Review of 'Kiln'

Ever since I read a rather favourable review of Kiln I have wanted to visit so the other day I got my wish when in the area for an Art exhibition. This is a tiny place with bar-style seating along a counter with a compact cooking area dominated by grills and charcoal-fuelled cooking elements (suggesting the name of the restaurant as they are very much like “kilns” including the heat they put out) at the back and a much cooler bar area at the front. With seating for perhaps 25 or so it fills quickly and they are known for large queues due to this as well as the fact there is no booking system.

Grills

The simple menu consists of a single A4 sheet of paper: One side food and the other drinks. Both lists are quite short concentrating on a few elements done well with even the drinks list only having handful of wines, “kiln drinks” (cocktails), whiskys, beers and some interesting soft drinks (not just the normal coke…). Our helpful server explained the food menu to us on learning it was our first visit: All dishes are relatively small and meant for sharing with a recommended 3-4 dishes per person. Though not specifically labelled when we visited there were three starters at the top followed by several “salads”/vegetables then several sections of main dishes followed by the one rice option “Brown Jasmine Rice” (£2).

We were seated beside the grilling area so decided to start with what we were seeing cooked: “Aged Lamb & Cumin Skewer” (£2.90 each) which was absolutely delicious, juicy and wonderfully seasoned though one was hardly enough with only four small cubes of delicious meat; “Slow Grilled Chicken & Soy” (£4.50) which my companion thought was under-cooked being slightly pink on the inside (the chefs were repeatedly checking temperatures of the meats being served so I had no such worries) - Absolutely deliciously juicy and delicately flavoured but with just the right amount of caramelization from the grill. The chicken piece was the best part of a thigh and was slow cooked on the top rack of grills before being finished directly on the grill, allowing the flavours to develop.

Chicken and Lamb

I had to try the “Southern Style Dry Pork Curry” (£7.80) which sounded extremely unusual and certainly not something I have ever seen on a menu before. This turned out to be a lovely plate of pork mince which was slightly hot (spicy) but, again, juicy and full of flavour served simply in a small mount on a plate.

Southern Style Curry

Assured the jungle curry was not the spiciest dish we gave this a go, “Jungle Curry of Brill” (£9.50), which, true to the servers word, was not that hot and a lot more liquid-y than I have previously experienced in a jungle curry. The fish was delicate and almost lost in the herby flavour of the broth. Wonderful though with the liquid soaking into the rice from our side order.

Jungle Curry of Brill

The “Southern Style Curried Aubergine” (£5.50) was by far the spiciest dish with huge chunks of aubergine in a deliciously thick curry sauce (also working extremely well with the rice). This also was the hottest in terms of temperature which even time did not seem to help cool down…

Aubergine Curry

We will most definitely be back to try some more dishes though at just about £40 for the two of us (with only one non-alcoholic soda, otherwise only tap water helpfully brought without asking to us when we first sat down; bill included a 12.5% optional service charge) for what was a relatively light dinner it is a bit expensive for what is not somewhere you really want to linger with the noise and heat. Definitely not suitable for a romantic dinner. The “Clay Pot Baked Glass Noodles, Tamworth Belly & Brown Crab Meat” (£6.75) ordered by our neighbours looked absolutely delicious and the “Wild Ginerger & Beef Neck Curry from Burma” (£7.50) we were assured was delicious as well, so, next time…

Interior

The flavours here are unusual with all dishes having a different flavour from one another which makes each choice a new and delightful experience. Can be a bit busy so get here early and savour the flavours…if not the atmosphere, at least, not for too long…

Rating:

Review Date: 2018-07-18


Cuisine: Thai

Address: 58 Brewer Street, London W1F 9TL ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Piccadilly Circus

Location: London (England) - Soho

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URL: https://kilnsoho.com/