Salon 22

18 Market Row , London, SW9 8LD

  • Salon London restaurant Brixton British
  • Salon London restaurant Brixton British
  • Salon London restaurant Brixton British

SquareMeal Review of Salon

Brixton’s Market Row is a real draw for foodies, but this pared-back dining room above what was Cannon & Cannon’s charcuterie shop is surely the pick of the bunch. Chef/owner Nick Balfe has hit his stride with a fiercely seasonal selection of dishes that showcase his considerable talents – as well as a zealous commitment to ‘zero waste’. His fixed-price menus are shot through with inventive touches and bright, perky flavours that showcase native produce. Dishes change regularly but might include creamy smoked squash topped with trompettes and pumpkin seeds for a richly comforting taste of autumn or pink salt marsh lamb with crispy slivers of Jerusalem artichoke and sprouting broccoli slathered in garlicky bagna càuda sauce (a regional Italian dip). But thankfully the addictive nduja croquettes are a permanent feature now. Salon Wine Store next door features an brilliant selection of artisan bottles – starting from as little as £10 – which you can buy to enjoy with your meal or takeaway; though we suggest plumping for the carefully curated wine pairings if you’re a real oenophile. Local craft brews and cocktails are also on offer, while weekend brunch features creative dishes such as poached duck egg with Sriracha chilli hollandaise. 


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9.0

Food & Drink: 9.0

Service: 10.0

Atmosphere: 9.0

Value: 9.0

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Alex K. 15 December 2012

“Quarter after eight? If you get here at six-thirty,” Owen's friendly Scots voice emerged from the telephone receiver, “we can have you out in good time for THE HOBBIT at the Ritzy.” So we booked our table for two, and arrived promptly, and settled into a grand meal: Lardo / shaving of apple / chestnut, salt-fat / sweet / vehicle, with cider; pleasantly bitter gently sauteed sprout tops, little intense crumples of chlorophyll, with flecks of anchovy and an amiable dry white; venison haunch, SO flavourful!, parsley-root mash, and walnuts both pickled and in kernel, and a decent red that came into its own after a forkful of the venison; then, to finish, pear poached in wine with semisweet-chocolate mousse and a muscat. That was the plan. Indeed, Owen would have had us out the door laughing and timely; but we opted for the cheese board, another glass of red and generous portions of a delicately ricotta-like chevre, a reserved Scots cheddar, and a powerful stunner of an English Gorgonzola — schedule demolished, then — and with a “Good Heavens, look at the time!” we were down the stairs and out the door. Not to worry. The dwarves, with Gandalf and Bilbo, disembarked from the eagles onto the crag from which Erebor was visible looming faraway, the audience took off its 3D glasses and disassembled itself as twos and ones into the evening fog, and we hurried back to Salon, past an expostulating security guard, and up the stairs again for our pudding, among the washing-up and receipts-counting, eavesdropping on Nick the chef at the next table as the orders for the next day's supplies went onto various wholesalers' answering machines. Delicious and excitingly novel, interesting food; friendly and obliging staff; a truly memorable night — the glow lasted all the way down Coldharbour Lane to Loughborough Junction and through Camberwell.

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