address – 18 Market Row, Brixton, SW98LD
telephone: 0207 5019152
Salon at Cannon and Cannon has little changed in decor from its previous incarnation as just upstairs at Cannon and Cannon. There are odd tables from sewing machines and large tables for sixteen, the arrangement allowing for squeezing past with balanced plates. What has changed is there is now a kitchen upstairs for preparation and the menu.
Salon relies on the food sold in the deli downstairs and the menu is a simple arrangement of fresh ingredients with a new twist. The menu when we visited was fixed with four courses and an optional cheese course. We had the menu with the accompanying wines but our dinner guests just had beer.
It wasn’t just four courses as a lovely amuse bouche turned up – an upmarket take on KFC – pheasant popcorn with a rich garlicky aioli which we ate with fingers.
Next was sprout tops with homemade ricotta and anchovy – also eaten with fingers. This was really well balanced with just the right amount of ricotta to offset the bitterness of the sprout top.
Then we had black pudding and apple followed by venison with pickled walnut and mashed parsnips. The venison was pink and soft.
The pudding was a delicious rich dark chocolate something with caramelised Clementine. We don’t know what was intended and we are pretty sure that it was supposed to look like a torte or have some sort of shape but it ended up as a mound on the plate. The Clementine offset the potential for the chocolate to be cloying. It wasn’t exactly caramelised but was sweet enough and the whole concoction was fantastic with not a crumb left on anyone’s plate.
The accompanying wines were well chosen – champagne, Riesling, an Italian red and a Muscat – and glasses were filled between courses. Water of course comes for free from an endless carafe provided with bread at the beginning of the meal.
The portions are small but having just returned from the land of the supersized where portions can last for several days, this return to the normal was really welcome. The four portions were definitely enough food even for a hearty eater. My only concern about this restaurant is the level of noise and the space for delivering food. Big tables produce more noise than smaller ones as people shout to make themselves heard to all 14 or so people. It may only be Christmas work celebrations and smaller tables may reassert themselves later in the year but the walls are bare or glass there is nothing to absorb sound and one or two loud guys (and they were men) sometime made us wince. Space is really a premium and it may be that Salon will wish to provide guests with more comfortable seating arrangements during the rest of the year.
This is a restaurant now overcoming my previous impression of a lack of style, amateur waiting staff and irritating small portions that take hours to arrive. Service now is slick, attentive and the timing was perfect. Also – and I know this is often a theme in this blog – it was winter and the temperature was absolutely fine.
The meal cost £29.00 per person with accompanying wine another £22.00.