Brixton has become one of the most dynamic areas in London for restaurants, with Salon (so named after the location’s previous incarnation as a hairdresser’s) leading the charge. On January 28, Salon celebrates its fifth birthday with a Sunday lunch (£50) led by chef-founder Nicholas Balfe, who will be joined by fellow chefs Lee Tiernan from Black Axe Mangal, Josh Katz of Berber & Q, John Chantarasak from Som Saa, Silo’s Dougie McMaster, and pudding queen Ravneet Gill from Llewelyn’s, each of whom will be cooking a course.
A celebratory cocktail of Salon 75 made with Colombo gin, red “British citrus”, butter and crémant, created by Mr Lyan, aka Ryan Chetiyawardana, will be served on arrival with Balfe’s snacks – January king-cabbage taco with beef short rib; buttermilk and kraut; a celeriac skewer with blood orange and fermented chilli dip; and pheasant popcorn with sea-buckthorn ketchup.
Tiernan will cook a starter of sweet and savoury doughnuts flavoured with Szechuan spices followed by Chantarasak’s crispy fermented pork belly, with Granny Smith and sourleaf salad and sea-buckthorn and orange-chilli dressing. Next, McMaster will prepare one of his signature plant-based dishes of nasturtium roots and alexanders with Guernsey cream, followed by Katz’s barbecue mallard with smoked carrot, orange and pistachio. Finally, Gill will create a pre-dessert of lemongrass and rhubarb – segueing into a chocolate and chestnut choux bun.
“Five years feels like such a huge milestone for Salon and in that time, the restaurant scene has boomed,” says Balfe. “As much as I find the London restaurant landscape exciting, dynamic and full of new openings to discover, I hope that the places that stand the test of time are the ones that put their energy into cooking great food and creating a great experience. That’s what I intend to do with Salon over the next five years.” Long may this restaurant continue into the next decade.