Koya on Frith Street seems to have a huge following so much so that it's opened the 'Koya Bar' two doors down to cope with the success of the original.
Now, this can't really be counted under my quest for the best Ramen as it's a udon noodle soup and therefore it would be unfair to compare the light miso soup with that of a punchy pork broth. But what I can tell you is that the noodles here are outstanding. Slowly but surely my love of Wagamama's from years ago is creeping further away and I find myself paying the same price for something more authentic and delicious.
Koya bar is small, possibly seating 20 or so hungry Londoners at a bar surrounding the 'kitchen'. This is something I enjoy when sat with ones own company as you can interact with the staff and are never once ignored.
Slightly confused by the several options of either hot noodles in hot broth, cold noodles in hot broth, cold noodles with cold dipping in sauce, or cold noodles with a cold pouring sauce. Decisions, decisions, I ordered the Tori Atsu-Atsu (chicken in a hot broth - noodles in the broth) purely for ease and also as I was unsure of what to do if presented with noodles on a plate, broth and other bits - do you add it all in? Dip it as you go? Eat it separately? I've never had food-scare but this could have been a first. I sadly did not notice the specials board until I was leaving, I am told these are always extremely delicious (session two calls already) and sell out quickly. So if you do go, make sure you ask to see the board if it is not up yet.
The bowl of goodness arrived. Simple, honest... goodness.
The chicken sadly was a little chewy and slightly unappetising so I left most of this. But the broth had a really cleansing taste to it and certainly not overwhelming in taste at all more soothing and warming, a really pleasant dish to slurp on. The main element to the dish were the hand made noodles which were excellent and had the perfect textured bite to them and it was obvious they have done their Udon homework. I left feeling satisfied, healthy and only £11 lighter.
Address: 50 Frith Street, London, W1D 4SQ