Every blogger, his wife and their three children has written about Koya – all glowing praise and with the kind of prose reserved for edwardian love letters that make broad-bosomed women swoon.And on that note I have little to add to such fantastic reviews such as the ones from TomEatsJenCooks orLizzieEatsLondon but like them, I went for the full on Udon shebang and was rewarded in so many stomach-satisfying ways. There are noodle shops coming out of your ears in London, and you could spend ridiculous amounts of money faffing about in mega posh Japanese dining establishments, or slurping sub-standard rubbish in Chinatown but Koya, at the heart of Soho on Frith Street, is both moderately priced and exceptionally good with all the Udon made in house and served either hot or cold in either hot or cold broth or sauce for pouring.
Before even going in to the delicious side dishes, including the now stratospherically famous Onsen Tamago – or “hot spring egg” an egg poached slowly at 60 degrees and served cold making your dashi deliciously creamy and silky.
Esti had the Kinoko Hiya-Atsu, udon in a hot walnut miso with wild mushrooms, suffice to say the walnuts were a genius idea. My Buta MIso Hiya-Atsu, or udon with pork and miso paste was a touch too sweet for my liking but I somehow finished it anyway and the special of the day, clams steamed in sake, were being enjoyed by an amorous couple sitting beside us whose “mmmms” of delight I put down to the exquisite clams, rather than their furtive footsie under the table…
KOYA: 49 Frith Street, LONDON W1D 4SG