Official Opening Mon 05-Sep-2013
Koya Bar is the new sibling and neighbour to popular Udon specialist, Koya. In addition to serving the familiar Udon favourites it will also open in the morning for traditional Japanese and ‘English-Japanese fusion’ breakfasts.
Koya is loved by many as one of the best places for udon noodles in London. Unlike ramen, which has seen multiple venues like Tonkotsu, Shoryu Ramen and Bone Daddies fighting for business, Koya seems to hold the monopoly for the distinct thick wheat flour style udon noodle.
For those of you familiar with the previous tenant of this space, Mooli, you probably won’t recognise the completely redesigned site. There is now a large kitchen running almost the entire depth of the area surrounded by 12 stools.
THE BREAKFAST MENU is divided into two main sections ‘Udon Noodles’ and ‘Rice’ (i.e. congee) with optional ‘Extra Toppings’ on one side with ‘Small Plates and ‘Soft Drinks’ on the other.
Udon fans can choose between ‘Kake’ (Plain Noodles); ‘Kama Tama’ (with egg and soy sauce); ‘Curry’ and ‘English Breakfast’ (with fried egg, bacon and shiitake). Rice fans can choose between ‘Okayu’ (porridge, pickel tsukudani and egg); ‘Kinoko’ (porridge and mushrooms); ‘Kedgeree’ (with smoked haddock , poached egg and curry); ‘English Breakfast + Okayu’ (with fried egg bacon, shiitake and miso soup); or Yakizakana (grilled fish, miso soup and pickle)
I’m sure that someone who is more familiar Japanese than I am can comment on the authenticity of the food, however I opted for the Anglicised “English Breakfast” rice option.
The English Breakfast comes in three parts, firstly a plate with an egg fried on one side with an intact yolk (i.e. sunny side up) with two whole small shiitake mushrooms and two rashers of English style bacon, (not the ultra crispy US version). A large bowl contains a good serving of plain rice congee and a third smaller bowl holds a miso soup.
I am not a frequent ‘congee eater’, however I did find that the salt from the bacon works well with rice porridge. For someone who has grown up eating the stereotype of a Full English Breakfast the whole experience was an interesting break from the norm. Try it out, you only live once… let me know what you think!
Koya Bar officially opens on Mon 02-Sep-2013