Review: Peruvian flair and finesse that makes for an unforgettable experience Discuss this article

Meal Deal
Friday Brunch

There’s a selection of tacos, ceviches and marinated skewers. Be sure to try the arroz Nikkei and leave room for the dessert platter. Dhs278 (soft drinks), Dhs448 (house beverages), Dhs548 (sparkling grape). 12.30pm-4pm. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 306 7000). Timings: 12.30pm-4pm (Friday)

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This is a big deal. For the first time since 2015 we have a new Restaurant of the Year. And believe us, it really takes something special for Zuma to be knocked off its perch at the top. But in COYA, Abu Dhabi has something very, very special indeed.

This is a restaurant with a sense of occasion, but one without any pretensions. Here you’ll find flair, fun and finesse combining to create an unforgettable experience.

The colourful décor, the wrought iron fixtures and fittings, the greenery and the wooden carvings all help create an atmosphere like no other in the city. Service is intuitive, with staff confident in making informed recommendations and charming when serving dishes to the table. The food, of course, is super, or we wouldn’t be talking about it here.

From raw fish dishes to grilled meats, the quality of ingredients is sublime and what the kitchen does with them is even more impressive. We love the ceviches – especially the red snapper with truffle. The cubes of fish have just the right amount of bite, and the sauce gets the truffle fragrance spot on. Guacamole, prepared tableside, is another simple, but delicious, dish. Here they add aji amarillo to the creamy avocado, a subtle substitute for the usual red chilli. We are recommended the kale salad, and the shredded manchego that runs through it is inspired, complementing the sweet, tart pomegranate seeds and dried cranberries nicely. The arroz nikkei (an iron pot filled with Chilean sea bass and creamy risotto-style rice) is one of our favourite dishes in the capital. It’s rich, comforting and full of flavour.

For these reasons and more, COYA is our new champion.

The bill (for two)
1x guacamole Dhs43
1x red snapper ceviche Dhs86
1x kale and manchego salad Dhs48
1x beef anticuchos Dhs61
1x arroz nikkei Dhs192
1x large water Dhs28
Total (excluding service) Dhs458

The bottom line
A simply awesome restaurant.

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.


  • Location: The Galleria, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 306 7000
  • Travel: Zayed The First Street

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