Hyped Thai spot in a modern rustic setting
Thai | LR | £££
Kiln is by the guys behind Smoking Goat and has had hype, like big hype. It’s good – I certainly won’t take that away from it. I was particularly impressed by the langoustines with kaffir lime, sweet mint and chilli which were served in a way I’d never tried before; the clay pot baked glass noodles on the other hand were just ok. Love the space, love the vibe, like the food. You can make a reservation for 4+ ppl but if you’re a pair or group of 3 get there early to bag a spot.
BASIC OR BOUGIE? Basic
SERVICE IS Sleek, Casual, Friendly
TRY The Langoustines With Chilli
GOOD FOR Dates, Counter Dining
GROUPS 4-10 ppl
THE FULL SHEBANG
WHERE IS IT?
Kiln is on Brewer Street, a short walk from Piccadilly Circus, really close to Golden Square.
I was really into the modern rustic vibe of Kiln. Wood, exposed brick walls painted white and zinc fuse together to create a space that feels modern, minimal and cool with a rustic feel via the earthenware crockery. Upstairs is purely counter dining; one half of the counter faces the bar and the other side the open kitchen.
It feels much more sleek and sexy upstairs which is perfect for dates but if you have a larger group, you’ll need to head downstairs for your nosh – here it feels much more basic with lots of wood, long tables and short stools.
FOOD & SERVICE
Kiln is by the guys behind Smoking Goat and got a rare 5* review by Fay Maschler of the Evening Standard and 10/10 from Chris Pople of Cheese And Biscuits. So it’s had hype, like big hype but I was still a bit surprised to turn up on a Monday early evening and the place was at capacity. Luckily we got in just before the queues began and got seated swiftly. The food is regional Thai apparently, with influences from Yunnan and Burman (I’m not going to feign deep knowledge of Thai cuisine, so gonna take their word for it). Dishes are fresh and fiery – the langoustines with kaffir lime, sweet mint and chilli was fabulous and novel for me in terms of preparation and taste.
The clay pot baked glass noodles were nice enough but didn’t wow me.
The quail was super spicy – pleasing but again not mind blowing.
I left thinking yes I’d certainly enjoyed my meal a great deal but I have to admit Kiln didn’t totally bowl me over. I’d love to sample more of the menu and then make a more rounded assessment. FYI portions are tiny, so you do need to order a number of plates – at least 4 I’d say. Service was cool, relaxed and friendly.
As I said, you need to order a fair few plates, so whilst you can definitely have a meal at Kiln for £35, I’d say budget for around the £40 mark incl. some vino / alcoholic bevvies.
As it’s quite a small space, it’s always going to be packed which makes if feel buzzy and intimate. I’d usually opt for sitting by the open kitchen but I enjoyed sitting across the bar chatting to the waitress about wines she’d recommend – I really enjoyed the cool, laid back vibe.
THE TAKE OUT
Kiln is good – I certainly won’t take that away from it. I was particularly impressed by the langoustines with kaffir lime, sweet mint and chilli which were served in a way I’d never tried before; the clay pot baked glass noodles on the other hand were just ok. Love the space, love the vibe, like the food.