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Smoking Goat Restaurant Review Shoreditch London

I’d stumbled on Smoking Goat the week before in London when coming out of Dishoom for an afternoon beer and didn’t have chance to see what they did there.As we were in the neighbourhood walking back from training and with no prior plans we thought we would pop in and see what they had cooking for supper.

This was around 8pm on a Tuesday evening, which if it was Cardiff that’s all you would see was tumbleweed. This however was London and Tuesday or not it was packed out. We asked for a table but were told it would be 45 minute wait.

We put our name down and wandered around the corner to see if we would have anymore luck at Dishoom but that was even worse with them qeueuing to get in outside. Beer o’clock it was then till our table was ready so we nipped across the road for a swift pint at Shoreditch Box park.

kitchen smoking goat bar shoreditch

Time was up and we headed back to the restaurant and were swiftly seated. The restaurant was shrouded in darkness illuminated by beacons of light from the hot coal fired stoves along with dimly lit lights dotted around the venue. Not having had a chance to ponder over the menu, I ordered a Scooner of Beavertown Neck Oil to quence my thirst whilst giving the menu a once over.

The Food

The menu is a take on Thai Street Food with a drinking food section for snacking on with a you’re favourite hopped beverage.

The list included:

  • Chicken heart skewer
  • Barbecue Tamworth skewer
  • Cornish Octopus skewer
  • Northern Thai beef sausage
  • Steamed Menai Oyster
  • Roasted Chilli
  • Northern Thai Beef Sausage
  • Cornish Cockles Naam Jim
  • Chilli Fish Sauce Wings
  • Cured Monkfish, Young Ginger
  • Northern Duck Laab

I would of gone all out on at least half the items on the above menu but I was out with work so I pretended to be normal for the outing so we only went for the Northern Thai Beef Sausage and the Northern Duck Laab.

Having visited Thailand a few years back on the way home from Oz I was stupid enough to travel without my jabs so I was gutted I couldn’t make the most of the street food found on the side of the road out there although I did try one thing and that was a garlic sausage.

Bloody hell was it intense! I can still taste the overpowering roundhouse kick of garlic now but this Thai sausage cut into bitesized slices was a bit less punchy on the garlic side but god damn delicious none the less. We ordered two for the table of 4 where I’d wished I’d had one for myself.

northern duck laab smoking goat bar shoreditch

The Northern Duck Laab came with a health warning when ordering. Well not so much a health warning but I was made aware that it was the hottest thing on the menu and not for the faint hearted. A few of the other group seemed keen to try as they said they liked spicy food so we took a punt. I’d never heard of a Laab before but seemed to consist of ground meat with what i could only describe as half and half with sliced chillies, it was ferocious!

On the first bite you have a hit of fragrant meaty nuggets, crunchy texture and quite nutty flavour. I couldn’t work out if it was ground rice or chilli seeds I was chewing on but it didn’t take long for the powerful heat to tear through from my shoulders and up the back of my head and then came the sweats and sniffles. It came with a side bowl of spiced vinegar from what I could gather, so I gave a little dousing over the rice to try and tame it as best I could.

Everyone else bowed out after a spoonfull or two so I took one for the team and went at it alone putting on a brave face. Don’t get me wrong the dish was tasty as hell but it didn’t half pack a punch on the spice-o-meter.

Up next was the mains and not been here before we thought we would order one main each and share a couple of bowls of rice. How wrong were we. The waitress laughed when we read out the 5 mains between 4 of us. Fair play to her though she could of just taken the order but she assured us that the portions were very generous, which saved us a couple of quid.

barbeque goat massaman smoking goat shoreditch london

We went for one of the Barbecue Goat Turmeric Massaman as a couple of the group had never tried goat and seeing that it was in the name of the restaurant how could you not. We opted for 2 portions of the smoked brisket drunken noodles and some bowls of jasmine rice and lardo fried rice.

I grabbed the goat dish as soon as it hit the table, which gave absolutely no resistance to my fork when pulling at it. The flesh was so tender. Sadly in a rush I forgot to spoon some of the curry sauce it was steeped in and by the time the others had finished sharing it out there wasn’t any left. The curry flavoured with fermented shrimp paste, lemongrass, tamarind and a kick from thai spices. The goat was soft and gently spiced and on the other end of the spectrum compared to the lab in terms of heat but was very welcomed. Even though it had been cooked low and slow judging by the texture but it could of been a tad warmer when it was served as it was a little cold by the time it reached us.

smoked brisket drunken noodles smoking goat shoreditch

As it was pretty dark in the restaurant I couldn’t quite see what I was spooning onto my plate when it came to the brisket drunken noodles. I’d bagged myself a decent portion it seemed but I don’t think I managed to  get a single shred of the beef but what I did have was spot on with lingering flavours of holy basil and wild ginger.

