Queues of young trendies and fans of the cult ‘noodle movie' Tampopo have been congregating outside no-bookings Koya since the day it opened, hoping for a taste of its traditional, specially kneaded treats. ‘Big, fat' udon noodles are the house special, served in a hot broth with a choice of toppings, from hot-smoked mackerel and green leaves to a giant tempura prawn – or you can sample them cold with dipping/pouring sauces. Though the crowds come for Koya's slippery slurping stuff, its small plates are also worth a go: hot tips range from ‘excellent' kaiso (mixed seaweed salad) to cubes of braised pork belly steeped in sweet cider or sliced duck with delicate spring onion dressing. Communal tables in the pokey dining room don't suit everyone and service can be slow, but Koya's central location and ‘cheapish' bills make amends.
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