Friday, 20 July 2012

Frugal Foodie About Town

Mmmm, food.

I adore good food: shopping for it, cooking it, and having it cooked for me. So lucky me for having on my very doorstep the diverse wealth of London's markets, delis, food emporia, restaurants, cafes, food stalls, pop-ups . . . the opportunities for indulgence are endless.

Food is a passion shoulder-bargingly close to my love of all things London, so I may occasionally border on the evangelical in sharing the joy - or disappointments - of my culinary discoveries. I don't accept payments/bribes/free stuff for any reviews so you can be sure they will always be genuine, honest and from the heart (stomach?) - and as such, you (or indeed, the owners of the establishments) may disagree with them entirely. Or partially. Or you may find your new favourite foodie spot, in which case my work here is done. Feel free to add a comment, send me a recommendation, tell your friends.

I'm also continuously watching my pennies, so places that are both fabulous and reasonably-priced are my holy grail. Top of my list currently has to be Koya, in Frith Street.

To say this is a good Japanese noodle bar is like saying that Stephen Fry is not bad with words: Koya takes the humble Udon to reverential heights. The duck with cold noodles and hot broth is awesomely good, and the tempura is heavenly - perfectly light and crisp. It is simple food, done incredibly well - which means that you can eat in a top 100 listed, Central London restaurant for around £15-£20 per head. Cool or what?

You can't book, but I tend to start queuing about 15-20 minutes before they open and have always got a seat so far. Sit on the benches (or the step) and people-watch while you wait, or check out the blue plaque on the building opposite commemorating Mozart's stay here during his only visit to London, as a child.

Eating noodles in broth always makes me feel inordinately healthy too, so I can gratify my senses, my conscience and my bank manager all at the same time. (Oh, and any restaurant whose web page begins 'Noodle saves planet!' is okay with me.) Sometimes, life is good.

May the Udon be with you,
Yours, Girl About Town xx

Square MealKoya on Urbanspoon

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