Restaurant: Smoking Goat.
Where is it: Soho.
Opened: November 2014.
Who goes: Foodies in the know – the restaurant is as inconspicuous as they come, tucked-away on a side street off Tottenham Court Road.
The concept: After perfecting his craft at much-talked-about The Begging Bowl, Seb Holmes has teamed up with Ben Chapman to open Soho’s coolest new restaurant. Offering a wood-ember barbecue with Thai influences and featuring Cornish meat and fish, expect big, bold flavours that pack a serious punch.
The interiors: The property was a once-legendary dive bar and despite using music as no more than a backdrop – it has maintained its former character with intimate tables, low-lighting and a constant smoky haze from the barbecue.
What kind of food: Thai-meets-BBQ – you won’t find the standard Pad Thai or Green Curry here, but will be inspired by the ever-changing menu inspired by street food from Northern Thailand.
Anything unusual: There are only six options on offer a night (three starters and three mains); meaning everything is refined to an art.
Hero Dishes: Fish Sauce Chicken Wings, 16-Hour Braised Shoulder of Lamb.
We tried: As there were only six options on the menu, we tried them all! The Fish Sauce Chicken Wings were sweet and sticky served with a courgetti salad, the Duck Leg perfectly tender and the Smoky Aubergine topped with Poached Egg was light but packed with flavour. Our highlight of the evening however; the Cornish Clams in a Spicy Hot Yellow Broth served with sticky rice.
And the drinks: The cocktail menu is similarly refined with only two options, a Thai-twist on an Old-Fashioned plus our personal favourite, the Gin Fizz.
Best for: Perhaps not one for a date night as the food is a little on the messy side, but it’s a great place to catch-up with friends after Friday drinks.
Our favourite thing about it was: Proof that the British Thai revolution is in full flower.
What made it unique to them: The restaurant works on a no-reservation basis and has a small seating area – this can be annoying if you want to get in at a set time, but when you do, the buzzing atmosphere and off-the-beaten-track location ensures you feel you’re at a place-in-the-know.