I struggled on with the plate of Duck laab into the mains so sprinkled the remnants on my lardo fried rice not to waste it. The lardo rice was a healthy portion of fried rice with chunks of house cured back and belly of Tamworth pig fat nestled amongst the the fragrant rice with side of hot nam prik chilli dip. This was packed full of flavour and liked the dip so you could season to taste. The left over laab added an extra kick of heat too.

empty plates at smoking goat bar shoreditch

The Verdict

I really enjoyed my first visit to Smoking Goat as I love a bit of Thai but it was unlike anything you would or what i’ve found in and around Cardiff with more of a street food late night Thai canteen vibe to it. I couldn’t get over how cheap it was not only for London considering I’d had a takeaway in Cardiff for two for more than we spent per person here and I was still hungry with that. The portion sizes are very generous and mains only around £13 and more than enough for one person. We shared 3 mains and that was plenty with some rice.

I’d definitely have a stab at a few more starters or the drinking food if i went again.

Would I go again? Too right! It was a welcome change to what I’d been eating at the time and everything was fragrant, tender and a good kick of heat if you like that. With a drink each a couple of starters, 3 mains and rice it came to just £20 each for 4 of us. I’d spend more than that on a takeaway for myself at my local Indian or Thai takeaway let alone dine in and eat.

Address: 64 Shoreditch High St, London, E1 6JJ

Pork and Turkey Meatballs Thai Red Curry Recipe

Thai Pork and Turkey Meatballs Ingredients

  • 250g turkey mince
  • 250g pork mince
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (I used a Malaysian Curry mix)
  • 1 teaspoon ground lemongrass
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 thai chilli grated or chopped finely
  • 1 small shallot grated or chopped finely
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger grated finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander chopped finely

Optional

  • You can add a little almond flour or ground almonds to the mix to help bind or give extra nuttiness and protein.

thai turkey meatball ingredients

thai turkey meatballs

Instructions

  1. Drop everything into a large bowl and mix with your hands to combine fully. Tear small chunks of the seasoned meat and make little balls. I made them smaller than I normally would make with normal beef meatballs as the turkey is quite lean and tends to dry out if overcooked so this meant they cooked quicker.
  2. You can either fry in a pan or I cooked for around 12-15 minutes in an airfryer on 180C. You want a bit of browning but it’s ok if they aren’t cooked through fully as I added the meatballs to the pan for a few minutes at the end to add the juices to the sauce and for the meatballs to absorb some of the sauce.

Red Thai Curry Ingredients

  1. 1 large shallot sliced thinly
  2. 3 garlic cloves grated finely
  3. 1 thumb size piece of ginger grated finely
  4. Fish Sauce
  5. 1 Tin of coconut milk or if going healthy sub for Yogurt or mixture of fat free yogurt and 100ml vegetable stock
  6. Bag fresh beansprouts
  7. 1 carrot julienned or ribbons
  8. 100g green beans
  9. 1 red pepper sliced thinly
  10. Thai red curry paste. I used two shots of M & S Thai Red Curry Paste
  11. Bunch fresh coriander
  12. Juice of 1 lime

Optional

  • Extra chilli if you like it hotter
  • Peanuts
  • Bamboo shoots

thai red curry recipe

Instruction

  1. Add the sliced shallots to a hot pan and use either coconut oil or frylight so it doesn’t burn. Cook for a few minutes till the onion goes translucent.
  2. Add the grated garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Add the thai curry paste and stir and cook out for 30 seconds making sure not to burn.
  3. The you can add either the coconut milk, yogurt and or stock depending on whether you are counting calories and stir to combine.
  4. Add the beans, beansprouts and peppers and carrots to the pan of curry. I like to have my veg crunchy in a curry but if you prefer to cook them a little first in a pan, remove from pan then do the onions, garlic, ginger and return after the paste that’s up to you.
  5. Add a teaspoon of palm sugar, lime juice and a good shake of the fish sauce to season. You could sub for honey or brown sugar if you don’t have palm sugar.
  6. Cook away for 5-10 minutes on medium heat to cook the veg to desired crunch or mush depending on preference.
  7. Add the cooked or nearly cooked meatballs to the pan of sauce and vegetables a few minutes from the end so they are coated and absorb some of the sauce.
  8. Garnish with a handful of chopped fresh coriander.
  9. Serve with a bowl of noodles of choice or rice. I opted for wholegrain rice as I’m trying to be a bit healthier these days. Sprinkle with a little more coriander, maybe thinly sliced chilli if you’re feeling brave, a wedge of lime and maybe some peanuts if you like too.

