Nothing screams luxury like Monaco, and COYA Monte-Carlo is bringing a Peruvian flavour to the European fine-dining scene
The news that COYA was opening a new branch in Monte-Carlo was no surprise – with branches in London’s Mayfair, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, their locations are synonymous with luxury. We simply couldn’t miss the opportunity to try it.
An early start from Heathrow was made infinitely more glamorous thanks to MonacAir heli-transfers, who whisked us from Nice airport to the outskirts of Monaco. Arriving at the gorgeous Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, we managed to fit in time for a delicious lunch and poolside cocktail, as well as a quick dip in the freezing but crystal clear sea.
Despite being in Monaco for 36 hours, the FOMO (fear of missing outfits) was real, and a quick outfit change took rather longer than expected. Fortunately, COYA was but a short walk away…
The deep blue exterior and huge cacti that surround the restaurant (which the building was actually built around) mean that even COYA’s exterior is impressive. On top of this, the views from your table are also ‘take-your-breath away’ stunning: thanks Port of Monaco.
Quickly shown to our table, we started with a twist on the traditional South American drink of Pisco, which is served from COYA’s very own ‘library’ of Pisco infusions. Flavours, ranging from passion fruit, to orange and cinnamon, to blueberry and lavender aren’t exactly traditional, but they make for an incredible cocktail that manages to show off both the flavour of the alcohol and the fruits.
A word about the table itself – COYA takes interior design seriously. From golden cutlery to hand-painted unique ashtrays, to champagne buckets built into every table (this is Monte-Carlo!) no detail has been missed. This is best personified by the Private Dining room, where the walls are decorated with patches of gold leaf, inspired by the food’s Peruvian roots and myths of explorers finding hidden Incan temples.
As clever and well-thought-out the interiors were, our food more than matched them. Starting with guacamole freshly made at our table, we moved on to delicate aubergine, salmon and tuna tacos, with the freshness of the fish and vegetables complimented beautifully by the crunchy taco shell.
No sooner had we put these down, we were treated to a trio of ceviche, each with its own unique of spice blends and just the right amount of sourness to set off each bit of the fish.
The service at COYA is certainly one of its main draws – our numerous plates appeared and disappeared as if by magic and nothing was too much trouble. The incredibly friendly staff even took us on a small tour of the restaurant, where we learned that COYA has a chef solely to create chocolate ganache. But, of course.
An unbelievably spiced steak later, we were well and truly stuffed. But as usual, there was room for dessert, and the tower of fresh fruit, pastries and macaroons that we received was the perfect end to a hugely memorable meal. With the destination nightclub Jimmy’z just below us, and the appearance of post-dessert tequila, you can see how COYA is the go-to destination for Monaco’s jetset – Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid were both spotted here during this year’s Grand Prix.
After a wonderful sleep and treatments to soothe our ever-so-slightly sore heads at the Spa Cinque Mondes at the hotel, we were ready to board our chopper (I will literally never tire of saying that) back to Nice. On the tube back from Heathrow Airport a few hours later, I felt like I was certainly back to reality. However, after a surreal 36 hours of helicopters, ceviche and the magic of Monte-Carlo, that reality certainly felt a little more special than usual.
COYA Monte-Carlo, 26 Avenue Princesse Grace, Monte Carlo 98000, Monaco, Tel: +377 98 06 20 20. For reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org