I ate at Koya with a couple of friends the other day. It's a compact Japanese canteen style joint in Soho, it's had foodies queueing out the door every night since it opened. The speciality at Koya is home-made udon noodles, served in various interesting ways, along with other Japanese sides, tempura etc.
My knowledge of Japanese food is limited to what I've eaten in few places around London and what I learnt in the week I spent at Nobu Berkely. So i won't bang on about dashi stocks and the process of making udon noodles by hand...because I'd probably have to make it up.
Suffice to say the food was really good. We ate various udon dishes...i had smoked mackerel with green leaves and a cold pouring sauce, friends had a beef curry and a hot miso pork version. All yummy and the noodles were good - chewy, fresh and satisfying.
As good, if not better, were the sides. We had braised cider pork belly, which was rich, sweet and tender (and served with a blob of brilliant fiery-fresh mustard) and tempura cod with lotus root chips. The cod was spot on, crisp, moist and cooked to perfection, served with a dipping sauce, some minced radish etc. We got beetroot and sweet potato crisps instead of the advertised lotus root but who cares, they were good too.
The tempura cod - banging!
£18 a head with a beer each, not bad. Plenty of other interesting variations on the menu too, so I'll be going back soon.
Koya - go try it, even if you're not big on udon-wormy-noodleness.
49 Frith St, Soho.