I don’t remember how I stumbled across Koya Bar in Soho, but I know it was sometime before my graduation from King’s College in 2015; I went with my divorced parents, half-sister, and then-boyfriend-now-husband. My mom ordered curry udon soup, I told her she wasn’t going to like it because she’d never had Japanese curry before, she ordered it anyway, didn’t like it, and then switched meals with my dad. A magical time.
This is one of my favorite little places in London (25 seats arranged around a long bar), with delicious and authentic low-key Japanese food in a city swamped with fast-food Anglicized sushi and bento boxes. Originally part of a pair of restaurants, Koya Bar was left alone when its sister restaurant, Koya, closed in 2015. One of its most interesting dishes is the English breakfast udon with bacon, shiitake, and fried egg, but the rest of the menu is just as delicious and comforting.
Menu Sampling: In four options: hot broth and hot udon, hot broth and cold noodles, cold noodles with cold dipping broth, cold noodles with cold broth to pour; flavors include sweet tofu and spring onions, duck, English breakfast, mushrooms and walnut miso, curry, and prawn tempura.
50 Frith Street
Monday to Wednesday 8:30 am to 10:30 pm
Thursday to Friday 8:30 am to 11 pm
Saturday 9:30 am to 11 pm
Sunday 9:30 am to 10 pm