Hello everyone! I’m back… sort of. I never meant to be away. It just kind of happened. I ran out of words again.
But thanks to my friend’s birthday brunch at Coya this weekend, I have plenty!
Coya is the Four Season’s Peruvian offering, and I’ve heard some really good things about it. I’ve also heard some less than impressive things. I went very briefly when it first opened for one of their much discussed cocktails it was absolutely heaving though so I left before getting to the bar.
This time I was guaranteed a drink because, well, brunch! The best thing is that their bubbly is Veuve and you know that I do quite like a little drop of the bubbles!
We arrived and were given wrist bands to indicate which package we wanted. AED 600 for the Veuve, AED 450 for the house beverages, and AED something much less for the non-alcoholic. I opted for the gold banded Veuve package and as that band was clipped onto my wrist I received a lecture about how you’re only allowed one drink at a time and blah, blah, blah. I tuned out as I felt a like I was being lectured. Not a great start.
We were ushered into the bar area to join the rest of our party, and nice people came around and gave you drinks to start with. There was a very nice looking and tasting welcome cocktail, but there was also bubbles so it was no contest. I got the bubbles and sampled the very strong cocktail. I have no clue what was in it!
We were shown to our seats, where upon the nice smiley man with a very tidy beard came and started the bubble top ups. I blame him for a majority of Saturday’s pain. He was very nice though.
My first favourite dish of the day was the guacamole that was made at the table. It was simple and fresh, and incredibly good. We had to order a lot more. Also on the table to start with was a bread and cracker basket. Prawn crackers with guac was a strange combo but it worked.
There was much gift opening and cheersing before we headed over to the starter section. I really shouldn’t have bothered. It wasn’t my thing at all.
Firstly there were two maki rolls – one avocado and one salmon, I think. I couldn’t have told you even after eating them as they were so overly seasoned they were inedible. That is a fact contradicted by one of my girlfriends who ate mine and another friends when we didn’t like them!
There was also two salads, one quinoa and one kale. They didn’t look inspiring so I didn’t bother trying them.
As you shuffled around the corner you were then presented with a whole bunch of different ceviche options. I picked out three to try, and none of them worked for me. I am very particular about ceviche, and like a very clean and fresh tasting marinade. Again, the party was split between loving them and not being fussed.
We had noticed by this point that there were people being offered meat skewers and also tacos. After a few of us asked, we were eventually offered them too. Not worth it sadly. Again, the meat was over marinated. A number of people thought the mushroom was actually beef, that’s how heavily seasoned it was.
The tacos were however on my favourites list. They were raw salmon and guacamole, in a sweet crispy taco shell. Amazing, especially when you added a little bit more of the guac. Yum!
There was also edamame but they were greasy and wrong. They were however very happy to get me some plain salted ones.
Then was the best bit… the main course. I had sea bass which came on a creamy rice which I have no idea what was. It was absolutely gorgeous. The fish was perfectly cooked, and reminiscent of miso black cod. I honestly would go back just for this.
I can’t tell you about the desserts sadly because I couldn’t eat most of them. I can tell you that corn ice cream is just plain weird.
At some point however Pink Veuve made an appearance which was an unexpected delight!
The music went UP, the managers started a conga line, the waiters were beating on drums, and volcano type candle sparkler things were being handed out. Basically the whole place turned into a massive Latin American/Caribbean fusion party!
Un-fucking-believable! SUCH fun!!! The music was incredible. The vibe was perfection. Everyone was having a good time. Everyone was dancing. Then when we all boogied our way into the main bar area, the party continued. There were waiters with drums on the bar, with ladies up there dancing too.
Would I go back to Coya for their brunch again? No.
Would I recommend it? Yes.
It came down to the fact that their food wasn’t my preference. I could appreciate how fresh and beautiful it was, but it just wasn’t for me. I did have a great time though and the team were really great about my nut allergy. The thing that topped it though was the after party.
Well played Coya, very well played.