A rendering of COY interiors by KT Studio
A rendering of COY interiors by KT Studio
Image: Supplied

Chef Ryan Cole will be opening his second restaurant within the celebrated V&A Waterfront precinct in Cape Town in August. Hidden in plain sight, COY will open its doors in what was once an unassuming stand-alone building which sits on the water’s edge, alongside the Bascule Bridge, and which boasts breathtaking views of the operating harbour, the million-dollar yachts in the marina, and the iconic African backdrop of Table Mountain.

At COY the chef will serve up his take on relaxed fine dining, expressed through his own, unique expression of Southern African cooking. As with all the chef does, his strong focus on sustainable, ethical, seasonal, and local sourcing of ingredients will be present throughout the menu.

In addition, he has been looking towards Africa for inspiration, exploring recently rediscovered African ingredients and age-old cooking techniques, their original uses and how they may be used now, as he has been creating this new concept.

The menu is expected to feature plenty of ferments, ancient grains, and African staples. Given the oceanfront locale and that the chef is an avid fisherman, the dishes will naturally lean towards being seafood dominant, though that’s not to say there won’t be a fair share of ethically sourced meat and vegetables on the menu too — the chef as always relying on his network of small-scale, local suppliers to bring his cooking to life.

“At COY we will present an ocean-inspired exploration of African produce, age-old preparations techniques, forgotten ingredients and ways of cooking. The ocean is on our doorstep and the mountain provides an exceptional backdrop, so it’s only natural that we draw inspiration from them both,” he explains.

Diners will be able to choose from a selection of tasting menus for both lunch and dinner. For lunch a four-course menu will be on offer, with the option of a two-course service — well suited to those looking for a quicker yet equally luxurious dining experience. Dinner will present the chef’s seven-course tasting menu, with a four-course available too.

Expect the likes of plantain tostadas with smoked aubergine and pepper tabil, Simon’s Town squid with elements of smoked sunflower and amaranth, and a fermented amadumbi bread served with kefir butter and quince konfyt.

Chef Ryan Cole and COY head chefs Teenola Govender and Geoffrey Abrahams
Chef Ryan Cole and COY head chefs Teenola Govender and Geoffrey Abrahams
Image: Supplied

Working alongside Chef Ryan in the kitchen will be head chefs Geoffrey Abrahams and Teenola Govender.

The space, designed by KT Interiors, leans into a dark and moody colour palate, drawing inspiration from African design and using the continent’s natural tones and textures to great effect.

The blackened wood panelling on the walls and floors — referencing the ancient art of cooking over fire — contrasts dramatically against the amber accents which flow through the artwork, fabrics, and lighting. While the bar and hostess desk silhouettes resemble African bowls, and the arch dining table base is inspired by ancient African headrests — these are finished with a hammered textured oak top.

Furnishings include custom KT Interiors-designed tables and chairs made by Furniture Factory and Naturalis, bar stools by Mija, a terracotta lighting installation by Jan Ernst and even bespoke door handles by Simon Beebe. Everard Read will be curating the artwork selection, which will feature throughout the space.

The high-gloss, concave fireplace serves as the heart of the dining room. It is surrounded by an installation of carved wooden panels layered with paint for a three-dimensional effect, creating a dramatic, intimate atmosphere. It is finished and complimented by a striking black marble mantle.

At COY it’s all about the smaller details, the nuance of an ingredient, the subtlety of service, and the essence of a dish. The team is ready to reveal it all to those who take the time to seek it, inviting them in to discover that which is hidden in plain sight.

COY Restaurant opens to the public on August 9

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