Apr 6 2013

Koya

There is one thing that I would never do when eating in Latvian restaurants - book a table, as you could always just turn up and there will be space for you, that is before Koya came along. Koya is a restaurant that looks bizarre from the outside, like a black painted shed, but it is these days the coolest place in Riga where you always have to book a table especially if you want to go there for brunch on a weekend. Brunch never used to be very popular in Latvia and this is a trend that has very slowly been introduced to Riga and brunch at Koya is what the locals love these days. 

 

As I said the place does not look impressive at all from the outside. Also the location is a bit remote, next to the river Daugava but in a not easy accessible location on Andrey island (it is not an island but people call it) and you can’t really walk there easily but have to drive. But during the summer they have an outside terrace overlooking the water and it is extremely pleasant (so I am told, I went there in April when it was still very cold and everyone was sitting inside). 

 

I went to Koya for the famous brunch on a Saturday with my eldest brother and my friend Baiba. Baiba tried to book a table on the day and obviously could not, and she had to pull some strings and ask people who know some people so we would get a table. The inside of the restaurant is very pleasant, every table has a flower pot on the table and the chairs have an interesting shape and are made out of steel like material, and overall black and white dominates in the interior. They also have a really cool wall on one side that is decorated and covered with flowerpots. I also very much liked the design of the cutlery and all the glasses and cups and the glass in which my brother got his latte was an interesting shape and also they brought you a very small and cute milk jar full of warm milk. 

 

For the famous brunch, it costs £9 and you can eat all you want from a beautifully laid out table that has many many different things on it. There is also a chef on one side who cooks waffles and omelettes. Baiba and I had one plate of food from the table and also an omelette but my brother really went for it and in addition to the omelette and cold starters he also had 2 plates of waffles. There is orange juice, different bread, different Latvian salads as well as Central Asian types of pickled vegetables on the table which you can eat, and I found the choice good but not amazing. I would have loved to see more cheese there and something a bit more special maybe to justify the hype of Koya but nevertheless for Latvian standards it was very good as there are very few places like this where you can get such good quality and varied food. I personally loaded my plate with various pickled things and some of them were good and some were not pickled in the way that I like. What I found quite funny was that in each bowl when you go and pick up all the things you want to eat there is a very small fork which means you can’t really put too much on your plate (you can but it takes you a long time) which is I guess how they try to avoid a situation of people putting too much on their plate and then not finishing it. 

 

I was a bit disappointed with the omelette though, I had the standard omelette with bacon, which was served with a load of orange type of cheese on top of it which had not been cooked inside the omelette. I also did not think the taste of it was particularly nice hence I left half of it uneaten. I did not chose the waffles myself, but my brother was eating them, and so I tasted a bit, and they were very good served with condensed milk which is a Latvian typical thing and which I like, as well as cherry jam. 

 

I did enjoy Koya and I have already booked a table for brunch when I come back in 1 month with my boyfriend and I think the best thing about the place will be the summer terrace which I am looking forward to trying and sitting outside by the water, but whilst the food is great and interesting for Latvian standards if Koya would be in London based on the food it would not be in my top 5 favourite brunch places, maybe top 10 yes. 

 

Date: 06/04/13

Price for 3 people, no alcohol, no service charge: LVL 33.50 (and I left LVL3 service charge)

Location: Riga

 

Maija rated: 

3.00

Badges: 

Location: 

Koya
Str.Andrejostas 4
Riga
Latvia
LV
Koya Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3