COYA is the Northern Beaches hidden gem of fine dining

Award-winning restaurant, COYA is Sydney’s Northern Beaches best kept secrets. Nestled in Cromer, this fine dining restaurant celebrates a fusion of modern Australian and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Not only has the venue won multiple awards such as the Gault & Millau Australia Award 2019, The Sydney Metropolitan Award for Best New Restaurant in 2017 and The Australian Good Food Guide Chef Hat in 2020 & 2019, Head Chef Ashraf Saleh and owner of the restaurant has also released his debut cookbook ‘COYA’ in 2019.

Whilst having worked in the Sheraton Hotel in Saudi Arabia and the ANA hotel, Head Chef Ashraf has expanded his wealth of knowledge in culinary skills and expertise from traveling around the world such as Paris, London and Sweden.

“I have been working in the hospitality industry and for venues for more than thirty years. I had always dreamed of opening my own restaurant, and frequently discussed this with family and friends over the years. It was just the right time and right place when we decided to open our restaurant COYA located in Cromer on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. I love to create innovative food and explore flavours in a unique way. It was almost impossible to be so creative and inventive while working for others,” says Saleh.

Constantly changing up the menu in COYA every 6-8 weeks, he sources local Australian produce collected from suppliers in Narrabeen and North Sydney. With a variety of degustation courses to choose from, including their six course carnivore and herbivore degustation, diners can expect delectable innovative dishes and flavour explosions with unexpected pairings.

For their carnivore degustation, await their signature King Prawns with Sumac, Chilli Jam and Raspberry Vinaigrette and Scallops with Sweet Corn Puree and Pickled Onion. Whilst the herbivore is a vegetarian tasting course which is gluten and dairy free including dishes such as their Cauliflower Veloute, Fried Eggplant with Black Tahini, Heirloom Vegetable Tartare and their Kale Coriander Chickpea Falafel.

It doesn’t end there, as their four course tasting menu, 9 course or 13 course mega degustation are also available. Other standout items are their Smoked Duck Breast with Orange Fluid Gel, Wagyu Beef with Horseradish Cream and the Scampi Fromager D’Affinois. Sweet delights feature their Apple Sorbet or the Lemon Passionfruit Cloud.

“I want COYA to become a specialty restaurant, only serving my unique and inventive degustation tasting menu. It’s what I like to call ‘affordable luxury’ with $135 /pp for 13 mouth-watering courses. It’s a real foodies adventure exploring unique flavours. Each course is delicate, light and delicious!”

For more information, head on over to COYA

Header image credit: Tanika Douglas

Danica Jones

Writer for the AU Review, a lover of books, poetry, good food, travel and adventure. Follow her personal instagram @danicaarajones or her poetry instagram @danicajoneswrites