Updated (24 November) to include official opening date. Check back next week for a first look at the new site.
It’s been in the works for a long time, but details have finally emerged about the much-feted, long-awaited follow-up to Soho institution and London essential Koya Bar seating 60 covers, the new location will open on Monday 4 December, with a ‘soft launch’ period — where all food will be 50% off — until 9 December. It will then officially open with full prices from 11 December.
It will be open seven days, bringing the serene atmosphere and considered cooking that makes the Soho outpost what it is to the City. As in Soho, udon and dashi will be made in-house, daily; as in Soho, a Japanese breakfast will anchor the menu; as in Soho, the ubiquitous blackboard will be a platform for special dishes that challenge, broaden and shatter the assumptions that many, naively, consider to represent Japanese cuisine.
Essential dishes like English Breakfast Udon and Kinoko Hot Udon with Mushrooms and Walnut Miso will be matched by new creations — Poached Egg and Bonito Rice at breakfast and Kakiage Tempura Udon Noodle at dinner.
Design will follow suit in taking cues from Soho with unique accents. In collaboration with Takamasa Kikuchi, Koya in the City will persist with a seating arrangement balanced between the counter and the tables, upon a floor of restored blue quarry tiles. Dishes will be served in ceramics designed to enhance their character, with the noren indicating whether the restaurant is open or not being replicated from Soho.
Another new addition will appear in the shape of a sake list, priced across the board to offer both affordable editions and more exclusive bottles. All in all, it’s a case of “same same but different” for Koya in the City — given that Soho is such a winning formula, it’s not hard to see their latest venture following in its hallowed footsteps.