Koya Bar

Restaurants, Japanese Soho
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(12user reviews)
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Koya Bar
© Ben Rowe

This sibling to the original Koya doesn't stand in the shadow of its departed neighbour - it's asserted its own personality with Japanese breakfasts.

The original branch of Koya closed in the summer of 2015, leaving Koya Bar as the sole survivor of the twin operation. Evoking the more traditional feel of a Japanese udon-ya, the restaurant wouldn’t be out of place in Tokyo. A blond wood counter dominates the long narrow space – chefs on one side, diners on the other. With just 25 stools, Koya Bar may not be big, but it still feels spacious and airy.

Koya classics such as udon with mushrooms and walnut miso (kinoko) are available here, but unlike the original, breakfast is also served. Though you can get a standard Japanese morning meal – grilled fish, miso soup, rice and pickles, innovative bowls of udon and rice porridge are the major draw.

Placed before us by head chef Shuko Oda, a bowl of ‘English breakfast’ udon in earthy broth was topped with fried egg, bacon and shiitake mushrooms – not the easiest thing to eat with a pair of chopsticks. The rice porridge (okayu) and accompanying soft boiled egg, spring onion and sweet, salty marinated shiitake makes for a soothing bowl of East Asian comfort food.

With friendly staff and unusual dishes, Koya Bar offers a taste of Tokyo in London.

By: Celia Plender


Venue name: Koya Bar
Address: 50 Frith Street
Opening hours: 8.30am-10.30pm Sun-Wed; 8.30am-11pm Thurs-Sat
Transport: Tube: Tottenham Court Road
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Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:2
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Bursts of Rain

After eating at Koya Bar for the first time last summer, it quickly became a firm favourite of mine. As someone who loves udon and has longed for a great udon place in London, this ticks all the boxes. Authentic, delicious, varied. You can have hot udon, cold udon, udon with dipping sauce, basically udon in all forms. So far, my favourite has been the Venison and Tofu "Ma-Po" Udon which was one of their specials (photo below), full of flavour. You won't be disappointed! Just be prepared for the queue which in itself tells you how great it must be!


My friend took me here as I've never tasted a good ramen dish before (shocking!), she said she goes there with her partner at least once or twice a month, so I fully trusted her judgement. 
Unlike others that reviewed this place, we didn't queue up at all (maybe because we went for an early lunch? it was around 1pm) and we didn't wait long at all to be served.

We ordered the fried tofu and each got a different ramen dish (all vegan!)
Everything felt fresh and it was all delicious, a hearty filled with goodness soup.
I highly recommend it, and already managed to tell some close friends to go check it out.

Misha M.

I've only gone there a couple of times. The broth tasted legit and udon noodles are pretty good too! However, I think everything is overpriced. Perhaps I think it's a little unfair of me to compare since I just came back from Japan, but 13 pounds for a simple bowl of udon is a little steep. I don't understand the long queue either. Je ne sais quoi.


Didn't like it at all.. I loved Koya (the one which is closed now it seems?) but Koya bar is nothing to compare with.  Please don't tell me it is Teuchi Udon (freshly hand made udon) because it didn't taste like it at all.  Just overpriced for what it is.  And top of that the service was really bad and I was very uncomfortable.  I was there for an early lunch and there were already a bunch of people (NOT customer, friends or staff I guess?) sitting or leaning over the counter chatting with cooks, among them there was a guy who seems to be the owner, very arrogant and talking really loud to his staff just next to my ear.  There was no thank you good bye when I left after paying the bill. I don't recommend it at all.

Richard N

I went to try their special kooky breakfast udon and got what I expected - an attempt at fusion that failed horribly with a measly piece of bacon and mushrooms. However, their soup and the udon itself is fantastic, and if I go back again, I would definitely try their more 'normal' dishes. Stay away from the weird options! 


One of my friend's favourite restaurants in London. Be prepared to queue for a while to get a seat, seems to be always full when I walk past it. Was a bit disappointed in the hot udon prawn tempura dish. Expected there to be more flavours but it fell a bit flat. The squid starter though saved the evening!


A small bar in soho offering a variety of udon noodles for breakfast! Feel like you’re abroad with a cycle down here on a Sunday morning. 

We ordered the English breakfast udon complete with fried egg and bacon and a bowl of sweet tofu noodles with a side of sticky fermented natto beans. 

Kate K

Extremely BAD quality of the food!!! :((( Everything that we ordered tasted really bad...Couldn't even eat a miso soup there...

London Foodie Mama

Transport yourself to Tokyo and sample the amazing clean flavours of Japan. Perch yourself on bar stools and slurp down some smooth chewy udon noodles 

Ali Valenzuela

There are so many restaurants with novelty factors, overwhelmingly-extensive menus and frilly ingredients, so this was a nice blast of simplicity and tradition in the heart of the bustling city. The noodles are homemade, silky and delicious; try the Zaru udon for something delightful and different! It's a suitable place to dine alone, but I don't recommend a massive party as space is hard to come by and reservations aren't taken. Fantastic quality and fancy free, this place is worth a visit. Ali


This place is adjacent to the original Koya restaurant and serves very similar menu The food is as tasty as the original restaurant and serves great udon soup noodles. It is a nice space and having a counter, it makes easier for single person to dine. Definitely recommended to pop in for soup noodle snack.