This made about 30 little meatballs and was enough for 4 meals.

Korean Beef Short Rib and Asian Slaw

Korean Beef Short Rib Ingredients

  • 2 ribs of beef
  • 4 cloves of garlic squashed with palm of the hand
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger sliced
  • 4 spring onions chopped
  • 1 chinese pear pureed or grated

These measurements below were rough and didn’t use any measuring devices

  • 60ml light soy sauce
  • 30ml water
  • 30ml rice wine / mirin
  • Drizzle sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons gochujang sauce
  • 1 teaspoon gochugarw red pepper flakes

Asian Slaw Ingredients

1 medium kolrabi, peeled and julienned
¼ cucumber cut into battons
2 carrots julienned
4 leaves of Chinese lettuce washed and sliced
2 spring onions sliced thinly
Bunch fresh coriander
1 lime
light soy sauce
toasted sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients for the beef ribs marinade apart from the ribs in a casserole dish and mix.
  2. I browned the ribs on all sides in a hot pan to sear, then added to the casserole dish of marinade. Turn around or pour over the mixture so it’s coated.
  3. Either put the casserole lid on or wrap in foil to steam as it’s cooking. I cooked my two ribs on 150C for around 2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile make the Asian slaw by chopping and julienning the veg and adding to a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of one lime, a glug of soy sauce and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil in a little jar. Stir and pour over the salad.
  5. I took out, turned the ribs over and cooked for an additional 30 minutes on 220C with the foil back on till it was soft and tender.
  6. Remove the ribs from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Take a pile of the slaw and place on a plate. Top with the rib of beef and spoon over a bit of the resting juices in the dish.
  8. Scatter with thinly sliced chilli, chopped fresh coriander and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

The Marram Grass Restaurant Review Anglesey

The Isle of Anglesey culinary offerings are on the up of late. Not only have they represented North Wales in Great British menu on BBC but they also have more Michelin Stars than the countries capital, which was awarded to Sosban in Menai. We will come to that in the near future as I had to book 6 months in advance and won’t be dinning there till April.

Not content with having to wait until April for some fine dining we managed to book into Anglesey’s other well documented eating establishment Marram Grass. Not your average restaurant and you would be forgiven thinking you’re more likely to see a greasy spoon on the site from the roadside as the restaurant is within a shed situated on a caravan site in the village of Newborough.

The outside of The Marram Grass Restaurant in Anglesey

I think this adds to the charm of the restaurant and sticks two fingers up to some of the more pretentious venues showing them you can muster up excellent plates of food and people will travel for it no matter how expensive the chandeliers are or how man thousand year old oak trees have been chopped down in order to make the tables.

The restaurant has been transformed inside though and looks nothing like it does on the outside.

Inside The Marram Grass Restaurant in Anglesey

Seeing as we were up in Anglesey between Christmas and New Year without any plans we thought we would swing by for some lunch. We probably would of struggled getting a table ringing up a few days before normally but seeing that the majority of people on the island had two weeks’ worth of food shopping spilling out of the fridge we were lucky.

The Food

My favourite thing to do before and after booking a restaurant is to mull over the menu deliberating so I don’t take hours when I’m there but The Marram Grass serves only the freshest, in season produce and is constantly changing the menu so it was a complete surprise as to what we would have on the day.

Seeing as it was way past the acceptable hour of drinking for Christmas we ordered a bottle of white whilst we pondered over the menu, which were very reasonably priced I have to admit.

I did however think the price on the main courses was a lot steeper than I thought they would be considering it’s a café essentially, it’s location on a caravan park and we were dining for lunch. Mains on the menu ranged from £19 for fish of the day up to a hefty £35 for the Welsh Black beef, black cabbage, Portobello mushroom and textures of onion.

