Aug 18 2012



I love good noodles, the kind of noodles Kung Fu Panda’s dad makes, and often when I have been craving noodles I go to Wagamama, only to be disappointed by the lack of quality and flavours. So you can imagine how excited I was when I read in a food blog that Koya was one of the best noodle places in London, so on a nice Saturday morning I went there to satisfy my craving for good noodles. 


Koya is located in Soho and serves Udon noodles, which are the thick and white noodles (which actually people rarely have as most people opt for the thinner, supposedly less calorific noodles). Koya is one of those places in Soho where you can’t book and as Koya is very small (just like Pitt Cue Co) and there is always a queue outside waiting to eat the famous noodles. The place inside looks very simple, plain colours and the outside of the entrance is covered with a blue cloth with some Japanese writing on it, so it is simple but at the same time trendy in a subtle Japanese sort of way. We arrived at Koya at 12.30 and for some lucky reason were the last ones to get a table without having to wait. I studied the menu which had a few sections, you could have hot udon noodles in hot broth, cold udon noodles with hot broth or cold udon noodles with cold sauces (some are to dip and some are to pour) and you can have all these noodle with meat, fish, tempura etc, so there are about 10 variations for each type of noodle on the menu. If you don’t feel like udon noodles you can also have some donburi, which is rice in a bowl with things added to it or Koya small plates. 


I love hot noodles in a hot broth ever since my school days when I was obsessed with instant/ pot noodles but I had read in a blog and spoken to a friend and both recommended to have the cold noodles with the hot broth as they apparently were more flavoursome, which I would not have normally chosen. So I ordered Ten Hiya Atsu, cold noodles with a hot broth accompanied with prawn and vegetable tempura. Boyfriend surprisingly also chose the cold noodles with the cold broth accompanied with some chicken, called Tori Hiya Atsu. We also chose some Koya small dishes, the Otsukemono, which was house made pickles and Kaiso salad, which was a mixed seaweed salad. I loved the pickles and the seaweed salad, but then again I always knew I would like them; I could eat these type of things the whole day nonstop. When my noodle dish arrived it looked very impressive. On one plate I got these big, thick noodles that looked super fresh and soft and tasted great, I am sure even kung fu panda’s dad could not make better. I dipped most of the noodles in the hot broth, which was delicious and was eating this and once in a while taking some pieces of tempura that were brought to me on a different plate. There was a lot of tempura, and even though I have had better tempura, for 13 pounds and for the amount I got, I could not have asked for anything more. I really liked my dish, I was getting exactly what I wanted. My boyfriend however was not so keen, he got the same noodles as I did, but with those he got a warm broth with chicken in it, and for him what ruined the dish was the fact that the chicken was boiled (he loves chicken but only friend chicken so he was complaining this is not what he wanted), and he also thought the pieces of chicken he got were not the best quality ones, but then again it is the bones which make the broth flavoursome and not chicken filet, so I am sure in native Japan this is exactly the kind of chicken they use, so I think he was a bit silly ordering this in the first place. So if you go to Koya chose carefully the dishes you want to have as some of them may arrive different to what you have imagined and then you won’t fully enjoy the noodle place. I liked Koya a lot and will be coming back to have some hot noodles and hot broth. Yummy!  


Price for 2 including service charge, no alcohol £37.51

Date: 18/08/12

Location: Soho 

Koya on Urbanspoon

Maija rated: 



49 Frith Street, W1D 4SG
United Kingdom
Koya Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4