We went to KILN last week, but we’ve spent the whole week holidaying and touristing in our staycation and so I haven’t had a lot of time to write things up!
We LOVE going to KILN! 😍🔥
The food is great: aromatic, well seasoned, hot and spicy and it pairs so well with their beer selection. Plus they have a record player out of which they tend to play dub music which we really enjoy as well.
We’ve been there multiple times, the last time in October, before the second lockdown, and we were really missing them and looking forward to coming back.
I was hoping that they’d give us a counter seat with kitchen views. It is the BEST place in the restaurant as you see the cooks deal with the fires and marvel at their ability to manipulate very hot things with their hands; sometimes you can even see blazes and sparks flying up as they stir the coals and embers.
In the past they operated a strictly walk-in policy, and you could only book for at least four people, if I remember correctly, and you ended up in the basement. Not that it is bad—but it is just not the same.
During the second lockdown I think they made everything bookable, but now they’re back to the counter for walk-ins. So, because we had booked, I was afraid that they would put us in the basement and I’d miss all the fire. Imagine my face of joy when the front of house asked if it was “ok” for us to sit in the counter in front of the kitchen. Yes please!
The menu, while it changes with the seasons, is always roughly similar. So we basically know what we want to order: a few skewers and sausages as starters, greens, a couple curries with rice, the glass noodles.
The other great thing about the menu is that it is short. You aren’t left scratching your head and agonising about what the best option would be. If you come in a group of four or more, it’s perfectly feasible to order the entire menu and sample it all. If you’re a completionist, it is a great feeling!
We always order a pint of beer. Because you’re sitting in front of open blazes of fire, and because the food is quite spicy, it is fabulous to drink these cold beers (the glass is also chilled).
This time they came with extra pickled things, for added depth of flavour. The meat is so well seasoned and cooked, I always think I could have double the amount of starters. They’re really good.
As for the mains…
The grilled cucumber, wild ginger and beef shin curry was mild, aromatic, delicious. The Cornish greens, as usual, were perfectly cooked (in front of us) and would probably help convert someone to eating vegetables even if they swore they do not eat vegetables. The rice comes from a big cooker that we can also see; they have a couple of those which they keep restocking when the rice runs out.
The second curry, the Sour Pork & Kapi Curry, was a full assault on our tongues and noses. With the menu being so minimal, they don’t even label things as “spicy”. Maybe they would run out of space to print all the chilli signs 🌶🌶🌶🌶🌶🌶🌶🌶 . It truly was a very good nose opener, let’s put it this way.
Or as one Spanish radio presenter of yore put it once (when talking about something totally different), this was “¡bestial, brutal y apocalíptico!” (beastly, brutal, apocalyptic!)—I had to flush my nose several times as it was so runny. Is this “Too Much Information”? I don’t care, it’s my blog 😝
Note for ourselves: next time, double check the spiciness with the waiter before ordering.
Next were the glass noodles, another favourite with great flavour.
And just as a bonus for you, another picture of coals and embers.
This kitchen operates so efficiently, it is truly wonderful to see the cooks in action. Ingredients have been meticulously prepared and sorted out and they just operate without shouting or stumbling with each other. Dishes might even be placed in the counter by your own cook, with whom you might exchange a few words.
We totally love this place. You should go.
58 Brewer Street
London W1F 9TL