49 Frith Street, Soho, London, W1D 4SG
Koya image
Our records show that Koya is closed.

49 Frith Street, Soho, London, W1D 4SG



Nearest Station
Tottenham Court Road (0.21 miles)

This unsuspecting udon restaurant became a hit immediately after opening, with queues all the way onto the pavement. They specialise in one item only, and here you can choose to have your noodles hot or cold, in hot or cold broth or with broth on the side. Happily their other = dishes are fantastic too, like the pork belly slow-cooked in cider and a fantastic take on fish and chips with cod tempura and lotus leaf crisps. Prices are keen and there are usually plenty of Japanese people eating here, always a good sign.

Koya Picture Gallery

Koya Picture

All In London Review

Udon restaurant draws in the crowds

There is a long queue of people waiting in the rain to get into Koya. It’s not an exclusive nightclub, nor is it a new chic Pan-Asian venture by Alan Yau, in fact it’s a rather average looking eatery that looks like the management couldn’t be bothered to do up. So what attracts the madding crowd to this, yet another Japanese restaurant in the heart of Soho? Well, it’s the udon, a type of thick wheatflour noodle.

There are various ways of eating your udon, hot in a hot broth, cold with cold broth on the side, or cold with hot broth on the side. You can have mushrooms, pork, duck or mixed seaweed in your dish among other ingredients, as well as greedily adding tempura or a poached egg as a topping We sample a heavily perfumed smoked mackerel hot broth with the thick noodles swimming inside; the pork and miso paste has meaty chunks that fall apart to the touch, with the cold noodles served separately and trying to do an escaping act every time I attempt to clutch them with my chop sticks. Sides include a wonderful take on fish and chips – chunks of cod in crispy golden tempura batter with lotus leaf crisps and rice wine vinegar.

People come and go quickly and staff are very efficient, with an eye on those waiting outside; much of the clientele appear to be Japanese and manage to put my udon-handling skills to shame, but it’s not enough to deter me from returning to try the other options (my neighbour’s duck and vegetable hot pot looks appetising). Might do a little practising at home first.

Reviewed by Leila
Published on Mar 3, 2011

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