Koya Ko

Japanese, Noodles·

SquareMeal Review of Koya Ko

Koya Ko Hackney is the third restaurant from this small chain, which already has two venues in Soho and the City. While those branches have a more formal set-up, the latest addition is cute and compact, offering diners fast-food style service and a quick seat while they munch the likes of udon noodles, miso soup and Japanese curry.

While the initial concept is a bit confusing (we saw people queuing outside the door, not realising they needed to order at the counter and grab a seat themselves), the hubbub of the restaurant is enticingly lively. Bag yourself a stool inside or spot on a bench just off Broadway Market before picking from the menu, and you can be sure you’ll have something tasty to eat.

In terms of what to pick exactly, Koya Ko Hackney’s menu has been carefully curated from its big sister restaurants. We’d recommend getting some Chicken Kara-Age from the snack section, which is succulent fried chicken coated in a mix of spices, and a fresh plate of farm greens known as Namayasi Green Salad. Moving onto mains and you can’t go wrong with the Miso Classic, a salty, tangy pork and ginger soup. Or, give the KO Curry! a try, which draws from Indian influences with smoky fish flavours. Drinks wise, Koya Ko is fun place to try a selection of sake and umeshu, of which we particularly liked the Choya Umeshu. Sweet and syrupy, it comes in a dinky glass bottle and hides a little alcohol-soaked plum inside.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Under £30
Japanese, Noodles
Eat at Home
Cool, Fun, Lively, Quirky
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating
Food Hygiene Rating


Koya Ko is the younger sibling site to already established Koya – a specialist udon restaurant run by by John Devitt and Shuko Od. After eleven years in the heart of Soho at its original address and a secondary site in The City, this outlet sees a shift towards East London with its trendy Broadway Market location.

This time things are more casual, with the inspiration for the site coming from Japan’s busy, functional noodle bars that are found across the country in train stations and have proven popular dining spots for people from all walks of life. Noodles don't discriminate. 

Here, there's a small dining room which is walk ins only, so you don’t have to wait months to bag a table happily, you can just turn up. There’s also seating that spills onto the market where you can soak up the lively atmosphere on warm evenings or enjoy some sunshine come lunchtime. There’s a quirky standing counter too, where solo guests are encouraged to grab a quick bite to eat. Staying true to its roots, this dinky space also churns out great takeaway, so even if you don't manage to grab a seat (there is only space for 15 covers inside, and 25 covers outside) you can still enjoy a steaming hot bowl of noodles down at the canal or from the comfort of your own couch.

While dishes are staunchly Japanese, they make the most of the best British ingredients to ensure a freshness and vibrancy that can only be achieved through produce that hasn't had to travel far. Think British vegetables seasoned with Japanese spices and sauces.

While the menu might be familiar, this site has its own special surprises and offers a fun twist on the original. Mainstays of course include the signature udon noodles and dashi broth, both of which the team make fresh every day.


Does Koya Ko have outside seating?

Yes, there's a terrace at the front of the restaurant which actually holds more people than the inside does.

Helpful? 0


12 Broadway Market Mews, London, E8 4TS


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