Koya: Umami and high fashion

I love noodle soups. Actually I love soups, especially the Asian clear but umami-packed broths for which noodles provide the right foil, adding texture and flavor contrast. I heart soba, I heart ramen, but somehow I never had a thing for udon. Too fat, too chewy and somehow just not my thing

But I developed a craving for an umami hit mid-morning and without a Ramen Champion or a Soba-ya in the vicinity, I had to settle for udon at Koya. I’d been intending to try it for some time anyway after hearing much good press but as you guessed it, got put off by the queues.

So, the verdict? Pretty good!


I had the cold noodles with hot pork broth ( you can have the noodles hot with hot broth, cold with hot broth or cold with a dipping sauce) with an onsen tamago (which everyone raves about). The broth was delish and delivered just the umami hit I needed, though a touch on the sweet side. I experimented with the noodles, leaving them to warm up in the broth for a while as well as having them cold with the hot broth, and favoured them the latter style. The cold noodles were much more of a contrast. But the best was slurping (and I do mean slurping!) the onsen tamago with the broth.

The thing about eating alone at the bar is that you end up getting to know your neighbours. The guy next to me ordered all the specials of the day (instead of noodles) – breakfast raddish and baby carrots with sesame miso, fish and sea lettuce croquettes, butter-fried lemon sole with wakame – and claimed it was all very delicious. You’ll have to take his word for it, it turns out that he is a famous fashion photographer married to a supermodel.  (You were wondering where the high fashion would kick in, weren’t you?)

I dine in style, that’s all I can say.


Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Good for: Casual mid-week catch-up with friends, Date with foodie and Meeting Fashion Celebs

This entry was posted in Japanese, London, Restaurants, Soho and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Koya: Umami and high fashion

  1. Pingback: Foodie postcard: California ramen dreaming | travellingtummies

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