Simply put, Salon is the best restaurant on Brixton’s ‘Market Row’ (one of the two brilliantly eclectic covered arcades). When it first opened, back in 2012, it was just a room above Cannon & Cannon: now this modern European small plates joint has expanded, having taken over the street level and launched a wine store next door.
The vibe is of a casual neighbourhood bistro: teal-painted concrete floors, plain walls, wood furniture. The service is delightful. In the evenings, there’s a set menu, so your options are limited, but don’t panic: the food is all outstanding. Highlights of a recent meal included soft, meaty octopus with verdant fronds of monk’s beard, a lick of chilli oil, the crunch of toasted maize and the sweetness of blood orange; then a dish of smoked cauliflower with turmeric butter, sweet and tangy pickled red onion plus fragrant, sesame-scented tahini. The bread (free) is incredible. So are the snacks (these cost extra). Do not, on pain of death, miss the signature ’nduja croquettes, which come with a kick.
It’s also a great place to take an oenophile (plonk-loving, basically) pal. The wine list is every bit as special as the cooking and kicks off at a bow-down-emoji-worthy £23.50 a bottle.