Kiln – Soho, London
A new Thai grill in Soho. They have no reservation policy for the counter but you can book tables downstairs if you are 4 or more.
I did not visit the downstairs so I cannot report on that. The upstairs, where the counter and kitchen are is…cramped. It is a tiny, long, claustrophobic-nightmare corridor.
I managed to get a seat at the end of the room which probably saved me in terms of noise. Given that you have chefs, stoves and guests cramped in a tiny space it could have got much noisier but, surprisingly, it was not. It was on the high-end of “lively”.
The waiter that seated me and took my order probably thought that I did not need cutlery and I was not thirsty as he did not even bother to ask. Other members seemed more friendly and attentive but in general they all seemed rushed.
I ordered langoustines, kaffir lime and sweet mint, mackerel dry red curry and clay pot baked glass noodles Tamworth belly and brown crab meat.
Both the langoustines and the mackerel had a wonderful bouquet of herbs and spices. The langoustines (raw) were served with a fresh, zingy sweet taste.
You should not be fooled by the word curry for the mackerel as it is a dry curry so don’t expect sauces of any sort. It was fiery, strong, and powerful. At Kiln they are definitely not shy with spices. The spice combination probably even managed to overpower the usually strong-taste of mackerel flash.
The clay pot was an utter disappointment. That poor Tamworth pork was killed twice; first to bring it to Kiln (and many other trendy restaurants nowadays) and then in this dish. The slice of belly was burnt at the bottom of the pot, so it did not manage to release much of its flavours and I did not even manage to get much of it.
Brown crab meat: Really? Where? In this dish? Maybe in a previous life? As you can guess, the clay pot really did not go down well with me.
But at least I have managed to watch the chefs preparing the meals (they do put brown crab meat in the clay pot but probably it gets overkilled by the cooking and the combination of broth, noodles…oh yeah, and the poor pork).
The langoustines were £8.8, the clay pot £5.75 and I think the mackerel was in the region of £7 as well (they removed it from the menu and I cannot find my receipt anymore). The clay pot sounds cheap but I was still disappointed with the result. The other dishes were priced ok.
58 Brewer Street, W1F 9TL London