Newly opened in the summer of 2013, Koya Bar is a new restaurant project that was created by the same people behind Koya restaurant which is just next door on Frith Street in Soho. I was a huge fan of Koya when I visited so when I discovered that they had just opened a new Japanese restaurant I wasted no time to check it out. After speaking to one of the waiters, she explained that Koya bar will be serving more traditional Japanese food while Koya itself has a more fusion lead style of blending western and Japanese concepts, but the udon noodles are the same in both sites.
It is a tiny place where you sit behind the bar overseeing an open kitchen, we ordered a few specials off the board, the savoy cabbage tempura was a very interesting dish, the tempura was well fried and the cabbage was still moist and juicy with the lovely natural sweetness coming through nicely. The braised pork belly with cider was wonderfully executed, super tender meat with lovely seasoning and dressing, it was so good I had to order another one.
|soy pickled daikon|
|savoy cabbage tempura|
|braised pork belly with cider|
The special cha shu pork trotter soup udon was in a league on its own, the pork broth was a little heavier to the usual Koya udon style, the cha shu had lovely seasoning and the udon was silky and smooth as expected. The curry rice bowl with prawn tempura on the other hand was a little average, not much difference to lesser Japanese places around London.
|cha shu pork trotter soup udon|
|ten curry don curry with prawn tempura|
I really enjoyed the whole experience at Koya Bar a lot, it has a great atmosphere, decent service and tremendous simple Japanese food. Sitting behind the bar watching the chefs in action with all the lovely aroma spreading across the kitchen was a real joy. Bear in mind Koya Bar along with Koya continues to have different daily special menus on the special board and it is a must try for anyone who is a fan of Japanese food.
£26 per head
50 Frith Street London W1D 4SQ