49 Frith Street, London, W1D 4SG
- Recommended for:
- Backpackers / Students, Business travellers, Couples, Foodies, Singles, People watching, Trendiness
Expert review of Koya
Japanese expatriates must have shouted a collective ‘banzai’ when this authentic udon noodle bar opened in London – the city has not had one of its ilk before. You’ll find them, and a rather excited Soho media crowd, crammed in here every lunch time slurping thick, white chewy wheat noodles served every which way.
Udon, udon and more udon, plus a handful of rice bowls and some small plates that you might have on the side or as a starter. Hot soup noodles with mushrooms and walnut miso seems to be the must-try; I loved the mixed seaweed noodles, and tempura cod with lotus root chips. There are several vegetarian and seafood options for anyone who doesn’t eat meat. A bottle of filtered spring water is automatically brought to the table, so if you’re having soup noodles you don’t really need more liquid, but there’s beer, sake, shochu, wine, tea and soft drinks if you want them.
Funky monastic with a kitsch vintage tiled floor, and neat wooden furniture and menu boards.
Friendly though not chatty – they’re too busy dealing with customers. Best plan is to go early when it’s quieter, though some folk are happy to queue for tables.
Between Soho Square and Chinatown.
A bowl of noodles may seem expensive at £7-£12, but it’s all you need. Whether you can resist the small plates too is another matter.
More information on Koya:
- Price guide:
- Japanese, Traditional, Vegetarian
- 49 Frith Street, London, W1D 4SG
- 020 7434 4463
- Lunch, Dinner
- Opening times:
- Mon-Sat noon-3pm, 5.30-10.30pm.
- Accepts Credit Cards:
- Not possible