Nikkei scores on debut (Coya, Yermasoyia, Limassol)

A district in Peru, a parish in Spain, a river in Chile, and most significantly for residents of Cyprus, from July 2015, Coya is also a restaurant in Yermasoyia, Limassol. With the catchy name itself from the Hispanic world, the menu is a fusion of Spanish, Peruvian and Japanese, and with such globally estranged cousins coming together, I was simply intrigued to discover how such a radical idea had been chosen to replace the very popular international coffeehouse that had been trading at this location only months previously.

Key Information

  • Introducing 'Nikkei' to Cyprus
  • Peruvian, Japanese and Spanish Fusion menu
  • Extensive cocktail list

  • Live music and house DJ

  • ~80% bar & kitchen items from Japan/Peru
  • All day menu, late bar
  • Open daily for lunch & dinner
  • Sunday breakfast & lunch buffets

 

Arriving fashionably late during the Orthodox blessing, it was clear that quite an extensive restoration has taken place at this large single story corner building. From the large backlit simple inca 'two heads' logo, to the frequent leafy planting, and with chunky wooden tables, subtle lighting throughout, and the large outdoor area with a view out to the sea, the whole place quietly and confidently promotes a tranquil, professional calm. The excellent waiting staff, serving in a relaxed and efficient manner ensured that, despite the very busy party, we attendees didn't wait too long for the appetisers, on occassion of extended delay, a pleasing and resourceful response was delivered. One thing that caught the eye, was the Peruvian woven belt 'chumpi' worn by the waiting staff, one of many examples showing an attention to detail that has brought Coya into the local market.

Spain. Peru. Japan. How does it work? Well, it just so turns out the menu has a significant focus towards the culinary fashion of 'Nikkei', a fusion developed since the late 80s by the Japanese immigrants to Peru. Mainly bringing together the delicacy of the Japanese preparation with the bright and punchy Peruvian local ingredients, where fresh fish is the common denominator prepared with with locally sourced limes, peppers, yucca, spices and potato varieties, Nikkei has hopped onto the blossoming popularity of Peruvian food, with a number of high profile chefs involved in new restaurants across European capitals.

As comfortable as one may feel, a restaurant of course requires plates, and for this launch night, a number of platters of appetizers, or antigucho, were circulated. Tender chicken Kushiyaki with a sticky, sweet Peruvian sauce ; octopus Takoyaki (a creamy dough-type ball) with Japanese mayonnaise and bonito flakes ; a wholemeal tortilla wrap filled with Polynesian jerkspice chicken, crispy plantain and a sweet lime-avocado-jicama-mango coleslaw ; Causa Maki bringing in yam, crab stick, avocado and Peruvian purple potato infused with lime ; and also some 'standard' California Maki with sesame or roe ; there was, reportably, also some Peruvian seasoned Chicken Gyoza (pan fried dumpling) which missed my table ! As you can see, these samples really mixed things up, and the many flavour combinations were a delight.

I managed to get a few minutes with the Limassolian saddled with the task of getting this new venture over the line, experienced chef, culinary consultant and Coya general manager, Nicos Constantinou. "It was a dream that has finally became a reality. I have been able to travel a lot all over the world, and in recent years I have found that the big boom in both USA and Europe has been Peruvian cuisine. I knew that Japanese food had already been popular and famous within Cyprus, so I decided to introduce to something new to the local market. The biggest challenge was to source the right ingredients, with our owner making a significant investment : sourcing almost 80% of our bar and kitchen ingredients directly from Japan and Peru. The importance is, that we are delivering something unique in Cyprus. Personally, when visiting Coya I`d like our customers discover more than good food : to experience through all their senses another, exotic, world!"

When the kitchen closes later in the evening, the bar area comes into its own, stocking the regular favourites, as well as a number of specialities such as bar namesake Pisco, Peruvian beer Cusqueña and Japanese Nikka whiskey. Pisco bar keeps the drinks flowing whilst the sufficiently powerful sound system delivers the aural pleasure from resident DJ and/or live music, keeping you entertained long into the night. Nicos told me that there also making in house ice-cream, many unique to Coya, with flavours including such as guanábana (soursop) and Chicha Morada. Launch parties are often a little frantic, but Coya kept a lid on it, and whilst the food samples only gave an indication, i`m more than interested to return in the near future to try out the very interesting menu. Scroll down, and take a look at the photos :

For contact details, directions and additional information visit the COYA Restaurant & Bar listing

Geoff Dutch

I have been working in web development & ICT for small business for almost 20 years. When not in front of a computer, I enjoy staying active, like music, travelling and food! Born in North London last century, I lived in Pafos from 2006 - 2014 and since late 2014 in Limassol. Facebook / Twitter