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.
|Venue name:||Koya Bar|
50 Frith Street
|Opening hours:||8.30am-10.30pm Sun-Wed; 8.30am-11pm Thurs-Sat|
|Transport:||Tube: Tottenham Court Road|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
3.7 / 5
- 5 star:4
- 4 star:10
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:2
pretty nice ramen! not great in portion, but love the seating plan where seats surround the kitchen, cool idea, a great place for lunch with friends but not optimal for dinner as people sit next to each other all facing the kitchen can be difficult to chat while enjoying the food :)
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!
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.
Extremely BAD quality of the food!!! :((( Everything that we ordered tasted really bad...Couldn't even eat a miso soup there...
Good cheap food. Please see my review below:
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
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.
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