Showing posts with label miso cod. Show all posts
Showing posts with label miso cod. Show all posts

COYA (Dubai)

Special thanks to Parv for so many of the photos in this post
You’ll find COYA on a busy cul de sac of restaurants at Dubai’s Four Seasons. After getting through the queue of cars being dropped off with the valet and the throng of people making their way to the many establishments in the area, the actual restaurant is a welcoming serene environment.

The colourful bar and dining room works well with the restaurant’s Peruvian menu. Quirky artwork adorning the wall is great for starting conversations and keeps the atmosphere fun and cheerful. There’s still an air of sophistication to the décor – the colours are done in rich jewel-toned hues and with lux velvet. And it’s the attentive service and little touches, like the mini shelf for purses that retract from the chairs like a CD player, which reminds you that you’re still at the Four Seasons.

COYA’s ceviche are one of the most ordered dishes and I can see why. The pargo a la trufa ceviche (AED88) uses chunks of tender red snapper that are gently marinated with a not-too-citrusy ponzu and jazzed up with chives. Even the truffle oil, an ingredient that can sometimes get overpowering, was present in scent and only slightly lingered on the tongue. Absolutely delicious and a great start to the meal.

The salmon tacos (AED60) may be more accurately described as a tostada: cubes of salmon and avocado sitting on a crispy fried tortilla. Once again, the dish didn’t lack flavour, but the strong ingredients (in this case the aji amarillo chilli) added just a bit of heat still allowing us to taste the fish.

While the pulpo rostizado (AED92) is described as a ‘small dish’, the portion was just as big as some of the mains. The protein was prepared wonderfully - you barely need to bite to get through the tendrils of roasted octopus. Yet, there’s something topping the creamed potatoes that wasn’t my cup of tea – the garlic chips and bits of olives covering the silky spuds gave it a bitter finish.

COYA offers tons of seafood on their menu. The lubina Chilena (AED180) leans towards the Japanese influences of Peruvian cuisine tasting like miso black cod rather than anything to do with the aji amarillo described on the menu. Nevertheless, the fish is cooked beautifully and it was a tasty rendition of miso cod.

I would go back for an entire langosta iron pot (AED158) for myself. The rice a luscious risotto that stays warm in the clay vessel. It’s everything I want with a risotto – creamy texture, just enough moisture, and filled with lobster essence with a bit of pea shoot for freshness.

COYA prepares chicken well, their pollo a la parrilla (AED148) arrives as four pieces of juicy and tender boneless meat with a fiery looking sauce covering it. Don’t worry, the aji panca is all look and no spice, instead adding a smoky flavour and aroma to the fowl. For me, how well a restaurant prepares chicken is a marker of their chefs’ talent. After all, it’s a protein that needs to be cooked thoroughly and has a rather neutral taste.

It’s not like the bife angosto wagyu (AED460), the beef so well-marbled that even being a sirloin cut there was plenty of flavourful fat covering the tongue. It’s left a ruby rare and stays that way as the grill it arrives on is all for show and isn’t actually heated. While the steak was tasty enough on its own, COYA’s chimichurri is something else – ultra fresh and the micro cubes of onion creating a great contrast against the rich meat.

Make sure to save room for the churros de naranja (AED52), they are the best I’ve ever had. The pastry’s centre is fluffy and creamy while the outside delightfully crispy. I had my doubts as the menu described them as orange and lime churros with a milk chocolate and dulce de leche sauce – fruit and chocolate should be kept separate in my books. Luckily, all the citrus seemed to lie within the dip so I ate the churros by itself and they were exquisite.

In a city where buildings and new restaurants and being constructed at a mile-a-minute I can see why COYA is still busy and respected since its opening in 2014. What a great meal for the senses, for both taste and sight.

Overall mark - 9 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
 Address: Restaurant Village Four Seasons Resort 

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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