Sunday, September 12, 2010

KOYA - Japanese Udon in London

I love noodles, and lately, have been eating a lot of them. Any chance I can get, I order Soba, Udon or Ramen...or even just plain old pancit. During my last trip to London, my cousin told me we had to try this new place of her friend..called Koya. I asked her what they specialized in and she said Udon! How can I say no?

Koya is located in Soho area of London (the trendy restaurants, Pubs and shops are all located there). We were lucky to get a table quick, as they do not accept reservations and are packed most of the time the whole day. For starters, I had a small bowl of Onsen Tamago (Poached Egg), a cold Dashi soup, served with a small poached egg (Quail Egg I presume). This dish was great, very refreshing.

We then ordered 2 small dishes before hitting the noodles: Fish and Chips (Cod Tempura with Lotus root Chips) and Kakuni (Braised Pork Belly in Cider). The Fish and Chips were excellent small cuts of cod, perfectly cooked tempura style with Lotus Chips. The Lotus chips were very addicting!. The Porke Belly, very ultra soft, stringy pork, with a slightly sweetish sauce. It was served with a little English Mustard, which gave it a little extra heat.

After these excellent dishes, we had the specialty of the house: UDON. Basically they are thicky sticky noodles. All of the noodles are made fresh that day in their underground facilities, with most if not all raw ingredients flown in from Japan.

We ordered 2 dishes: Atsu-Atsu (hot udon on hot broth) and Hiya-Hiya (Zaru Udon - cold noodles on cold broth to dip). Both excellent, although at that time I was in the mood for cold Udon, this was excellent fresh noodles, a very clear broth full of flavor. The broth for the Zaru was cold, with chopped onion leaks, sesame seeds and Ginger

Hot Udon

Cold Udon

I had the chance to meet the owner, who was not Japanese (as I would have expected) but Irish. He traveled to japan to learn how this was made and decided on this restaurant, that really specializes in just noodles. One of my new favorite places to go when I'm in London. I will be back soon... (actually, the same day I had lunch there, I returned for dinner and ordered exactly the same food...go figure)


Noel said...

... (actually, the same day I had lunch there, I returned for dinner and ordered exactly the same food...go figure)

Somehow, I am not surprised as you are a creature of habit as am I.

Case in point: you had cod fish tempura.

You were all the way in London and, still, managed to order bacalao!

Miguel said...

Ys you are rigth..I kjeep on going back to the places I like!

The Cod Fish Tempura was great

Keiichi said...

Hi Mig
This Udon place looks great. I am from Kobe and Udon is comfort food for people from Kansai (Osaka/Kobe/Kyoto and further west). The lotus chips, kakuni and hiya-hiya look extremely appetizing.

Anonymous said...

Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

Anonymous said...

Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!