58 Brewer Street, W1F 9TL
WLC Rank : 262
Glass from : £ 5 (125 ml)
Kiln is Ben Chapman’s sequel to what quickly became a Soho favourite – Smoking Goat. With a frequently changing wine list put together by Zeren Wilson (Bitten and Written, Wine List Confidential), this Thai grill in Brewer Street has plenty to recommend it.
Pricing is very competitive and the wine list doesn’t just play safe. Natural and biodynamic wines dominate – Domaine Lucci’s wines from Adelaide Hills are every bit as wild as mad-as-a-spoon winemaker Anton von Klopp’s hair – his meaty (and appropriately named) ‘Wildman’ Pinot Noir may change the way you think about Pinot for ever. This is how the Anton describes it (capitalisation and punctuation are his) “WHOLE BUNCHES JUMPED ON ONCE AND LEFT OUTSIDE TO ROT!!! Made so wrong, but it taste soooo right.” His ‘Gris Gris’ Pinot Gris (£9/£38) is whole-bunch fermented in amphorae and is also very out there.
A sparkling selection (well, there are two, but it’s still a selection) that starts with Peter Lauer Riesling Sekt will always arouse this writer’s interest, if not his actual loins (Riesling seems to be a house enthusiasm, in fact), while a choice selection of four aromatic orange wines (including the Gris Gris mentioned above) would be interesting to try with the sweet, salty, spicy-leaning food on offer.
“For the love of Christ, just show me a NORMAL bottle of wine!” I hear you say.
Well fine. The list at Kiln has got that covered too: fresh, zingy, spirit-raising Pinot Blanc from biodynamic Alsace estate Domaine Josmeyer is only £34 a bottle and not a cloud or clay vessel in sight. ‘Miam Miam’ Cabernet Franc from Domaine de Bellevue in the Loire (£31.50) is juicy, fruity and also not remotely weird. Make sure you ask for it lightly chilled.
With around 20-25 wines in total, all of which are available by the 175ml glass, this is a list that makes things easy for you, with discoveries to be made at every turn. Pricing is also very reasonable, interesting magnums are often poured by the glass, and all wines will change frequently. I predict another Soho favourite.
By Darren Smith – 2016