Got £3.80 in your pocket? Great. Because that’s all you’ll need for Smoking Goat’s lardo-fried rice. Aka the best fried rice in London. They cook down the back fat of outdoor-reared Tamworth pigs, then fry it up with rice, a little egg and a paste of chilli, garlic and coriander root. Plus whatever veggie offcuts are lying around. It’s the colour of autumn, the taste of long-haul holidays and the ultimate hangover cure. The downside? You can’t get it ‘to go’, so you’ll have to eat in.
Which, actually, is no hardship. This place rocks. While the now-closed original, on Denmark Street, was a teeny dive bar with a handful of ‘Thai barbecue’ bar snacks, the new Smoking Goat is a big, buzzy, restaurant proper. It feels like the pub it once was, only instead of a bar there’s an open counter kitchen in the centre. Tables are so tightly packed the guy next to me went for an intense buttock clench as he attempted to slide through the gap, his pal helpfully cracking jokes about the size of his bum. It’s low-lit and fun, all smoke and noise and music. The look is industrial-meets-rustic: high ceilings, factory windows and girders, plus loads of wood, including the original parquet floors.