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The lowdown on udon
An Irish-owned and thoroughly convincingly Japanese noodle bar, Koya ('small house/shack') imports ingredients from the East and recreates something very delicious and foreign-tasting just seconds north of Soho's Old Compton St. The emphasis here is on superior quality udon noodles (the thick ones), which are made daily and served either hot or cold, in highly recommended subtly smoky-flavoured soup if desired. Those accustomed to strong eastern/Tokyo flavours will notice here the more delicate western Japanese take on miso. Prices are very fair, but definitely at the higher end of budget. The original Koya — an elegantly designed restaurant space with consistent queues outside — opened in 2010 at 49 Frith St, while in September 2013 this narrow bar-style sibling followed, overseen by Shuko Oda, expanding on the menu she'd co-nurtured at the original Koya next door. In May 2015 Oda's colleague returned to Japan, prompting the rather shocking closure of the original Koya despite outstanding trade. Koya Bar opens for breakfast, from 8.30, with Japanese rice porridge, kedgeree etc. No reservations, and queueing is common.

Tags: $$ - Standard, $ - Budget, Asian, Japanese

49 Frith St (Bateman St)
London, England W1D 4SQ

Mon to Wed 8.30am—10.30pm; Thu and Fri 8.30am—11pm; Sat 9.30am—11pm; Sun 9.30am—10pm


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