Smoking Goat has been on my London eating list for a very long time. Time passed by and so did the closing of the original restaurant in Soho, including my missing out on free offer of fish sauce chicken wings to the lucky last. It took a late night birthday to end up here and without a reservation the wait for 2 at 8.45pm on a Sunday bank holiday was only 20-30mins. Not too bad I say.
I've missed decent modern Thai food and in my mind the benchmark is still Longrain (http://eatlikeushi.posthaven.com/longrain-melbourne-01-2017). I wonder if Nahm Bangkok will compare, but that's a while away and Nahm London didn't excite me.
It's a pretty busy place on the corner of Shoreditch High Street. Sitting at the bar allowed us to watch the 2 bartenders mixing drinks and serving ice cream. The staff are attentive, friendly and pleasant. Unfortunately despite the name, there was no goat on the menu. I know Soho had it on the normal menu and I thought this branch had it (or used to) on the banquet menu. The waitress said something about the menu changing regularly and the quality of goat at the moment. Not sure.
Drinks were Sorrow, Tears & Blood £4.5 described as Bloody Mary with beer. Gee that tasted bad. Each to their own. Celestial Blues (mezcal, lychee, butterfly pea flower, egg white) £9.5 was pleasant but there wasn't much smokiness in the drink. I think I'd go for the rum cocktails next time.
- Steamed oyster, roasted chilli, fried shallots £3.5 each - this dish is a serious waste of time. The oyster was so small there was no oyster flavour and barely any texture. It was smothered in fried shallots and the taste was this alone;
- Smoked aubergine salad with chilli & egg £6.8 - lots of bird's eye chillies dotted the plate with pieces of charred aubergine flesh creating a slightly smokey salad in a fish sauce base. You could choose how much fire you wanted from how many pieces of chilli to chew on;
- Smoked brisket & bone marrow massaman curry £14.5 - a remarkably excellent curry full of deep savoury flavour, although it could have used more brisket. The presence of smoked chillies also helped the flavour along;
- Smoked lamb ribs with pickles £24 - delicious lamb ribs (a bit fatty but not excessive) with reasonably crisp skin, extremely soft meat and littered with herbs, jalapeños, bird's eye chillis and some smoked chilli;
- Sticky rice £1.25 each - sticky rice but plain. I thought it may have some coconut or pandan, but I suppose not for that price;
- Coconut ice cream, plantain, lime & condensed milk £4.5 - two thick creamy coconut icecream balls sat on condensed milk with lime squeezed and plantain chips on top. I didn't like the chips that much, but the other 3 ingredients were harmonious.
Altogether other than the oysters, it was an excellent meal full of flavour and left me wanting to come back. I particularly liked their smoked interpretation of Thai food and the different types of (particularly Mexican) chillies in the dishes. I definitely need to try the fish sauce chicken wings next time and the lamb laab. I can't wait.