Smoking Goat in Soho, London

My husband tried Smoking Goat during a work lunch and swore he’d drag me there. On Sunday night, we tried to go to Jane-Tira but found it closed, so Smoking Goat it was.

We arrived at 7:30 and were lucky to have no wait for seats at the bar (though all tables were booked). The restaurant is fairly small, and I was brushed against by everyone on the path to the bathroom, which required navigating between me and the table just behind me. The food was worth the squeeze (but I’d try to reserve a table next time if possible).

I had only heard that the menu was meaty, so I was assuming Brit style roasts and was surprised to find it much closer to Jane-Tira. This food is Thai-style barbecue; throughout our meal I saw a chef pounding spices with a giant mortar and pestle.

We had a special of sole, which was fine but not particularly sparky–we’d been told it was wrapped in bacon, but in fact there was a small sprinkle of bacon, which didn’t make for a particularly smoky flavor. Seems like a lesson to go with meat.

The deeply flavorful pork stew with green beans was much better. I adored the genuinely spicy green papaya salad, served with sticky rice. I wished we had the gumption to get the smoked goat shoulder and Thai herbs for two (34 pounds) but it seemed too ambitious for that night.

Meats are smoked in sweet chestnut and oak. The extras menu includes Pok Pok style chicken wings. I didn’t drink anything, but the menu looked a bit fussy (think cocktails served in coconuts) for the size of the place, and made for a messy bar of pooling coconut water.

Despite my cranky old person complaints about tight spaces and unwiped counters, I really enjoyed the food and look forward to our return.