Rupert Hohwieler 04/11/22
Koya Soho | Authentic Japanese Udon Bar
The best way to enjoy an authentic Japanese dining experience…is to go to Japan.
Or to Koya Soho, where the dough for fat, silky wheat-flour noodles is kneaded on site each day in the traditional Japanese way.
Serving two main types of noodle dish – atsu-atsu: hot noodles in a hot broth; and hiya-atsu: a hot broth with cold noodles on the side – in an authentically understated and utilitarian interior, it’s easy to forget that you’re in London while dining here.
Providing that you can avoid looking out of the window while doing so.
Koya Soho has a rotating list of blackboard specials which change daily (and which might include sake-steamed hake, or cured monkfish sashimi), plus a 25-seater wood counter overlooking a traditional Japanese open kitchen, in which you’ll spot noodle chefs busily preparing your meal.
Expect to enjoy dishes like udon with mushrooms and walnut miso; pork belly cooked in golden cider and umami broth; sweet tofu and spring onion; and Koya Soho’s signature ‘English breakfast’ udon bowls of bacon, egg and shiitake mushrooms. To drink: beer, sake and shochu; plus homemade Japanese barley and hot ginger teas.
In summary: the next time you feel like enjoying perfectly-executed udon noodles (prepared in front of your very eyes) in what feels like an authentic Japanese noodle bar, you can either go to Koya Soho… or to Japan.
NOTE: Koya Soho is open every day, 10am-10pm, and doesn’t take reservations – just walk on in. It’s one of the most popular restaurants in Soho though, so expect to queue. You can also check out Koya City and Koya Ko in Hackney…
Koya Soho | 50 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 4SQ
Want noods? Check out London’s best ramen bars
50 Frith Street, Soho, Central London, W1D 4SQ
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8.5 | Great
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