Smoking Goat

Restaurants, Thai Shoreditch
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(8user reviews)
 (Andy Parsons)
1/5
Andy Parsons
 (Andy Parsons)
2/5
Andy Parsons
 (Andy Parsons)
3/5
Andy Parsons
 (Andy Parsons)
4/5
Andy Parsons
 (Andy Parsons)
5/5
Andy Parsons

A new Shoreditch spot taking over from Smoking Goat Soho.

Got £3.80 in your pocket? Great. Because that’s all you’ll need for Smoking Goat’s lardo-fried rice. Aka the best fried rice in London. They cook down the back fat of outdoor-reared Tamworth pigs, then fry it up with rice, a little egg and a paste of chilli, garlic and coriander root. Plus whatever veggie offcuts are lying around. It’s the colour of autumn, the taste of long-haul holidays and the ultimate hangover cure. The downside? You can’t get it ‘to go’, so you’ll have to eat in.

Which, actually, is no hardship. This place rocks. While the now-closed original, on Denmark Street, was a teeny dive bar with a handful of ‘Thai barbecue’ bar snacks, the new Smoking Goat is a big, buzzy, restaurant proper. It feels like the pub it once was, only instead of a bar there’s an open counter kitchen in the centre. Tables are so tightly packed the guy next to me went for an intense buttock clench as he attempted to slide through the gap, his pal helpfully cracking jokes about the size of his bum. It’s low-lit and fun, all smoke and noise and music. The look is industrial-meets-rustic: high ceilings, factory windows and girders, plus loads of wood, including the original parquet floors.

But back to the food. It’ll smack you in the face. Tiny, volcanically hot ‘mouse dropping’ chillies abound. There are also heaps of fresh herbs, such as lemongrass stalks and casually ripped-up lime leaves packed into a fragrant, perfect, seafood tom yum. I also loved the mildest dish of the night, a plate of ‘drunken noodles’. A twist on a Cantonese beef ho fun, its noodles were wide, its umami-laden sauce spiked with Thai jungle herbs like holy basil and wild ginger. Slices of smoked brisket were in the mix, their broad fatty edges adding extra depth. This is salty, unctuous, eat-while-getting-drunk food.

In fact, it’s all drinking food. Flavours are so big, so bold, they really are best with a few beers. Don’t miss the signature fish-sauce chicken wings, with their sticky sweet-salt-heat sauce, or deep-fried shell-on Cornish prawns, covered in crunchy, peppery, cumin-salted batter. You eat ’em whole.

The only dish that was a little too extreme was the laab-style pork. If you’re brave – some might say reckless – enough to order this dry-fried mince, then do yourself a favour and team it with a soothing plain rice. I can take most levels of spice and it pretty much blew my head off.

But that’s just the kind of place Smoking Goat is. A place to smack you around and leave you reeling. In the mouth, but never the wallet. Good times a-go-go.

By: Tania Ballantine

Posted:

Venue name: Smoking Goat
Contact:
Address: 64 Shoreditch High Street
Shoreditch
London
E1 6JJ
Transport: Shoreditch High Street Overground
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £80.
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Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|8
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1 of 1 found helpful
tastemaker

Tucked into a corner of Shoreditch High Street, it's easy to miss the subtle signage stuck to the grey brick wall. The entrance is guarded by a large wooden door but once through, you're immediately greeted by friendly staff on hand to seat you amongst the vast tables and high-stool benches. Our server was very friendly and talked us through the menu with recommendations for the goat dish as well as the lardo rice. My friend ordered the chicken dish and some jasmine rice and though the 'Drinking snacks' were inviting (mainly small items to snack on such as a single chicken kebab), we held out for just the mains.

The chicken arrived in a pot and was the tastiest chicken I've tried in a long time. It was so tender and sweet but with a little spice, just delightful. The goat dish I ordered was a generous portion but I was disappointed by a couple of things. Firstly, the use of lemongrass on top of the goat was dried and hard and genuinely caught in my throat like cocktail sticks. After I'd felt the impact of the first couple of bites, I was really quite put off and tried to scrape as much of the rest off as I could. Secondly, I had tried goat before but this time it seemed a lot earthier and dense than I remembered but it could well have been due to having tried the chicken earlier which was light and sweet and beautiful.

The rice was lovely. My lardo rice in particular was indulgent and packed with all of the fragrant thai flavours you'd expect. It was delicious and I really enjoyed it.

We were around £20 each for a drink, main and side but it was super tasty and I know next time I would definitely order the chicken.

tastemaker

Everything we ordered here was executed perfectly, the crunch and kick of the fish sauce chicken wings, that deep flavourful broth of the chicken mushroom pot, and the lardo friend rice. Definitely a winner next to the other Thai Shoreditch sweetheart Som Saa and almost rivals XU in perfection (but not quite). Only negative is the reservation system, quite serious and needs you to put down your credit card (which will be charged if you run late or miss the reservation).

tastemaker

The Smoking Goat – Thai food but not as you know it! Fresh, flavoursome dishes that put an unexpected twist on some of the classics.


The menu is compact and very exciting, with something for everyone, and definitely built for sharing! It changes often so don't bother choosing your dishes in advance, as I did before visiting ;) Between 3 of us, we tried four small dishes and one large, with a rice at the side, and this was perfect! All of this, plus three cocktails came to around £25 each, which was great value for the quality of the food.


