Smoking Goat

Restaurants, Thai Covent Garden
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(11user reviews)
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Smoking Goat (© Paul Winch-Furness)
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NOTE: Since this review was published, Smoking Goat has begun serving lunch and taking reservations for lunch and for groups of six or more at both lunch and dinner. The Time Out Eating and Drinking Editors

If you’re looking for adventurous eating, you can find it in Thailand. On one visit up near the Burmese border, I pulled my motorbike over to a roadside shack, attracted by the barbecue smell. ‘Paddy chicken’ was the garbled translation for what turned out to be chargrilled field rats. Not much meat on them, in case you’re wondering. 

You won’t find much paddy chicken in London, but you can find dishes that capture the spirit of Thai barbecue. Smoking Goat is a café-bar serving half-a-dozen snacks and meals inspired by street food.

Low lighting and a barely legible menu make it hard to tell what you’re eating, but barbecued duck legs were a highlight: the well-rendered meat served with a watery version of nam jim jaew, tangy sour-and-sweet dipping sauce, plus sticky rice to mop up the juices. More challenging was a whole chilli crab, slathered in a spicy, sticky sauce. After cracking the shells, you eat by hand; the sauce goes everywhere. Not a dish to order on a hot date. Som tam was easier to handle, though this green papaya salad should have been worked over properly in a mortar and pestle.

Smoking Goat is styled like a dive bar but has craft beers and a wine list that’s unusually well-matched to Thai food. Bar snacks such as fried chicken wings or roast scallops are served from 3pm to 7pm, then the dinner menu kicks in. The caveats: it doesn’t take bookings, and it’s loud, small and very busy. On two of our three visits we were told the wait, outside in the cold, would be over an hour. At least in Thailand you can wait for your paddy chicken in the balmy shade.

By: Guy Dimond

Posted:

Venue name: Smoking Goat
Contact:
Address: 7 Denmark Street
London
WC2H 8LZ
Opening hours: Mon-Sat noon-3pm & 5pm-midnight
Transport: Tube: Tottenham Court Road
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Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|11
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Notmyrealname X
1 of 1 found helpful

Really enjoyed the food,service and atmosphere. Really good for a cosy dinner. Wish I got the goat shoulder although all of our food was delicious and spicy. The only thing I found weird was eating thai food in a pub style atmosphere and the name smoking goat does not reflect either. A bit confused but still worth a second visit.

02curtisb
Tastemaker

Usually I like to try new restaurants but I just cant help going back to Smoking Goat. Even after finding sister restaurant, Kiln, full I was almost pleased as it meant we ate ere again. The food is always full of bags of flavour, clearly the chefs have fun as the specials are just that. The menu has changed every time ive been with a few staples. Some dishes, such as the Pollack larb, are super super spicy; but so tasty you eat all the fresh chilli the chefs throw at you: it also is a great excuse to tackle the wine, cocktails and beers. The cocktails are classy and match the food while the wine list has some outstanding value and interesting bottle. Always worth trying even without a reservation as weve been lucky a few times!

julio bruno
moderator

We were a group of 4 and had chili wings (delicious!) and a whole smoked goat shoulder. Two of them to be precise. We had some rice and side vegetables. It was delicious, and look at the picture to see the size of that goat shoulder! Service was fine. The place is a bit crowded and they take no table reservations per se, you have to arrive with your whole party to be seated after you have made  a reservation It is this  annoying newish thing in London with people waiting in line outside. (Think cold winter and raining and this clearly does not work)  It is a Thai restaurant but it  looks and feels more like fusion international. I enjoyed it, but the reservation issue it  is a problem for me. I would want to try the chili wings again, though :) 


Despina T
tastemaker

When walking into this Thai BBQ restaurant I was not sure what to expect. The only thing I knew is that I love Thai, so I had to try the Thai BBQ restaurant that the city has been talking about. The restaurant is located next to Flat Iron on Denmark street (yes two temptations on the same street).

The first impression was excellent: cute, small, well presented, cosy, clean. We were offered sits at the bar where they also serve food. Even though skeptical at the beginning the sits were very comfortable and there was plenty of space. It was also nice to see the barman making his tea cocktails.

The staff were very friendly, nice and polite.

