That this tiny venue has managed to beat much larger and more expensive places to eat to the top spot says a lot about the restaurant scene in 2018. It’s affordable. It does not take bookings upstairs. The food is unfussy and, for the most part, served on small plates that are designed to be shared.
The service is warm but brisk. Opened in late 2016, Kiln is billed as a side-of-the-road-style establishment and offers a small menu of rustic dishes that won’t be that familiar to those who haven’t travelled extensively in Thailand or visited the handful of new-wave Thai restaurant that have sprung up in the capital in recent years.
The flavours are authentic yet founders Ben Chapman and Brian Hannon (who also run Smoking Goat in Shoreditch) are clear that the dishes – which draw influence from the county’s northern borderlands – aren’t designed to be facsimiles of those found in Thailand. Despite the Brewer Street restaurant’s low price point, Chapman and head chef Nick Molyviatis are obsessive about the quality of their ingredients.
Kiln isn’t really a restaurant that’s ever sought the limelight. Its founders are ambitious and well connected in the industry but you’re unlikely to see them cooking lamb and cumin skewers or smoked sausage with tumeric on breakfast TV. But as the restaurant position in this list attests, those in the know can’t get enough of this Soho gem