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Arjun Waney turns to Peruvian cuisine for opening of Coya in November

By Luke Nicholls , 28-Sep-2012
Last updated on 01-Oct-2012 at 15:31 GMT

Arjun Waney, the man behind Le Petite Maison, The Arts Club and one half of the duo behind Zuma and Roka, is set to launch Coya – a contemporary Peruvian restaurant and private members bar - in Mayfair this November. 

Situated in the Georgian building of 118 Piccadilly, Coya will comprise a 100-cover restaurant and a ceviche bar which will be available to the public, while members will have the use of a separate dining area, outdoor terrace and the members bar.

To gain inspiration for the restaurant, Waney and his newly-formed team travelled to Peru to ‘ensure the origins of Coya stemmed from a place of absolute authenticity’.

“We travelled to South America seeking insight and inspiration from Latin American food and culture,” said Coya’s head chef Sanjay Dwivedi. “Peruvian food was the one that attracted us the most, with its influences from Japan, China, Spain, Africa and Italy; it was the most dynamic in the region.

Dwivedi, who devised Coya’s menu, formerly graced the kitchens of Zaika, Le Caprice and The Ivy. He also spent time in the kitchens of Lima, and at Peru’s Astrid Y Gaston, which came 35th in this year’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards.

“I started out on this journey looking for inspiration, now I am inspired, it’s a great feeling," he added.

On the menu

Dishes will include a range of classic ceviches and tiraditos, with anticuchos or grilled skewered meat, including ox heart with parsley and ají rocoto, and parrillada dishes such as pechuga de pato – duck breast with lúcuma, soya sauce and coriander shoots. Salads will feature hearts of palm with roasted cashew nuts and sesame dressing, and a Josper section, offering a range of meat and fish cooked on the traditional Josper oven.

Music and art will play a key role in the restaurant’s atmosphere, with live bands and DJ’s. Coya will also feature a pisco bar, offering a drinks menu of pisco-based cocktails along with spirits and rare tequilas and rums.

Coya's design combines a dilapidated décor with modern metallic finishes. The space brings together an array of painted murals, aiming to give an elegant take on Latin America.

Last month, Waney was one of the restaurateurs confirmed for The Shard, opening another restaurant with business partner Rainer Becker. He also opened Italian restaurant Banca in March of this year with his brother, Peter.

Peruvian's popularity

Meanwhile, Latin American restaurants – in particular those serving Peruvian cuisine – are taking London by storm this next year with a number of new openings.

The aptly named Lima, a new venture from Virgilio Martinez, chef-patron at Central restaurant in Lima, launched in June, while DJ-turned-restaurateur Martin Morales yesterday confirmed details of a second restaurant for his Ceviche concept. 

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