| Everyday London Life

Healthy Eating at Coya

I’m sure other food and lifestyle bloggers will agree with me that it’s tough to maintain a food blog and avoid the inevitable weight gain. I feel like I’m in a constant battle between my love of food and my desire to stay slim and healthy. The ultimate #foodbloggersproblem…Anyway, the opportunity to try a healthy option is always a welcome one especially at a restaurant that I already know I like!

Coya is a vibrant, modern Peruvian restaurant and Pisco bar in the heart of Mayfair serving ceviche and grills from the kitchen and bespoke cocktails from the bar. I’d been invited down to try their guilt-free set lunch menu and new healthy juice selection…yay! Healthy food! My lunch companion for the day was fellow blogger, food and travel lover, Felicia from Dancing in High Heels.

From the juice menu I chose the Para Picchu containing kale, cilantro, celery, cucumber and apple because it sounded like the perfect cleansing option. Felicia’s super-food juice was a little thicker as it also contained avocado along with wheatgrass, kale, pineapple and apple. We both felt super healthy as we sipped on our vibrant green juices which, despite the sugar-free content, were very tasty. There is also the option to make your own juice, but I thought that seemed a bit of a minefield and the random selection of ingredients could go badly wrong…

Four courses are available for the set menu with a choice of three options in each. We decided to try as many things as possible and share them. For the first course we ordered the sea bream with aji amarillo, crispy corn and coriander. The tiger’s milk marinade had the perfect amount of acidity and the fish was of the finest quality.

While the first dish was traditionally Peruvian, our waiter explained that the second dish was very much a product of the Japanese influence in Peru. The salmon nikkei included celery juice, ginger, daikon and wasabi tobiko. Once again there was so much flavour in the dish and it felt so light and healthy without the addition of extra fat.

Despite healthy intentions our waiter suggested we try a cocktail…the Cusco Wildberry Punch contained Ketel One Vodka, blackberry, raspberry, lemon, agave nectar and prosecco. Anyway, with all that fruit it’s more than your five a day. It was actually a little too fruity for me, and I ordered a glass of prosecco instead.

Coya is actually known for it’s Pisco infusions and the bar serves over 40 tequilas, and a large rum list…perhaps not for people trying to healthy but it certainly sounds like fun! One tequila, two tequila, three tequila…etc, etc 😉

Next were the chicken anticuchos with aji amarillo and garlic. The skewers were mildly spicy and the chicken was so tender that I was unsure whether it was cooked through, but I was reassured that it was fine and there were no negative repercussions so I blame my paranoia!


Tuna tartar tacos with yuzu and the smallest dollop of mayo was my favourite dish of the day. And I think that they are the ideal way of eating ‘junk food’ that’s also low in calories.

Before our main courses we took a moment to fully appreciate the rustic interior of Coya, with it’s Incan colour scheme, metallics, Peruvian artefacts and murals it feels like a traditional taste of Peru in the middle of London.

Coya offer a marinaded chicken breast for the main course rather than the less fatty options of thigh or wing but once again it was perfectly tender and paired with a mild smoky sauce and chargrilled peppers.

The sea bream was beautifully cooked, and was also mildly spicy and served with a refreshing fennel salad. The dish was accompanied by healthy spiced boiled potatoes. Fun Fact: The potato originated in Peru, which is why they are such a staple part of the Peruvian diet. Actually aside from the potatoes the meal was very low carb and high in protein and good fats. It really was the perfect balance apart from the umm…fruity cocktail and grape-based drink.

For the good of our blogs, we decided we really should try the dessert on offer and as it contained banana, it also added to our five a day….brilliant!

Dessert was Parfait de Arabica made up of caramelised bananas over chocolate and rum and a layer of coffee parfait coated in kiwicha, which is a grain a little like quinoa. It was was lovely mixture of textures and not overly sweet in taste. Actually if you do have a sweet tooth I would highly recommend following Felicia on Instagram as she features some absolutely gorgeous patisseries, afternoon teas and desserts on her account…trust me, it’s mouth-watering!

Our accompanying ice cream looked at first sight like traditional flavours, but even here Peruvian flavours were introduced and we tried coffee and cinnamon, quinoa and chocolate and chicha morada which is a purple Peruvian corn. I was a little unsure about quinoa flavour which has a slight grainy texture, but the other two were silky smooth and delicious.

Felicia and I really enjoyed our lunch at Coya and it definitely ranks highly for me as one of the top Peruvian restaurants in London. Plus it’s perfect if you’re looking for a healthy bite, or a killer Pisco Sour.

The set-lunch menu includes three or four courses and is available every week day. 

Coya Restaurant
118 Piccadilly

020 7042 7118

Our Peruvian feast was complimentary

Square Meal Coya on Urbanspoon