems just as excited about his food today as ever.
And after a summer evening spent in its company, you can understand Dwivedi’s pride in what Coya is serving up.
How’s the food?
Expansive. The menu contains dishes to please every palate from soft shelled crab tacos to the chef’s signature sea bass (a plate that he rightly sends out with a smile and a knowing wink).
It’s hard to pick a standout between the guacamole, handmade table side, the pulled pork bao buns or the grills topped with perfectly cooked meats, but the mushroom kebabs and miso aubergine certainly earn themselves a nod. Churros for dessert? Don't mind if we do.
Bottom line: you're gonna eat well. Definitely do not try and cycle home afterwards.
How’s the drink?
The cocktail menu is vast, thoughtful and exceptionally well executed. Try a classic Pisco Sour (Pisco Sol de Plata Quebranta, fresh lime juice, sugar syrup, egg white).
Not only does it taste delicious, the name of the restaurant is written in its foam. Helpful if you get through a few of them and momentarily forget where you are.
Will it bankrupt me?
There’s no point pretending COYA is cheap. It’s not crazy expensive either but it’s not cheap.
There are so many dishes it’s hard to estimate the bill but you can rack up three figures without too much trouble – and that’s assuming you don’t go mad on the booze?
However nothing is crazy expensive – main courses tend hover between £20-£30 and the food is totally worth it.
Anything else to note?
If possible, grab an outdoor table. Sat outside in the courtyard you’d be forgiven for thinking you were somewhere on the continent a world away from the stresses of the city. Lush.
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For more info, see COYA