The menu is split in three categories: sides, small dishes and big dishes. There are no starters or main courses. I loved the mushroom salad we ordered from the today's specials board. The dishes were all very delicious, well presented and slightly spicy, but the portions were very small. I left the place feeling that I could go back and order the rest of the menu.

Smoking goat is definitely not the typical Thai restaurant: no green curry, no pad Thai, no fried rice....but it is definitely worth a visit..

Emily W

The Smoking Goat is one of London's hidden gems, tucked away down Denmark Street, this little restaurant only holds about 15 guests at a time. But what it lacks in size it most certainly makes up for in flavours! Specializing in Thai barbecued meats, adventurous salads and bottomless sticky rice, Smoking Goat is a real winner for me. We went for the chang mai pork belly, waterfall beef with lemongrass and chilli, and the spicy green papaya salad (don't take the name lightly- it's pretty bloody spicy). All dishes looked almost too good to eat, served on delicate china plates in an assortment of sizes. The meat was tender and juicy, and the beef in particular was cooked to medium-rare perfection. I really like the bottomless rice idea, it was ideal for soaking up all the delicious juices. Really impressed by this little place, the only thing not giving it five stars is the slightly assuming and offish service... 

Karolina M

Delish!!!! friendly service, great tasting food, what more can you ask for.. oh yeah banging cocktails! Not a huge venue so make sure you book, we came on Sunday lunch and it was quiet but y the time our mains arrived it was filling up and no more space available. Make sure you get the fish sauce wings as they're the best we've ever had!

Daisy H

Ate at smoking goat last night and it was incredible! Ended up here after some other soho restaurants had a 2 hour wait, when this was only 15 minutes. You can have a drink whilst you wait and its definitely worth it. The menu is quite meat heavy, but its all amazingly cooked and super flavorsome. We shared one main, three sides and a salad between two, with cocktails and wine all coming in at £100, which seems really reasonable for a huge amount of food. Would definitely recommend the short rib, so tasty. Staff are super friendly too!

bext45
Tastemaker

This restaurant is more on the cramped side than cosy. Based off Charing Cross Road it’s got a great Central London location that isn’t Soho. The food isn’t bad but I didn’t go home dreaming of it. I can’t knock the tenderness of the meat but in a city bursting with barbecue restaurants you’d think this Thai take would stand out. Sadly it doesn’t. They need to urgently rethink their cocktail menu. It’s bland and boring. The Thai or Oriental take on the drinks isn’t strong enough to deviate from a straight up cocktail (think mojito, capriana etc). Ticked off my list but I’m not planning a return visit. 

karen f

I've been here before and absolutely loved it. Went last night, ordered the scallops as a starter and goat as the main to be told a while later that there was no goat (at the smoking goat - oh the irony) so go for the chicken instead (we don't really have the choice to leave, given we've already ordered starters). Scallops turn up and I end up badly burning my (pointing) finger because the waitress  failed to tell me the shells were hotter than the sun. The chicken turns up. COLD. The waitress offers to 're-heat' the cold chicken. NICE. Please don't! Even though I mentioned that maybe they should offer some free drinks, at no point do we see a manager and keep getting 'my manager says' messages. So we leave HANGRY. Luckily they don't charge us for the scallop that blistered by digit. Such a shame as the food is good when they get it right but I can't rate highly given my experience last night.

Alex Plim
moderatorStaff Writer

Ate at Smoking Goat for the first time two nights ago – and I'm still full now. The food was marvellous, each dish cooked to perfection and packed with flavour.

My only criticism – and this will be a plus for many – is that the menu was so heavily dominated by meat. This is perhaps to be expected for a restaurant that bills itself as a Thai barbecue, but the pair of vegetable sides on offer were a token gesture that didn't give enough respite from the richness of the (admittedly excellent) meat dishes.


A special mention should also be made for the staff – they were splendid.

gemma d

Last night I decided to go with my partner to the Smoking Goat in Soho. We were looking forward to try the food after reading some good reviews. We decided to start with the chicken wings. Oh my god! The taste is amazing, so tasty and tender. I'm not gonna forgot the tender, sweet and spicy meat in my mouth for ages. Our main course was the smoked pork belly with the rice and the papaya salad. The rice inside a plastic bag is amazing. I think that I can eat it everyday. The papaya salad is yummy too and a bit spicy. The pork belly was very good. Comes a big portion and it’s tender and tasty too. Ps: Where is the goat in the menu?