SquareMeal Review of Kiln Soho
“I could eat here every day,” declares one devotee of this hot-ticket purveyor of smokin’ Thai BBQ and peasant-style baked claypots filled with spicy regional curries. It’s the second restaurant from Ben Chapman of Smoking Goat fame and – like its sibling – the set-up is casual, with no bookings and obligatory queues.
Turning up really early may solve the problem; otherwise, be prepared to wait for a seat at the long, metal counter that runs alongside the open kitchen, while friendly clued-up staff deliver “slick service” to a soundtrack of classic vinyl from the likes of James Brown.
The short menu of “delicious and innovative” sharing dishes delivers “a taste extravaganza” based on impeccably sourced ingredients from named suppliers. We couldn’t fault a thing on our last visit – especially the soft and smoky turmeric sausages and the cumin-spiked lamb skewers, grilled to perfection and with a bitter spicy edge cutting through the finger-licking fattiness.
Larger pots also delivered a full-on hit, from a sharp and sour turbot curry to an aromatic Burmese beef neck curry, with wild ginger and pickled garlic providing plenty of fresh crunch. And don’t miss the clay-pot glass noodles with pork belly and brown crab meat: a comforting, dense and sticky delight.
The drinks list keeps the bar high, with an eclectic wine selection (note the orange wines and sparkling Riesling), plus craft beers and cider, sophisticated softs and Thai-inspired cocktails such as the dangerously drinkable Young Ginger Margarita. “Kiln deserves every plaudit it receives”, concludes an impressed reader.
About Kiln Soho
Like many of London’s most famous restaurants, the pint-sized dining room at Kiln relies on its exclusivity – while the restaurant is undoubtedly a casual dining experience, it is well known that it’s hard to secure a table here, largely because of the no-bookings policy and lengthy queues.
Kiln is the brainchild of chef and restaurateur Ben Chapman, who is also behind popular Thai eatery Smoking Goat, which can be found in Shoreditch. Taking up residency on Soho’s Brewer Street, Kiln finds itself in good company alongside the likes of Randall & Aubin and El Camion. Much like its sibling, the menu here focuses on barbecue dishes cooked over open flames, championing dishes from a grill, seafood and clay pot dishes.
To fans of Smoking Goat, it should come as no surprise that the food at Kiln is punchily spiced. The menu also changes regularly, with the offering evolving depending on what produce is currently in season. You can visit Kiln for either lunch or dinner, and while you’re there you might come across the likes of slow grilled chicken and soy, Tamworth pork belly curry with kapi, or wild ginger and beef neck curry which finds its roots in Burma.
One dish that you will always find on the menu is Kiln’s signature serve – clay pot baked glass noodles topped with Tamworth pork belly and brown crab meat. Kiln doesn’t serve desserts, but it makes up for that with a truly delightful drinks list. Accompany your meal with a glass from Kiln’s list of European-leaning wines, or opt for one of its house-made cocktails which experiment with fermentation and pickling.
Perhaps you’re in the mood for a Turmeric Gin & Tonic, or maybe it will be the Thai Basil & Peppercorn Mojito that takes your fancy. Competitive pricing, on both the drinks and food, is a further draw.