In Japan there are three main types of noodles: ramen, soba and udon and Koya specialises in the latter. A thick and chewy noodle with a rectangular cross-section, these worms of wonder are handmade, or rather foot made at Koya’s noodle workshop in the city every day the traditional way, by kneading the dough with your feet. The history of the udon noodles goes way back, and like many things started in China. It was then interpreted in various ways and forms in different regions of Japan, which ranges from smaller 'ear-shaped' udon to the long, thick chewy noodles served at Koya.
Co-founded by John Devitt and Shuko Oda in 2010, Koya forms a three-strong family of Japanese restaurants: Koya Soho, Koya City and Koya Ko, Hackney - the latter of which launched on Broadway Market in September 2021. Revered for their addictive homemade noodles and dashi, the fruits of Koya have hooked the capital.
Koya English breakfast noodles are a fan favourite and go down in legend for destroying hangovers and warming souls. Whether you choose to buy premade udon noodles or get your feet involved, this recipe for Koya’s iconic anglo-Japanese dish should be made at home on repeat. Consisting of a deeply savoury and satisfying bowl of hot dashi broth, chewy noodles, crispy bacon, egg, and shitake mushrooms, it’s a crowd-pleaser and a best friend.
“When we started serving breakfast at Koya it was obvious that we’d have a traditional Japanese breakfast on the menu- that consists of grilled fish, rice and miso soup” says Shuko. “It's always been important to me for the food we serve to reflect where we are rather than just be a 'traditional' Japanese noodle shop. This is why ‘English breakfast’ was a natural choice, and rather than serving it with toast we decided to offer bacon, shiitake mushroom and eggs fried in butter and on top of noodles and dashi. Little did I realise that this combination was a match made in heaven and one that got us all hooked!”