Not your typical pub or restaurant you would usually find on a campsite then but they did have fish and chips on the daily special at a much more reasonable £14. I thought this was handy for people who wanted to sample the place if they were staying on the camp but didn’t want to spend too much.

My body aching for anything other than turkey and a 12 cheese variety cheeseboard I was happy with pretty much everything on there today and luckily the menu wasn’t too expansive so I didn’t take too long to decide.

As we were due to go shooting later in the day (clays the real thing) I thought I’d get in the mood with a bit of game with the daily special of Pheasant and puy lentils for starter. Llio is mad for her soup at the moment so she opted for the crown prince squash, curried raisins with homemade sourdough and Hafod butter.

Treacle bread at The Marram Grass

We were presented with some fresh treacle bread and butter before the starters came. I’d never tried such bread before and was a good mix of sweet and savoury, which tasted equally as good with a good slather of butter.

As usual we fought over who was having what for mains as we usually prefer the same one but like to have a try of more than one dish. Llio opted for the lamb whereas I went for a pork fest, which included pork fillet, pork belly a crackling bon bon, pipped potatoes and a carrot puree.

Pheasant starter at The Marram Grass

The Pheasant was a really hearty dish for a starter with a decent sized portion of meat, well-seasoned puy lentils and chunks of tomatoes. Not too much going on with the plate to let the main ingredients do their thing.

Soup at The Marram Grass

Llio’s soup was a great big bowl of winter lovliness with freshly baked dunkable, buttery sourdough but I’d go for a portion of meat on my plate every time.

Pork main course at The Marram Grass

My main was pretty epic to look at and more than made up for on the palate. A good selection of different cuts of pork and different textures to balance it out as I love a good crunch to my forkful of food. Silky smooth mash and sweet carrot puree pebbled with slithers of spring onion and oodles of rich gravy splayed over the meaty morsels.

Lamb main at The Marram Grass

The lamb served perfectly pink on a bed of green lentil cassoulet and trio of celeriac with salt baked, puree and remoulade. The flavours packed a punch but I think my mains topped it with more little nuggets of goodies to feed on. The pork was £6 cheaper at £22 compared to £28 for the lamb, which I thought was a little steep for lunch.

I hadn’t committed to dessert yet but on mention of the saffron and yuzu panna cotta on the specials board I was sold. I’ve got a little obsession with the powerful Asian citrus fruit lately and keep a bottle to hand in the fridge to give an extra zing to dishes sweet or savoury so if it’s ever on the menu in something it’s usually top of the list by default. Llio was left a little full after all the bread with the dishes so I had to go it alone.

Yuzu panna cotta dessert at The Marram Grass

I loved the different combination of flavours and textures going on with the dessert from the wobbly citrusy burst of yuzu in the panna cotta to the scattering of crumbly chocolate bits and the sticky, chewy pastry esque shards of jolting from the chocolate filled parcels too. Sweet, citrusy chocolatey, soft, chewy, crunchy it had it all. I bloody hate a bowl of the same thing to plough on through I’ll be honest.

The Verdict

I couldn’t fault anything we were served and the service was excellent and very attentive although we were one of only two tables dinning at the time. Very friendly and helpful though none the less.The food was excellent all round, I liked the rustic vibe going on inside and the wine was very reasonably priced.
Price wise I thought it was a little steep for location and it being a café / bistro. Even though the food was lovely, we were dinning for lunch and I can’t say I’ve spent around £100 for lunch that often apart from special occasions.

Bill at The Marram Grass

Dinning in the evening I wouldn’t have any qualms at all but it would have been nice to have a few more reasonably priced lunch menu options. I couldn’t really see many of the clientele of the caravan site being able to afford to feed a family of 5 or 6 on the off chance when they couldn’t be bothered to cook on the gas stove for lunch, as it would be close to £250-£300. Well I can’t speak for everyone, but I know my family or mum at least wouldn’t be forking out that much for one meal for us.

Would I go back again? I wouldn’t go back for lunch for the price we paid, well not just a random lunch out. I would go back for an evening meal for a birthday or special occasion when up north or even to sample the tasting menu though.

I noticed on social media that the Liverpudlian brothers, Liam and Ellis Barrie who run the Marram Grass have announced they are building luxury appartments on the site just yesterday too so there are a few new things coming and the site will be changing dramatically in the near future and I hope them all the best on the new venture.