I didn’t have much time in London, but I had promised myself to stop by Koya Bar, which is a Japanese udon bar on Frith Street in Soho. Udon are thick, Japanese noodles, typically served in a clear brown broth. At Koya Bar they also have more creative udon versions, but when it comes to Japanese food, I’m quite conservative, no California Rolls for me please, but when I saw the English Breakfast Udon on the menu, I got curious, and I decided to give it a try anyway.
After having placed my order, it only took a couple of minutes before at bowl of smoking hot noodle soup topped with bacon and a fried egg landed on my table. Do you remember the bacon ramen I had a Vandal last year? One of the worst fusions I’ve ever had, and still to be found among the Top 3 on my “worst things I’ve ever ate” list. The English Breakfast udon at Koya Bar appeared far more thought out, and even though I’m still not sure what to think of the fried egg, the smoked flavor from the bacon went surprisingly well with the soup. The noodles at Koya Bar are made in-house, which I guessed before the staff told me. You could easily tell from the perfect, silky-smooth texture combined with a subtle bounciness, which you only find in fresh noodles. Very delicious. Should I come by Koya Bar again, I think I would order one of their more traditional bowls, but If you’re feeling adventurous, the English Breakfast udon is definitely not a bad choice.
I also had a cup of Japanese ume kombucha, which is a tea made from dried kelp mixed with a mashed pickled plum (umeboshi). The flavor is salty with a hint of sour, and I know a lot of people, who can’t stand it. Personally, I love everything umeboshi, and ume kombucha is a nice variation from your usual cup of tea.