Kiln in London's Soho has been crowned the UK’s Best Restaurant in the 2018 National Restaurant Awards.
Founded by Ben Chapman and Brian Hannon in 2016, Kiln is inspired by the rural simplicity of the Thai Borderlands, combining Burmese, Yunanese and Laos spicing and flavours. Dishes are cooked over open flames reflecting the side of the road style cooking of rural Thailand.
Championing British-grown ingredients, Chapman and head chef Nick Molyviatis work closely with producers Luke Farrell and Sean O’Neil to grow specialist Asian herbs and vegetables down in Dorset and Cornwall, as well as sustainably reared Tamworth pigs in Somerset and day-caught fish from Cornish waters.
Ever evolving dishes are cooked over the wood burning kiln ovens, including Clay Pot Baked Noodles, Jungle Curries, Grilled offal skewers and Laap.
The 50-cover restaurant centres around counter-seating at the open kitchen and bar. A constantly changing wine list focuses on low intervention and Pétillant Naturel wines, selected by Kiln’s Luke Pyper and Zeren Wilson.
Chapman and Hannon said, “Trying to open a tiny place in Soho that serves rural Thai food whilst growing and sourcing the ingredients in Cornwall is probably a fairly demented approach to opening a restaurant. We don’t know if this brilliant award makes it more or less so, but we’re certainly humbled by the recognition.
'There are days where I silently wonder whether anyone notices or likes the fact that Chef Nick has spent a year trying to use wild monkfish liver to thicken a curry rather than buying coconut cream, but what’s lovely about this award, is that it acknowledges people do.
Acutely with Kiln, we owe so much to the enduring enthusiasm of our regulars, who whenever they eat with us embrace the spirit of what we’re trying to do. Without them, we’d have closed 6 months in.'