Too Hot To Handle | Kiln, 58 Brewer Street, Soho, London
It’s been some time since I’ve had a meal that I prayed wouldn’t end and as a result, spent a good 24 hours afterwards reminiscing about. As per usual, we were late to the new restaurant opening party with Kiln, the sister Thai restaurant of Smoking Goat in Soho – massively late, it opened over a year ago. We adored Smoking Goat when we popped in to sample a new dish they’d tweeted about one Sunday afternoon, before going on for a meal somewhere else. In fact, the dish was so good that we subsequently ordered almost the whole menu.
Kiln is described as a ‘side of the road type restaurant’ and it certainly looked that way. We arrived early to ensure we could dine at the counter facing the kitchen (on those annoying stools with no foot rests that are fastened to the floor). A glorious sight of open fire and clay pots – messy, rustic and almost primitive with the chefs working in total harmony together. Much like the way they do at the fabulous nearby Palomar and the not so nearby but equally as great, 64 Degrees in Brighton. We are drawn to intimate, honest and open restaurants such as these like a moth to a flame.
The smells coming from the kitchen at Kiln were incredible, my sister and I, who I was treating for her birthday (whilst treating myself) couldn’t cope with how to narrow down the choices from the menu. So we consulted Alex, our waiter, who gave us a helping hand as well as pointing us in the direction of a pricier wine (nice try). We settled for a £19 bottle of Chaval Bobal instead.
Luckily the prices for the food are really reasonable, especially when considering the freshness and sourcing of ingredients, not to mention its location in Soho. I didn’t realise just how low they were, but then I hadn’t looked even looked at the menu before our visit. This allowed us to be able to try more dishes and believe me, when you see them being prepared in front of you, you’ll want to devour as many as you possibly can. We started off with the Slow grilled chicken and soy (£4.50), Smoked sausage with turmeric (£6.50) and Cockles in tamarind (£6). My sister was in love with the simple and succulent grilled chicken whilst I couldn’t get enough of the cockles in their fragrant broth. Then the Clay pot baked glass noodles with Tamworth belly and brown crab meat (£5.75) arrived – I’m a sucker for anything noodle-based, these were excellent and not too stodgy.
The Pork jungle curry (£7.80) made with minced pork, so fragrant with a hint of sweetness. The Wild ginger and beef cheek curry from Burma (£7.50) was the first thing I spotted when I took my seat, watching as ladles of thick, dark curry were dished up in front of me. Just as I began to tuck into it, I said to my sister ‘I’m going to need a knife for this’ (there’s only forks and spoons here). No need, the meat fell apart with the slightest touch, absolutely faultless.
Brown jasmine rice (£2) made a change from the norm and so fluffy and light – great for soaking up curry juice. Even the Stir fried Cornish greens and soy (£4.50) were amazing, I must find out how to liven up my greens at home like this – somehow I doubt they’ll tell me their secrets.
My sister left the remaining mouthfuls for me to polish off, luckily for me, this tends to happen when we go out – I refuse to let anything go to waste when it’s this bloody good. Alex returned to collect our plates and asked us if we were done with everything. ‘Unfortunately’ is all I could respond with for I felt genuinely gutted that it was over. Yes, I can come back – it’s not like I discovered this restaurant in the middle of a remote town in Thailand but there’s always so many other restaurants that we want to try.
They don’t do desserts at Kiln, which quite frankly is a crying shame, my sister and I have no doubt they’d be awesome if they did. Regardless of this, we left happy and full although a tad hot and sweaty from all that fire and spice. That feeling lasted all the way home and continued into the morning (minus the sweatiness) and I am still thinking about it two days later – that is what makes a wonderful restaurant.
Visit their website here
58 Brewer Street, London W1F 9TL
Book online here
Kitchen opening hours:
Monday to Friday: 12.00-15.00 & 17.00-23.00
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus (3 mins walk)