There aren’t many places in London which encourage visitors to find their inner Inca. In fact, I’m pretty sure there are only two; Coya, Mayfair and its sibling, Coya, City. Located on the cobble-stoned Throgmorton Street, one of the city’s unique thoroughfares which seamlessly blends historical facades with mirror-reflecting, tall boy skyscrapers, Coya’s exterior doesn’t hint at its exotic interior.

Crossing its threshold is tantamount to stepping over the equator, into the Southern Hemisphere. Lighting is moody and atmospheric. The bar is long and shelves are constructed of dark hued wood. The construction feels like it might belong in an opulent and grandiose ex-pat home, deep in the heart of the Peruvian jungle. Tribal pots and containers intersperse spirit bottles. A fertility ceremony statuette dances hypnotically. Free flowing greenery drifts from the ceiling and an array of fridges and wine racks wall off the bar’s left side. If you didn’t know, you probably wouldn’t realise; there’s actually a large restaurant behind all that wine.

A not insubstantial structure looking like an entrance to a tomb dominates Coya’s centre. Not as gothic or as miserable as it sounds, it’s quite a curiosity. But it is black and obscures one half of the restaurant from the other which makes it even more curious and somehow endearing, providing the large restaurant with an unexpected intimacy. Lighting remains tastefully atmospheric, with candles, too. House music provides a quiet but constant beat, more greenery instills the space with a photosynthetic liveliness and large black and white photos of proud Peruvians wearing Inca costumes invigorate the walls.

Our Pisco Sour is an easy and refreshing drink and, surely, as the most famous Peruvian cocktail, a must order. If we’d forgotten where we were, it reminds with the Coya name written in earthy, sandy coloured capitals onto the fluffy, egg white top. Our waiter crushes avocado at the table in a granite mortar. He crushes the fruit with a pestle but deftly uses a fork and spoon to leave the dip with texture. Lime, Amarillo chilli and coriander fuse for the perfect guacamole – piquant and twangy with black and regular coloured tortilla chips to scoop it up.

There are eight subsections of the menu from which to choose. Sharing is encouraged and each dish is fresh and moreish with a continued abundance of flavours and textures. We partake of both Aperitivos and Anticuchos to start. The baby squid comes with Peruvian marigold, to provide subtle flavours of grapefruit and mint along with a smattering of chilli powder and a sprinkling of lime. The light batter comes from quinoa so is gluten free. The chicken skewers are composed of slightly fattier, more textural leg meat and are lightly caramelised in a Japanese sweet wine.

Before we know it, we’ve progressed to the Crudo section – citrus cured fish and Peruvian styled sashimi. Lime is abundant. Lime is always a winner. Both choices are favourites. The Yellowfin ceviche consists of dice sized chunks of raw tuna marinated in a zesty mixture of soy/ponzu sauce. Thin rice crackers with sprinklings of sesame seeds complete with a solid and satisfying crunchiness. The salmon sashimi resembles a paint pot top of bright orange with the sauce almost identical in colour to the salmon. The fish’s white streaks of Albumin practically define where one starts and the other ends. The dish is smokey but the smokiness is delicate. Dried seaweed and black and green caviar aid the visual sprightliness as well as the fine balancing of texture and flavour.

From nowhere, as if to give us a break from our gluttony, a chartreuse slinks in through the vine leaves and shadows. She wears a sequined, long black dress as well as black sunglasses. Where most venues would have a stage or dedicated area for its entertainers, Coya has nothing of the sort. The chartreuse shimmies and shivers in between the diners with a cordless mic, sometimes singing A cappella, sometimes with backing tape accompaniment. Songs consist mainly of 90s dance floor classics: CeCe Peniston’s ‘Finally’, Crystal Waters’ ‘Gypsy Woman’ and Whitney Houston’s ‘My Love Is Your Love’. Renditions are impressive and appearances, although multiple, are kept short so her welcome is never overstayed.

Both mains are exquisite. The Chilean Seabass is Coya’s signature dish. With its elevated omega-3 fatty content and its melt in your mouth butteriness, the seabass is additionally marinated for 12-16 hours in a ginger and soy/sake sauce. A stripe of sweetcorn purée circles the steel cooking dish in which it’s served. The result is rich and comforting but with spicy undertone to compliment the seabass’s luscious meat. The spicy beef fillet is just as luxurious and fulsome. Beef is charred on the outside and pleasingly raw but juicy and tender on the inside. It has a subtle pepper aftertaste and is served with delicate, practically tempura fried shallot rings and star anise flavouring.

If the Manchego cheesecake with guava sauce and lime gel sounds like one step too far through the edible jungle, it isn’t; it’s surprisingly light. It looks like a domestic sized mold of brie smothered in rosehip sauce. It’s fresh and fruity and a cheesecake which doesn’t taste too much of cheese. Underneath are crumbs of peanut for an unexpected but pleasing nutty aftertaste. The churros might be a clichéd way to end a South American meal but they’re irresistible and a lot of fun. The handful are tall, thin and crispy. They’re served warm, as they should be, and are surrounded by a small moat of chocolate and dulce de leche dipping sauce. Even though we never knew we had one, we did find our inner Inca and our inner Inca was very happy.

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