Sunday, November 3, 2013

Koya, Soho

I have a million and one things to write about my first month in London but with two essays due within the next week, I figured my longer post should come up another day and rather than leave this blog languishing in silence, I thought to share with you (especially those Londoners, or those looking to come down) the best udon I’ve ever had.

Granted, I wouldn’t say that my palate is exactly trained to judge udon on its merits considering how I generally order anything but. However, for someone who doesn’t generally enjoy the taste of noodles which feel as though they’ve gotten too much flour rolled up in them, I pretty much fell in love with this bowl from Koya and am itching to go back for more!

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Although we were told to expect a line, we arrived at Koya and hardly had to wait to be seated. The tables are large and don’t be surprised if you have to share one with people you don’t know (ala school canteen style) but it was warm and inviting.

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The menu was hung up on walls but you get a paper one when you’re served at the table.

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We started with an appetizer that was disappointingly small for its price.

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Kamo Roast – Roast duck (£7.10)

You get a couple of thinly sliced strips of duck which although well-presented and cooked wonderfully (slightly moist in the middle), doesn’t stand out and what you’re getting is basically.. well, duck. Thinking smile

The noodles, on the other hand, are absolute stars. You get a choice of hot noodles and hot broth, or cold noodles and hot broth. Because cold noodles felt more ‘special’, I went with those and with no regret!

Buta Miso Hiya-Atsu – Pork and miso (£9.90)

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The wheat noodles came with a sprinkling of seaweed and were chewy and springy throughout. I was very impressed by how even the texture was and just how ‘non-manufactured’ it tasted. Some noodles, especially ones that thick, have their tips soft and their middle doughy and floury, which is usually what I dislike about udon in general. Also, with cold udon, you don’t have to worry about it being too mushy after sitting in the soup for too long because you get to control how chewy or soft you want your noodles to be.

I soaked them in the hot soup and allowed them to sit for a while, which made it considerably softer whilst retaining its chewiness.

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And the soup.. Oh, the soup!

It was sweet and savoury, with pork that complemented the noodles so incredibly well! On its own, the salty-sweet pork might have been a little overpowering but when had with the noodles, everything blended perfectly. I had it all till the last drop and even then, felt that a little more wouldn’t have hurt.

I don’t know if it’s because of my overly salty half-experience at Bone Daddies where I stole bites of my friends’ bowls of ramen, but the udon here (although it isn’t really fair to compare ((haha ,rhyme))) tastes a lot cleaner, sweeter, and less artificial as a whole. And it definitely didn’t leave me gasping for more water at the end of it due to the saltiness!

I’ll be back again for sure to try the other offerings on the menu, but if you’re undecided and looking for a good and satisfying lunch under 10 quid especially on a cold day, the udon here’s the way to go!

Address:
49 Frith Street
London W1D 4SG

Opening Hours: 
Mon-Sun 12:00-15:00 / 17:30-22:30 (Sun to 22:00)

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hahaha, aiyooo. Stay 'buta' to that section. :P But no seriously, there are loads of halal food areas! If I find good ones, I'll review those too. :D

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