Coya Angel Court: Rum Round Table tasting menu tried and tasted
In the midst of the already brooding Coya Angel Court, one table stands apart. A hulk of handcarved dark wood, it looks more like a tablet prophesying Mayan apocalypse than a dinner space. Seating six, it serves a single purpose: to act as the centrepiece for the special Rum Round Table tasting menu, an almost overwhelming medley of cocktails and culinary delights. This is the only table in the entire 170-cover restaurant where you can enjoy that menu, and there’s a real sense of occasion as the dishes flood in. A total of 17 will arrive at a leisurely but enjoyable pace, ensuring a perfect mix between great conversation and great food. This should really be an industry standard, but it’s perhaps a dying art: we recently endured a similar meal where plates turned up so fast that we ended up running out of table room (and patience) long before they stopped coming. Here there’s a good mixture of hot and cold course on a well-planned and well-executed menu, ensuring that you can eat each of them at its optimal state without having to rush.
Highlights were many but we were especially keen on two: the Dorado Clasico is wonderfully silky, the soft flakes of white fish and white corn forming a creamy stage for the sharper performance of red onion. It’s the type of seemingly effortless dish that makes Peruvian cuisine so enjoyable. The Gambas Anticucho were equally amazing; plump, succulent prawns offset by a fiery tang of anji panca paste. Cooked to absolute perfection, their white flesh was almost butter soft without ever once falling into the mushiness that gives most seafood afficionados nightmares. Though the rest were enjoyable, we would have perhaps preferred slightly less plates, made to the same excellence that these two were. As it was, a few pleasant but average offerings snuck in and ended up dulling what should have been a chain of successes.
The cocktails were the real star of the show though. First came Revolución de Verano: a mojito interpretation made with Bacardi Carta Blanca, lime juice, St Germain, Chartreuse, elderflower cordial and basil leaves. The basil is an inspired touch, keeping the already bright and airy cocktail fresh whilst adding a layer of savoury flavour to add another layer of depth to all that sweet and sour contrast.
Then Calabacines y Hongos Valle de Pisac, a twist on the classic pisco sour, this cocktail is made with Bacardi Carta Blanca, egg white, lemon juice, lychee juice, peach purée and quebranta pisco. A solid take on a well established classic, this was certainly a solid offering but could have perhaps done with being a little bolder. One certainly doesn’t mind a great pisco sour, but the flavours were perhaps a little too safe, smooth and velvety.
Flor de Naranja, a manhattan-style drink made with Bacardi Ocho Años Rum, Lillet Blanc, Aperol, Drambuie and orange bitter, is enjoyable enough. Again, we’d like to see a bolder hand with the “twist”, a dash of something unexpected here could turn it from a pleasant tipple into something that really gets people talking.
El Camino Claro is a palette cleanser, made with Bacardi Ocho Años Rum, Dom Benedictine, amaretto, honey water, chamomile tea and lime juice. Heavy on the honey, this one could be considered a dessert in and of itself. Avellana Frijoles finishes things off, and is a reinvention of the classic espresso martini, this after dinner cocktail is made with Bacardi Carta Blanca, fresh Espresso, Frangelico and Patron Café. The little twist of Frangelico is delightful: the creamy richness of the hazelnut a safe but undeniably brilliant partner for any coffee drink.
There’s a lot of potential here. If the menu is refined and brought up to the same level as the drinks and service, the rum round table may well end up one of the best tables in town.★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Photos: Steven Joyce
Rum Round Table is available at Coya Angel Court, 31 Throgmorton St London EC2N 2AT, Monday to Friday. To book a table call 020 3907 0000 or visit here.