The petite Koya Bar has stuck a big udon finger up to the mainstream London breakfast offering with it’s hard-core, no nonsense Japanese menu. As long as you are in London, you will not find a remotely similar breakfast to the menu served at Koya, it wouldn’t be an millimeter out of place in the heart of Tokyo. My breakfast here was certainly a unique experience!
The excitingly alien menu is separated in to two sections; ‘Udon’, and ‘Rice’. Of which I present…
Dish 1: The ‘Japanese Breakfast’ – whole grilled fish with sticky rice, miso soup and pickle. It was an impressive, perfectly served, light and lean dish which didn’t offend too much but it was too early to stomach more then a few mouthfuls. I can now understand why Asian women are so slim! NB: don’t even think of asking for a knife and fork, strictly chopsticks only.
Dish 2: The ‘English Breakfast’. You may have thought, as I did, that this was a safe back up option for the frightened, hungry Londoner. Well, think again moron! Koya don’t care for you’re stodgy, flavourful needs! You’ll get miso soup, rice porridge (which is essentially blitzed sticky white rice), a slither of bacon, a cold egg and two thimble sized shiitake mushrooms. Knock yourself out.
Dish 4: ‘Kedgeree’. Porridge with smoked haddock, poached egg and curry which was the most enjoyable of all. The curry flavour brought the ‘porridge’ to life, and the fish was fresh and delicious. Hypothetically, if I were to suffer from memory loss and find myself returning to Koya Bar pre 12 midday, I would choose to endure the Kedgeree again.
Dish 5: Please note, I will always whole-heartedly encourage anyone to jump outside of their comfort menu and try such foods as these Japanese ‘delights’ but there is one thing which you absolutely must sample, and it is called ‘KINOKO’: Porridge with mushrooms. It looked great, sounded okay, but savagely insulted my taste buds. I’d describe it as watery blitzed plasterboard mush with angry slugs on top. I tried not to gag, but it was written all over my face. I was now a visible intruder in Koya’s perfect grease-free barley-tea laden Asian pod of purity. I spare you the photograph.
In summary, Koya Bar is bonkers to me. A nirvana for Japanese visitors to London, a nemesis for the traditional Brit. A unforgattable experience none the less. For me, The Breakfast Club wins on satisfaction, Koya Bar recieves the innovation prize.