Thursday, 13 May 2010


summer continues to elude britain. post-yoga on wednesday i wanted something warm and soothing for dinner so o and i headed to koya, a new udon bar. it’s been reviewed a lot on blogs and in the metro which explains the queue outside it. we stood shuffling and fidgeting in the cold for a good twenty minutes before being let in. i love udon especially if it is boiled to perfection, unlike the tangled sticky mass served up at some places around town. i’m an udon novice though, only ever having eaten it hot. at koya udon comes in different forms, hot in hot broth, cold with hot broth, cold with a cold dipping sauce. it’s a bit daunting for the first timer and i’ll probably do a little research before i go back next.

that said, given the elusive summer both o and i settled for hot udon – i went for the udon with tofu and o for the chicken hot pot. for starters we had umeboshi [pickled plums] and japanese tea for o and hot ginger for me. the ginger tea was a tad bit too sweet. i like the slightly punchy note of ginger and was slightly thick so i think i’ll forgo it the next time round. i loved the strong tartness and sourness of the pickle which i am sure isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. it’s nice with tea though.

my hot udon was really good - a clear deeply flavourful broth with plenty of thick udon. i was however disappointed by the meagre tofu, almost akin to the garnish of spring onions. o’s hotpot was a bowlful of spring colours, greens wilting in the heat of the broth, a pearly white poached egg and slices of chicken. he said he enjoyed his.

i haven’t quite made up my mind if i’ll be going back again. i don’t doubt the excellence of the udon but have mixed feelings about the frugality with which condiments were added. the meat dishes are understandably pricier than the veggie ones but for almost a tenner they were on the steep side.

49 frith street| w1d 4sg

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