Salon, Brixton

If I was going to eat only one pudding again for the rest of my life, it would be the one I had at Salon in Brixton a couple of weekends ago. It was so wonderfully refreshing to get served a pudding that didn’t want to give ‘sweetness’ a second of it’s time. The flavour combinations in the  ‘Marmalade Semi-freddo, Polenta Cake & Almonds’ were bitter and punchy and only just lifted by the naturally creamy almonds and soft polenta. My god it was good.Salon As was my whole experience at Salon, the new restaurant on Brixton’s ever-evolving Market Row. It’s tiny to the point of being uncomfortable and a bit tricky to manouvre but the open kitchen and low red lighting (sorry for the slightly hellish and tipsy pictures that are actually shown in course order) made it a pleasant enough place to hang out. It’s above Cannon and Cannon, the established deli that sells cheeses, meats and nice condiments all sourced from around the UK. The restaurant prides itself in the same local sourcing and the headchef Nicholas Balfe came over to us a number of times throughout our meal to explain the origin of our food and how he got hold of it.Mallard Pate On Wednesday and Saturday nights, the restaurant serves a five course set menu priced at a very reasonable £29 per head. There’s no choice of what you eat so go with an open mind and in the comfort that if you’re not keen on one course, there’ll be plenty more. Luckily for me, I was satisfied with every single plate of food served. Like the pud, the main course was one of the most memorable I’ve eaten for a while. Tamworth Pork Belly was so slowly cooked that all the fat had turned to caramel and was cut through by a serving of tart pear (served three ways- sliced, roasted and in a delicious sauce) and earthy roasted beetroot.Mackarel, Rhubarb, Horseradish Broccoli, Lardo & Hazelnuts Purple sprouting broccolli, lardo and hazelnuts was also a winning dish but only after I’d got over the fact that the lardo was literally just a streak of fat. It tasted too good that I didn’t worry about it for long and now I know thats it’s stocked in Cannon & Cannon, I’ll definatley pick some up to spread on my toast (a suggestion made by Nicholas). Cured Mackarel (the second course) came served with zesty rhubarb, creamy horesradish and crunchy toast. It was a really refreshing dish that perked us all up and prepped us for the heavy dishes that followed. The table also shared some rich, tasty mallard pate with pickled cabbage that was so good it disappeared in seconds.Tamworth pork belly Semifreddo My only groan is that the service was a little hit and miss. The team forgot our bread (although we definatley had enough food without it) and we waited a long time for one of our drinks orders but overall I had a blast at Salon. During the week they do a set lunch for £12.95 for two courses, £15.95 for three, an absolute bargain for the quality of the dishes and the experience.
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