A Bib Gourmand sets a pretty clear expectation in your mind; tasty food at a reasonable price. Well, Koya in Soho is neither of those things, so vialaporte is confused why this Japanese canteen has managed to hold onto this rating for the 2013 guide.
Typical of places riding on a PR buzz, the ‘no booking policy’ doesn’t stop queues from forming outside the restaurant, even on a blustery wet night. Knowing how popular this place is has certainly done nothing to make the front of house staff welcoming; quite the opposite. Smug and abrupt would be better descriptions.
Food wise, don’t expect either value for money or taste sensations. Our enduring imagine of Koya, is that they could learn a trick or two from some well known chains. The kamo roast duck breast was basically executed with a flat soy soup, some spring onions and a knock-your-head-off wasabi paste; completely unbalanced.
The ten curry don featured one solitary tempura prawn in a curry sauce that tasted like it came out of a packet. The soba with smoked mackerel and green leaves was similarly dissatisfying, with the mackerel’s taste so strong that even the hardiest of fishy fish eaters might wince.
Value hunters beware; your dinner money would be better spent elsewhere…