I’ve always passed by Salon en route to other establishments along Brixton Market Row (ie the original Franco Manca and my favourite Thai in town, Yum-D) but I’ve never really given it much thought for a visit as it always came across another coffee shop (and I always go to Federation Coffee in Brixton). So when @bakeryee suggested a brunch rendezvous there, I was surprised to know they actually serve proper food.
There’s a decent sized dining area upstairs reminiscent of the type you see in hipster magazines/Pinterest with its shabby chic meets industrial meets country home vibe.
Yee booked us a table for Sunday brunch (they require a £5/head deposit for groups over 8). Pleasantries exchanged after the latecomers *ahem* arrived and shortly after, we were all sorted for orders. We immersed ourselves in pleasant Sunday-brunch banter until our orders arrived. Like the place itself, each dish had that Instagrammable
‘s scrambled eggs with ‘nduja on toast
‘s hot smoked salmon, buttermilk scone with beetroot & cabbage slaw
T’s and John’s lamb special (£9)
It was Alex’s smashed avocado on toast with chilli and smoked lardons
(£6.5) that had me salivating. I wanted to get this myself but as I’ve pretty much smashed (har har) this recipe at home
, I decided to get something else. Alex’s appreciative ‘Oh, yum!’ utterances did give me massive food envy, though.
E, Angela, Yee & I went for the three-cheese cornbread with ham hock and supergreens (£7.5). I had high hopes for this dish, but unfortunately something seemed amiss… and something seemed too prominent. We realised that the cornbread lacked a bit of moistness and creamy texture whilst everything else on the plate was a bit overseasoned. This was when everyone pretty much agreed that the kitchen might have gotten a tad too excited with salt.
I opted out of the poached egg but everyone else had /#eggporn-worthy plates. Instead, I ordered a side of wild mushrooms with pickled walnut (£2.5) on the side, which I enjoyed more than my main.
We ordered a few slices of warm banana bread served with hazelnut ganache (£4). This sounded really promising but I honestly didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. The banana flavour was slightly overpowered by spices and the superseeds on top just gave it a strange texture. The ganache, however, was pretty yum. I’d’ve licked all four bowls of it if I were that greedy.
Oh, we also managed to score amazing macarons by E who nailed the matcha flavour on first try!
Don’t you love brunch with buddies? Especially those couple friends who just make your heart melt like butter (atop scones and pancakes and cornbread and… oops, I’m getting carried away, aren’t I?)
And because this is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen (nevermind the photobomber)
Overall, Salon Brixton has a lot of potential. Their seasonal a la carte and brunch menus have strong contenders for really outstanding dishes, as long as they go easy on the salt! If you do visit, go bring a bunch of people you can laugh with. After all, it’s the company that makes up for a good time.
18 Market Row, Coldharbour Lane, London SW9
Ave spend pp: £20