If you haven’t been to the new COYA at Puente Romano, it’s time to remedy that as you are missing out on a first-class experience.

Words James Sinclair, Photography Kevin Horn

If you haven’t been to the new COYA at Puente Romano, it’s time to remedy that as you are missing out on a first-class experience.

Words James Sinclair, Photography Kevin Horn

COYA is a global group of luxury lifestyle restaurants focused on Peruvian and Asiatic Nikkei cuisine, with locations in some of the world’s top cities. The new venue at Puente Romano is the 10th in the group, with another following in Barcelona this summer.


We went for the COYA experience on a Tuesday evening and were surprised to find it so buzzing, despite only opening recently, so to avoid disappointment, make sure to reserve beforehand. The anticipation builds as you pass the Incan statues on the approach, stopping at the full size llama guarding the door. You are greeted with a warm welcome by the girls on reception, and the friendly staff smiling and saying hello as you are shown to your table.

The restaurant occupies a spacious plaza, with a retractable open roof, surrounded by lush vegetation and Incan ornamentation. You are immediately grasped by a captivating ambience, the result of many people relaxing and enjoying life together on comfortable chairs and sofas, with great background music from the live DJ, and soft lighting from spectacular chandeliers, hanging lamps, and spots.

Totally Enraptured

Our evening began with Champagne and a guacamole dip, prepared at our table and served with giant corn tortillas, while we perused the menu. This is compact but diverse with options highlighted as vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free. There are also daily specials, ‘según el mercado’ (depending on what is fresh at the market). Our waiter, Gerson, was very helpful in providing information on all aspects of the restaurant.

As there were four of us on this first visit, we elected to share a range of dishes, including some signature ones as highlighted on the menu. Our starters consisted of Chicharrónes de Pollo – crispy chicken with chipotle and spicy guava sauce, Empanadas de Carne – corn empanadas with pulled Wagyu beef and garlic sauce, and Tacos de Shitake con Chalaquita, crunchy tacos filled with grilled shiitake mushrooms, avocado, chipotle and coriander – all were delicious. We also sampled the Tiradito de Hiramasa a la Trufa – a delightful combination of Kingfish, dashi, truffle oil and chives, and a couple of Ceviches: the Lubina Clásica, with sea bass, red onion, sweet potato and corn, and the Pargo al Coco, an exceptionally creamy ceviche with snapper, coconut, plantain, chilli and aji limo (small chilli pepper).

These enticing concoctions set us up beautifully for the mains, which transpired to be as delectable to look at as to savour. The Arroz Nikkei is a nice portion of Chilean sea bass with rice, lime and yellow chili pepper. We accompanied this with an amazingly tender Lomo de Res – spicy beef fillet with crispy shallots, aji limo and star anise – and Papitas con Ajo: small new potatoes with coriander aioli and garlic chips.

It became obvious to us by now that the kitchen staff, headed up by Manuel Llaneli and Rosa Saldaña, have really got their act together as the food being served here is simply exquisite! Aficionados of fine wines will meet their match here too, with a very impressive selection of national and international bottles, and you can choose from an inviting range of cocktails, freshly shaken at the bar.

We ended our evening with a trio of desserts: the Suspiro de Coco with coconut meringue, Tres Leches cake with vanilla ice cream, and Churros de Naranja, which was a nice touch indeed – orange and lime churros with milk chocolate and caramel sauce – yummy!

Although it has just got going, it looks like COYA is set to be a regular part of the fittings at Puente Romano for many years to come!


COYA at Puente Romano Beach Resort
Bulevar Principe Alfonso von Hohenlohe, Marbella. Open every evening from 19:00 til late. Tel: (+34) 952 820 900.