Kiln Soho


Kiln, Soho

The Smoking Goat is a restaurant which set everyone’s tongues wagging for a bit; Ben Chapman’s take on Thai barbecue (alongside Fred Peihl). They received fantastic review after fantastic review. As someone who, intentionally, surrounds herself with people sharing my love of food I had repeatedly been told to visit. The general consensus was I simply had to go.

Whilst I’m yet to try the commended Smoking Goat, I visited Kiln on Brewer Street recently. It’s founded by Ben Chapman also; the self-taught chef who used to be a designer.  

The Thai Barbecue restaurant is nestled away moments from the slightly busier surroundings of Carnaby Street, but in the perfect location for those wanting to avoid anything too touristy. With a no-booking policy for anything under 4 people, we arrived with an hours wait until we could be seated; but given it was 7pm on a Saturday night I was expecting a lot longer.

As you walk in, there is a giant metal bar-table separating the restaurant from the kitchen which is dimly lit throughout.

A trail of young chefs take the stage in-front of diners; each with certain items on the menu under their control. We’re facing the kiln – right at the far end on the corner. Perfect for watching over the kitchen-turned-restaurant.

The atmosphere is perfect; loud enough that you can’t eardrop people’s conversations, quiet enough to enjoy one another’s company.

The menu changes daily subject to ingredients, but some items remain and rightly so. It’s recommended that between two, you choose around 7-8 dishes following a similar style to tapas. My favourite type of dining, as I’ve mentioned before, is this style; you’re able to try everything rather than being confined to one dish.

The dishes come out at a steady pace; quick but not overwhelmingly so. First we’re given the Laos-style pollock, chilli and roasted rice laap; delicious, tender and very spicy. Whilst spice isn’t necessarily to my liking; it was delicious. You are able to request the level of spice on each dish if you please.

The aged lamb and cumin skewer and Mangalitsa Belly & Brown Crab meat claypot baked noodles came next; the aged lamb was tasty, but nothing to write home about. Whilst on the other hand, the claypot noodles were delicious; mixed with a zesty lime sauce on the side the combination of the salty pork-crab combo noodles and the sauce makes for a fantastic combination of flavours. I seriously contemplated fighting for the final forkful; it truly is a must order on the menu.

In one bigger bulk we were given; Southern Style Dry Pork Curry, Slow Grilled Chicken & Soy, Stir Fried Cornish Greens and Soy and Brown Jasmine Rice.

Now let me firstly highlight my favourite; the chicken and stir-fried greens. The sauce both dishes came covered in really is incredible; I am told the palm sugar included makes the hugest difference in taste. But – I mean – I would liken the sauce to some kind of highly addictive drug. I literally scooped, dipped and drizzled everything I could in it. The chicken, even without the sauce, was moist and flavoursome; the kind of chicken that any future meals will fail to live up to.

Finally we waited, but my god was it worth it. The Grilled Mangalitsa Pork Neck; served on a wooden board with a tangy sauce. Honestly, again, it was a dish which didn’t need the sauce but it perfectly complemented it. Whilst normally I am not a huge pork eater; the smoky, moreish flavour was the ultimate winner for me.

We didn’t drink much; but it’s worth noting they do a good Cab Sav too. Easily drinkable and well-priced.

For two people, 8 dishes, a few drinks and service; it came to £70. I would of happily paid a lot more for the quality of the food, it really was fantastic. Personally I cannot wait to go back to Kiln; fantastic food, the perfect date spot and a brilliant visual experience.

Whilst I will continue to be told to visit The Smoking Goat, and after this experience my attendance is more imminent, I tell you as I was told; You simply must go to Kiln.

This is the perfect example of a cuisine perfected; Kiln you have a place in my heart forever.

8 Brewer Street, W1


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