Thai food is one of my favourites. I’ve been all over London (and beyond) to find the best that London has to offer. Recently, there seems to have been a resurgence to this mainstay in the London scene which, of late, has been slightly overshadowed by its Asian counterparts. One place, that has been on my heavy backlog for a while, is Smoking Goat. But unlike most Thai restaurants Smoking Goat focuses on barbecued meats over a wood barbecue. Honestly, its focus is on slabs of barbecued meats with an abundance of Thai flavourings rather than an authentic representation but what’s not to love about chunks of meat with Thai spices!
To start we ordered a Coal Roast Scallop Red Nahm Yum each. I think a paste/thicker sauce would work better than a watery sauce so that the flavours can meld better with the scallop and form a crisp layer but the scallops were big and moist, so I guess its worth it for that alone.
I don’t think I’ve had lamb ribs before, at least not barbecued, but I’d devour any ribs any day! The Smoked Lamb Ribs with gapi glaze & pickles was by far the highlight. The gapi glaze (thai shrimp paste) gives it a rich salty flavour. In essence it’s a very good barbecued meat with sweet and smoky flavours but with a Thai accent. The fatty layer on the lamb and tender meat make this a moreish treat, I could definitely have had more! If I come back I’m quite tempted by their Goat Shoulder!
Being the carnivores that we are we couldn’t just have one chunk of meat! So we opted for the Barbecue Chiang Mai Pork Belly with pickles. I can never seem to resist pork belly on a menu but this was overshadowed by the lamb ribs. It was still tenderly cooked and the flavours were surprisingly sweet with slight tangy notes; a bit more sauce would have made this a perfect compliment to the glutinous rice, which, when you order can be refilled as many times as you want.
Northern Som Tam (Spicy Green Papaya Salad) was a slight letdown. In Thailand Som Tam can very much hold its own on a menu but here it is sidelined, as a side dish. The flavours were quite muted, though there’s a freshness to it. The dried shrimp could also have been dotted around the salad so that the umami flavours are brought to the fore a bit more.
Smoking Goat brings together two popular styles of food into a compact and dark restaurant on Tin Pan Alley. The flavours on offer are distinctive, not always spot on but worth a try. If you are looking for sumptious chunks of meat, not the usual American stuff that has engulfed London, then Smoking Goat is one for you. I have to say though their menu makes me want to eat my screen but I sadly felt a little disappointed at the end because the food didn’t leave as strong an impression as I’d have hoped.
Address: 7 Denmark Street, London, WC2H 8LZ
Telephone: You’re kidding right. Phone? That’s so last century!
Mind The Gap:
Mon – Fri: 12pm – 3pm . 5pm – 11pm
Sat: 12pm – 11pm
Sun: 12pm – 9pm
Panda ate, shot and left.