Koya City, Bloomberg Arcade: restaurant review
Koya caters to the city as Shuko Oda and John Devitt open their second Japanese noodle bar in the middle of Bloomberg's European headquarters
- By Jordan Kelly-Linden -
What's the draw
When word got out that Koya was moving to the City, we were a little apprehensive. Shuko Oda and John Devitt's dark and intimate Japanese noodle bar on Frith Street is one of our favourite spots in London, but Koya's second outpost in the harsh glass concourse of the Bloomberg Arcade had us wondering how well the unique thrill that oft comes with snagging a much coveted seat at Koya Soho would travel. As it turns out, it does so pretty well. Koya City might not seem as cosy, but as soon as a bowl of those famed handmade udon slide to a stop in front of you, you'll be back to feeling like it's just you, the noodles and nothing else in the world.
What to drinkView on Instagram
There's an extensive sake offering (as you'd expect), but whenever we're due to slurp up hot noodle broth, we often vie for a beer. The smooth and malty Kirin Ichiban is a solid choice – and one of the only ones, unless you're keen for some Kernel.
What to eat
You're obviously here for oodles of noodles, but before you get on to the main event, we'd suggest crunching through some prawn heads. Sounds… er, unusual, but hear us out. They're deep fried, served with sesame salt and all-in-all are rich and taste slightly nutty. If you're not sure about those, then the Kakuni braised cider pork belly should be next on your list. It's sweet, melty and served with a wasabi-like paste that gives off just a tickle of heat – a perfect pair to that fatty, meaty belly. When it comes to the udon, you can go three ways: hot noodles bathed in hot broth, cold udon in a steaming bowl of the stuff, or chilled through and through. Like us, you could say hello to the rest of your prawn with the astu astu (hot udon in hot broth) prawn tempura or mix things up with cold noodles served alongside a hot, umami-laced broth with ribbons of tender beef. Either way, you can't go wrong.
Mains from £6.90; beer from £3.80. 10-12 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR; koya.co.uk