Happy mid week everyone! A few weeks ago, I went for brunch at Coya Abu Dhabi. Yes, me. No, this doesn’t mean I have now become a “bruncher” – but the experience I had, absolutely deserves a post on it’s own!

Coya Abu Dhabi, is one of the most beautiful restaurants (to me), in Abu Dhabi – located on Al Maryah Island. I love the entrance which leads to a mysterious corridor filled with plants and native tribe portraits as you take the elevator down to the main restaurant, where the vibrant Latin music fills the air. For those who have never been to Coya, the outlet is split into 3 sections: the Pisco Lounge (bar), the main dining section, and a beautiful outdoor terrace which overlooks Abu Dhabi’s skyline. The decor is impressive, filled with Incan inspired statues, indigo splashes on the walls, dark wood furniture, and occasional sparkles of gold.

The brunch concept is intimate, unlike others in the city. My friend and I started with pisco sour passionfruit cocktails in the lounge until our table was ready, and let me tell you – they were deliciously refreshing! My friend was not a fan of the topped egg yolk, but I love the creaminess it gave to the otherwise sourish drink. Above us, is the Pisco gallery which holds more than 20 different homemade varieties of Pisco (a signature Peruvian brandy). We then moved to the dining area and had the perfect table located right next to the window, as I took a moment to appreciate, that this brunch was fully booked – even on the outdoor terrace. The vibe was insatiable – as infectious Latin music made me want to dance!

At the table waiting for us was guacamole, seabass croquettes, homemade bread, veal baos, and Anticucho skewers. The guacamole was the creamiest one I have ever experienced in my entire life, while the seabass croquettes and baos were perfectly bite sized. I was not a fan of the Anticucho skewers, although perfectly grilled, they were extremely spicy.

We then proceeded to the small buffet which was made up of cold salads, tiradito’s and ceviches. Up until this point, I had no prior knowledge of what Peruvian food was really about, just blindly assumed it had all the elements of Latin cuisine. Well it does, but it also has a lot of influence from Asia which dates back to the colonies – and this is very much evident in the food. The dishes we enjoyed were:

  • Tuna tiradito – served with passionfruit and nuts
  • Atún Chifa -yellow fin tuna, sesame seeds, a mini cracker and dipped in soy sauce – inspired by Chinese influence
  • Salmón Nikkei – salmon marinated in celery juice, topped with ginger, daikon, and wasabi tobiko inspired by Japanese influence.
  • Pargo a la Trufa – red snapper, ponzu, truffle oil – my favourite
  • Sushi – creamy avocado and wagyu maki rolls
  • Kale salad – topped with Manchego cheese and pomegranate seeds
  • Corn salad – with bursts of citrus
  • Quinoa salad – with a fragrant tamarind flavour

Note: the tiradito’s look like a miniature work of art 🙂

I loved the plating of the ceviches in particular, which were served in mini bowls, beautifully decorated with a variety of colours. For our main course, we could select from 6 options, which were prepared fresh and in front of us, at the open kitchen. I selected the grilled salmon, SUPER flavourful, while my friend chose the seabass with rice which was similar to a risotto, but so much more creamy and had a hint of sour notes. DELISH! The dishes were accompanied with cream of corn (I can eat this every single day), and quinoa which was cooked in a fried rice style like you find in Asian restaurants.

After a short break, we moved on to desserts which were served at the Pisco Lounge on the bar countertops. I must admit, this is by far the most beautiful display I had seen at a brunch. There was a lot of variety of desserts, beautifully designed into bite sized pieces, leaving us with a guilt free sensation. My favourites included:

  •  Chicamisu – a Peruvian take on tiramisu served with Peruvian chica liqueur (tastes like cherries) instead of coffee
  • Marcuya cheesecake – perfectly creamy with sensational toasty toppings for that kick on the taste buds
  • Tres Leches  – a staple in Latin cuisine, moist and perfectly served in tiny bowls
  • Chocolate ganache – so silky and rich
  • Caramel popcorn – an absolute hit
  • Crema volteada – a Peruvian take on crème brulee
  • Picarones – a Peruvian take on donuts

The entire experience was perfect, from start to finish, and I love the options of dishes, which I would probably never have tried if I ordered from the regular menu (this is me being completely unaware of Peruvian cuisine). I cannot recommend this brunch enough, especially for those who are looking for an intimate style, where you can try a bit of everything, and still leave satisfied – not rolling over 🙂




Visit information:

  • Address: Al Maryah Island, next to Four Seasons
  • Telephone: +971 2 306 7000
  • Friday Brunch timing: 12:30 – 4pm
  • Available packages include: AED 198 net with soft drinks, AED 318 net with house drinks, and AED 428 net with premium bubbly. 

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Disclaimer: All views are my own and all photographs are © My Pink Diary.