The main event for me was the Chilli Chicken Wings covered in the most delicious fish sauce – it had the right amount of heat and sweetness! We also enjoyed the refreshing smoked aubergine with egg and soy, and the fiery duck laab, which was full of flavour, if not just above my normal heat threshold! I loved the soft grilled fish, which was large enough to feed three of us a few servings, though thought the nahm jim was a little tart and didn't do much for it.


Overall, the food combined with the buzzy atmosphere, friendly service, and pub setting, made it a great experience, and I'll definitely be returning. This was Thai food, but not as you know it!

tastemaker

Absolutely loved Smoking Goat. Dishes were exciting and delicious. The feel inside the restaurant was relaxed but hip. The menu was extremely well priced which was a surprise, I would have paid a lot more for the dishes we had. Will definitely be back. 

tastemaker

No wonder you have yo book in advance; this place is fantastic. Smoking goat is offers affordable and absolutely delicious food,and you will be taken care of friendly and attentive stuff. 

I tried oysters, pork skewers, chicken and aubergines and it is really hard to decide which dish was the tastiest. 

We ordered 5 dishes to share, three small and two mains and this was more than enough for two hungry foodies. 

Tastemaker

This place was great, especially after a few drinks!

Firstly if you have a large table like we did (5 people on a saturday) and don't have a reservation, I would highly recommend going and getting your name down asap. They have a virtual queue which is great (like Flat Iron) where you put your number down, and online you can see how many people are in front of you, and will get a text shortly before your table is ready. We stupidly went for drinks first, then got in the virtual queue so had to go drink for another hour and a half before the table was ready.


However this did not matter, being more drink only made it more authentic! Being a Thai drunk/comfort food place it was perfect for this.


The first thing you are confronted by when you walk in is the smell. And it is an amazing smell, both alluring and somehow off-putting it literally transported me back to exploring a food market in Thailand with its delicious and disgusting offers. Honestly I cannot explain how authentic the smell was, I have never experienced something like that before.


The food is absolutely delicious, however I was disappointed that the menu didn't reflect what their menu was online, both in content and in price. While the waiter explained that the menu changes daily which is fine, the price for a stable such as the goat massaman curry, had gone up. I was also distraught that they didn't have chicken hearts as per the menu online. 

I would highly recommend getting a load of dishes and sharing them all. It was all delicious and spicy and great. The only thing I would say is that the goat curry wasn't as great as the usually goat curries I have had in the past (obviously those are usually Jamaican ones!) but I found quite a few bits of the goat were tough and chewy and not as tender and delicious as goat usually is. I would defiantly also recommend the lardo rice! 

Overall, this place is great and you have to try it!

tastemaker

It was to be one of those days where nothing went to plan but everything turned out just as it should be.


We went to see some of my favourite street art, then sat by the fire in the Golden Heart, an excellent, proper pub, drinking red wine.


By mid afternoon, we needed to eat and N suggested Smoking Goat, opened just a few months ago in a former strip club, The White Horse. The food here is described as Thai drinking food and, as we walked through the still-snowy streets with empty bellies, filled only with red wine, that sounded just up our street.


Arriving mid afternoon, we had our pick of seats and sat, as far away from the door as possible, gazing out onto Red Church Street.


From the drinking food section of the menu, we ordered the recommended barbecue Tamworth skewer and spicy sausage and then threw in the ox heart skewer at the last minute.


The pork was smokey, sweet and succulent with heat hitting the back of my throat.



The sausage was chewy and gelatinous, in all the right ways, with a warming spice and lots of lemongrass, inside a caramelised skin.


The ox hearts were fine, although a little overpowered by lemongrass.


We could smell our main of barbecued goat turmeric Massaman,  before we saw it. It was served on a pale, plastic plate, just like it would be in a back street in Bangkok. The portion was huge; I mean seriously huge. The goat, smokey and sweet, fell apart, without the need of coaxing.  The Massaman sauce was rich, with flavours of cinnamon and kaffir lime, it was studded with potatoes and just-soft peanuts. It was an absolute triumph! 


But wait, our side was worthy of its own headline. Lardo fried rice was bejewelled with salty, fatty lardons, the rice itself in part soft and in part crispy. It came with a pretty bloody hot but excellent chilli sauce.  At just £3.80, it has to be one of the best value dishes in all of London. 


I loved that the staff didn’t push us to over-order, as is so often the case where small plates are involved. We desperately wanted a second main dish and we were hungry but were told we didn’t need it, and we really didn’t.

I’m going to love you long time, smoking goat.

tastemaker

Trying out the new local joint. The new Smoking Goat on Redchurch Street is a sister restaurant of Kiln (Soho), which is one of my favourite Thai restaurants in London. Focusing on Thai street food, they don’t hold back on the spice here and I was sweating by the end of the meal.

We had the barbecued Tamworth (pork) skewers, with Northern Thai style duck laab (spicy as warned! 🌶 🌶 🌶 ). My favourite dish was the smoked brisket drunken noodles . The side of “economy curry” lack some flavour depth but goes well with the lardo fried rice. To soothe the heat, I had some fresh watermelon juice which is actually quite difficult to get in London. Overall, it’s great value Thai food in a cool, relaxed setting. Will definitely need to come back and try the rest of the menu.