Smoking Goat: Foodism 100 winner 2019

The winner of the Best Casual Restaurant category in the Foodism 100 is Smoking Goat, the restaurant from Ben Chapman

Who are they?

An acclaimed Thai-influenced grill restaurant in Shoreditch. Set up in a smaller site in Soho by founders Ben Chapman and Brian Hannon, it garnered a following for working with farmers who focus on ultra-sustainable agricultural practices, and for committing a true nose-to-tail ethos that sees an in-house butchery team break down animal carcasses on-site. The result is a menu, and a restaurant, that combines the best of British agriculture with the flavours of Thailand. Think St. John by way of Nahm in Bangkok.

What's on the menu?

While sister restaurant Kiln is known for its clay-pot curries, Smoking Goat sticks largely to grilled dishes, with a few exceptions. These days Ali Borer is its head chef, and Chapman and Borer regularly travel to Thailand and further across East Asia to seek inspiration for new recipes, flavours and cooking techniques. Mains on the menu at the moment include whole fried plaice with Thai herbs, northern Thai-style duck laab, and grilled Tamworth chop with fish sauce and chilli, alongside snacks like Tamworth skewer and lardo fried rice, as well as Chapman's original chilli fish sauce wings, which are so well-loved that he and Borer couldn’t take them off the menu even if they wanted to. Last year saw the return of Offal Mondays – a much-loved pop-up menu that had diners flocking to its old Soho restaurant to eat from a menu of special experimental nose-to-tail dishes that highlighted classic offal alongside lesser-used cuts of meat. At the new place, they’re doing Offal Mondays in collaboration with like-minded chefs and restaurants – early this year Black Axe Mangal's Lee Tiernan joined Borer in the kitchen, and he’s also recently been flanked by Nud Dudhia of Breddos Tacos. Look out for announcements on the next few collaborations on the restaurant’s social channels and grab a reservation if you can.

Where can I find them?

Smoking Goat’s original site closed shortly after the opening of the huge new one on Shoreditch High Street (which used to be a strip club). It's in good company, too: one floor below the similarly beloved grill restaurant Brat by chef Tomos Parry, and just across the road from Lyle’s at the Tea Building. Walk out of Shoreditch High Street station past Boxpark and you can't miss it.

64 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ;