We had heard many good things about this tiny Thai restaurant next to Tottenham Court Road station, and came with very high expectations. I used to live in Bangkok for a few months and love the local cuisine. Besides Japanese and Korean, I’d probably have to call Thai my favourite Asian food. The Smoking Goat ranks roughly #400 out of 20,000 London restaurants and has had some excellent recent reviews.
The atmosphere, dominated by heavy wooden furniture and low-key decorative elements, is very pleasant. We ordered scallops for starters, a papaya salad, a pork collar, and one of their signature dishes, minced goat to share.
The scallops were soso, not bad, but nothing noteworthy, the texture was lacking in firmness and we weren’t convinced by the mix of ingredients of the accompanying sauce. The salad was extremely spicy, as was the goat. We felt that the goat tasted like mutton, the aged variety. The pork shoulder was the only dish that really positively impressed us. Extremely tasty and the smoked chilli pepper paste, that came with it, was absolutely to die for.
On the plus side, the waiter was very friendly and helpful, service was very quick and professional. It’s just that the food did not really do the job for us, pork collar aside.
Not sure if they’ve had to replace their chef that day or what happened, but it felt hard to see why anyone would give this restaurant a better than average rating.
We also found it odd that you’d choose minced meat as one of your signature dishes. After all, it’s not exactly showcasing your culinary skills. Overall, a rather odd experience. We won’t be back.