Salon’s reputation precedes it. I can whole-heartedly confirm that the rumours are true; it’s downright delicious. The food looks divine and tastes better.
Talk about setting out your stall… Salon do exactly that hawking some delicious wares outside the front of their deli. They showcase some treats whipped up in their café alongside gems collected from other local producers. If the enticing baked goods, charcuterie and cheeses don’t tickle your fancy you can join them upstairs for more wholesome fare. Serving up brunch, à la Carte and a set menu, you can tailor your trip to suit your appetite. I’m thrilled to say you can also book in advance which I so appreciate. I’m not a fan of the over-inflated hype and angst that is fuelled by restaurants that refuse to allow bookings.
The cute upstairs room at Salon strikes the elusive balance between intimate and crowded. Thank goodness they haven’t attempted to pack too many tables into the neat little space and the larger communal tables feel like the perfect compromise. I’m struck by quite dinky the kitchen is that churns out such scrumptious plates.
There’s a buzz in the air, the sort that blossoms from a sunny Sunday, good grub and cheery company. My friend hasn’t arrived and time perusing the menu just leaves me more bewildered than before. Everything sounds fabulous. In the end I pick the three-cheese cornbread, shredded ham hock, greens, super seeds with the added poached duck egg to boot (content that she’s gone for the other serious contender – the hot smoked salmon, buttermilk scone, beetroot & cabbage slaw). Both dishes that arrive are a sight for sore eyes; colourful, just the right amount of rustic and smelling wonderful. Oozy rich egg yolk binds everything to perfection. The slightly sweet cornbread is the ideal accompaniment to salty ham hock. The mouthful of salmon is equally tasty and considerably fresher although the scone is quite a bit denser.
For a normal person that, on top of a substantial portion of porridge, chia and coconut bowl for breakfast, would be plenty. I however, had ample space left for a dessert of banana bread with hazelnut ganache. My friend is an absolute wonder and had just run a half marathon, so she more than deserved every bite – I had not. That didn’t stop me for a moment. It was spot on. A few caramelized seeds for crunch and a crisp top, cinnamon galore, and a squidgy banana laden bottom, what more could you possibly want? Well, possibly the hazelnut ganache.
At £16 a head you could argue it wasn’t the cheapest brunch on the planet but we effectively ate a two-course meal plus one, well earned, bloody mary. When you think of it like that I think it’s more than reasonable. I’ll be rushing back just as soon as I find someone to go with!