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REVIEW: Business lunch at Coya Dubai – A fantastically-priced Peruvian feast

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This contemporary Peruvian restaurant is perennially popular in the evenings, but we head to the Four Seasons hotspot for a light lunch…

Bringing traditional Incan flavours to the Middle East, Coya has enjoyed sweeping success from the minute it opened its doors, hot on the heels of its on-going success in London. The award-winning international restaurant and lounge has launched an elaborate business lunch at a pocket-friendly price.

Lunch commenced with a heaping bowl of freshly prepared guacamole. We watched in awe as a handful of simple ingredients were beautifully transformed into a creamy bowl of goodness. We crunched through guacamole-loaded tortilla chips as we placed our lunch orders.

Our first course comprised the calabacines y hongos (courgettes, shiitake mushrooms, mint, and garlic chips) and the ensalada de quinoa (quinoa, coriander, mint, and pomegranate). The calabacines y hongos arrived creatively served – an elegant ribbon of chargrilled courgette sat in a savoury marinade, hugging a filling of shiitake mushrooms, mint, and garlic chips. Bathing the dish with the tantalizing marinade, it was promptly devoured.

The anticuchos setas – skewered forest mushrooms in a tasty Peruvian red pepper ají panca paste left us craving more than the three on the stick, but there was plenty more to come.

The ensalada de quinoa was a refreshing follow up to this flavour explosion. Light and bright, it was the perfect power salad. Slightly crunchy, nutty and with a few pomegranate seeds, this seemed like a nod to local cuisine.

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Opting for a dish straight out of the iron pot, we ordered the cazuela vegetariana (sweetcorn, confit tomato, goat’s cheese, and black garlic. Essentially a Peruvian risotto, this indulgent delight was sure to bring on the post-lunch lulls. Boasting a luscious texture, we scraped the pot clean. This would go extremely well with any of Coya’s spicier meat or fish offerings.

Our bellies were full, but that didn’t mean we were off the hook. Next to hit the table was the quinoa sofrita (stir-fried quinoa with soya and green veggies) and avocado and black sesame maki roll. While the quinoa sofrita was an unimposing dish in terms of flavour, the maki roll stole the show. We absolutely recommend this to vegetarians struggling with fish-based sushi withdrawal.

We wrapped up lunch with a refreshing juice – freshly whizzed up to order, a healthy alternative to a loaded dessert.

The service was impeccable. Attentive, knowledgeable, but never intrusive. When we were ‘noseing’ around the venue, one of the waiters invited us to view the private member’s lounge, a real treat for us mere mortals.

The décor is a mix of urban meets jungle, with creative – and frequently changing – art adorning the walls. Come here for great food, come here for a great atmosphere, but also, come here to see and be seen.

Coya’s business lunch is served from 12.30 PM to 3.30 PM. Fantastically priced at AED 130 per guest, the final bill will also include a 10% municipality fee. While reservations aren’t mandatory, Coya is massively popular among Dubai’s lunch crowd, so they’re recommended.

 

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