Koya Bar

50 Frith Street , London, W1D 4SQ

1 reviews

30 Japanese Soho

SquareMeal Review of Koya Bar

The guys behind Soho noodle favourite Koya have launched a cheap-and-cheerful, stripped-back mini version of their big hitter in the premises next door (formerly occupied by Mooli). Given the lack of space, the all-day Koya Bar can only accommodate around 25 hungry slurpers, with stools allowing everyone to watch the action in the tiny open kitchen behind the blond-wood counter. Fans of the big place will recognise favourites such as udon with mushrooms and walnut miso, but there are some novel new ideas too. One real treat is the offer of a genuine Japanese breakfast – anything from traditional grilled fish with miso soup, rice and pickles to a ‘full English’ comprising a soupy broth topped with fried egg, bacon and (shiitake) mushrooms. For real comfort, however, order a bowl of rice porridge with various savoury additions.

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

Tottenham Court Road Tube Station 233m

Leicester Square Tube Station 312m


Address: 50 Frith Street , London W1D 4SQ

Area: Soho

Opening times

Mon-Sun 8am-11pm


Food & Drink: 10.0

Service: 8.0

Atmosphere: 10.0

Value: 8.0

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Vi V. gold reviewer 04 February 2016

Koya Bar, Frith Street – Koya Bar is a proper Japanese noodle bar. In the night of Soho lights, it sits humbly among the other eateries with their attractive and catchy signs. A black shop front with large glass window and a one door entrance, it would have been easier to keep an eye out for their logo. Did it attract any less customers? No, in fact, queues can build up easily as seating are limited. Koya Bar does not take reservations and you will only be seated when all of your companions have arrived. fish and chips £9.10 – served as a starter, small plate, sharing style it is the Koya's take on English fish and chips. Brilliant! I suspect that the chips were from a sweet vegetable like plantain or sweet potato. It was feather light like the batter on the fish. No vinegar or tomato sauce but served with their dipping sauce of radish and spring onions, it was so delicious that we didn't stop eating until the plate was empty. kamonabe (duck and vegetable hot pot) £14.30 – from a spectator's view, I thought that they were a little mean on the duck and vegetable. My dining companion confirmed that it had the proper proportion of udon to filling to broth. It was good but the broth was a little on the oily side. hiya-hiya zaru udon tenzaru (cold udon with cold sauce to dip with prawn and vegetable tempura) £13.90 – after the fish and chips, I was glad that I chose the tempura to go with my noodles. It was delightfully crispy and each bite into the batter was so satisfying. The kind of batter that possibly every OCD foodie/chef is trying to create at home. I give up, and will just dine here from now on. The assortment of vegetables were all but one slightly undercooked. With Koya Bar, it was more than just the food. The place exudes the Japanese culture of eating and looking around the place for a moment, I could be fooled that we were in Japan. Koya Bar was full and most had their heads down totally engrossed in their bowls of udon, I was quite amazed that a steaming hot broth noodles was favoured equally well in the West as in Asia. I thought it was only the kind of dish only understood by the Asians. Seating by the bar might not be suitable on certain occasions – like if you have a crowd of friends or have sharing dishes - but on second thoughts, sitting opposite someone who slurps their noodles is not particularly inviting. I still have to work my way through the menu - udon noodles being the main which comes with different toppings, rice in donburi style and various small plates to choose from. Not to mention that there are specials from time to time. What seemed like a small portion of noodles turned out to be quite filling and with a small plate to share between the two of us, I was full. A good place for simple yet flavoursome food. No desserts served and I did find myself wanting one. Koya Bar exudes a casualness with personality and integrity. It is not the kind of glamorous place with awkward formalities, numerous cutlery, hostile service and an expensive menu that makes you think twice but if I were taken on a date here, I am glad to walk away with the date that knows and has good taste! Will I be back for more? You can certainly count on it!