Most of us are creatures of habit and as such the restaurants we return to, tend to be tried and trued haunts.
But if like, Haute Time, you’re in the mood to expand your culinary horizons, leave Le Caprice, J Sheekey et al to the sheikhs this summer and head to high end Peruvian restaurant, Coya. Situated a stone’s throw from The Ritz in the heart of Mayfair, Coya has risen to critical acclaim since it launched in late 2012.
Step inside the impressive Georgian building and descend downstairs to the 100 seater basement restaurant to be greeted by a David D'Almada designed interior: expect a luxurious dilapidated décor that juxtaposes a rich Incan palette against modern metallic finishes, with a nod to a colonial past. The space brings together an array of painted murals, textures and finishes that create a contemporary and edgy, yet elegant take on Latin America.
But enough of the decor, what of the food we hear you cry? It’s spectacular. Head chef Sanjay Dwivedi (who has graced the kitchens of Zaika, Le Caprice and The Ivy and also cooked for The Rolling Stones on their 1998 Bridges to Babylon tour) travelled to Peru ahead of the restaurant’s opening in search of inspiration and local knowledge - and returned with the very best Peruvian recipes.
Don’t miss dishes include anticuchos (grilled skewered meat) including Ox heart with parsley and ají rocoto, plus parrillada dishes such as Pechuga de pato – duck breast with lúcuma, soya sauce and coriander shoots.
Meanwhile vegetarians and calorie counters will salivate over the Hearts of palm with roasted cashew nuts and sesame dressing salad.
And no visit to Coya is complete without a Pisco Sour (Peru’s signature drink) - or three. The Coya team have scoured the best bars in Lima to fine tune the famous Pisco Sour: you’ll see traditional botija mud containers, where Pisco has been traditionally stored since the 1800s, alongside a selection of exclusive spirits and hard to find tequilas and rums.
Factor in fabulous Latin American music and stunning objects d’art and it’s no wonder that this place - the brain child of Arjun Waney (the man behind La Petite Maison and Zuma) - has been such a huge hit.