Koya Bar stands quietly in the middle of Soho, London, set among cool alleyways full of cafes, restaurants, gay bars, and creative production companies. Despite minimal advertising and a low-key appearance, with only a little red shed-shaped sign (Koya means a shed in Japanese) in front, Koya Bar is extremely popular. Through word of mouth, customers discover Koya Bar and keep coming back (I am one of them). Its atmosphere is serene and down to earth, the complete opposite of narcissism and cravings for the limelight. I met Shuko Oda, head chef and part-owner, who also gives an impression of genuine sincerity and honesty. She is a modern version of a food shokunin (craftsman, artisan in Japanese).
July 17, 2019
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