What's the draw:
We already know that Ben Chapman is a pretty special chef and restaurateur, which is why we made sure we were first in line to try his new site, Kiln on Soho's Brewer Street. Food is inspired by a typical Thai roadside restaurant, which means much of it is cooked in the kiln (obviously) or in one of the six tao, which are simple charcoal stoves typical of rural Thailand. The restaurant is minute, and all seating is at the bar – get here early to avoid disappointment.
What to drink:
Kiln offers a rather lovely wine list with heaps of unusual choices. Our eye was caught by the 2015 Espontaneo, a blanc de noirs – a white wine made with pinot noir grapes, which give it a just a blush of a pink tinge – from winemaker Ludovic Engelvin in Languedoc, France. Its soft fruity flavours made for extremely easy drinking, and made for a much-needed cooling counterpoint to the heat of the food.
What to eat:
Be careful to heed the warnings of your server, because some of these dishes are deceptively spicy. Our favourites were the outstanding clay pot-baked glass noodles, with a rasher of Tamworth Belly bacon and brown crab meat, and the excellent mushroom Isaan salad. The curries deserve a mention all of their own – beef (blisteringly hot) and pork (even more blisteringly hot), while elsewhere, smoked sausage, grilled chicken and mackerel were delicious little appetisers. There's no dessert menu as of yet, but we await it with anticipation...
Sharing plates, between £2.90 and £9.50; wine from £5 by the glass. 58 Brewer St, W1F 9TL; kilnsoho.com