Salon N. 10 is located at 10 Arbuthnot Road, Central. Reservations: 2801 6768
[FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m friends with, and have worked alongside some of the team at Salon 10 in the past, so while this is still a review and peek into their new dinner service, it’s only fair to mention. As you’ll see however, the food and venue photos speak for themselves. Bakker x]Salon N. 10 is a bar-slash-restaurant that sits just above the mayhem of Lan Kwai Fong. Accordingly, the decor and vibe are quirky and cool as opposed to flashy chic – and while it’s become one of the hottest watering holes in town, no matter how many people are inside the atmosphere is decidedly laid back.Salon has a fantastic open-kitchen and bar that really gives a feeling of being at home. The rest of the space is filled with retro furniture, art and all manner of knick-knacks. Look out for all the animals that pop up everywhere from paintings to cushions and beyond!What many bar-hoppers don’t know, however, is that Salon recently launched a dinner service curated by Chef Austin Fry (formerly at Brickhouse, the Mexican hideaway off of d’Aguilar Street). Even the monkey on the wall is in awe…
The concept behind the menu is that each dish varies according to what’s in season. But, some (like the current Seasonal Salad and heavenly halibut) were so great that I think they should be made permanent items. So, without further ado, let’s check out the FOOD! 😀
First to arrive, I thought *hmm, ok* because – although pretty – the Seasonal Salad isn’t exactly a stunner.
But, as it happens, the simple ingredients (kale, grape confit, onion, carrot) and the ingeniously delicious quinoa croutons (served crispy-on-the-outside, warm-on-the-inside with an almost cheesy twang) created a wonderful balance of sweet vs. savoury.
My guest and I spent at least five minutes talking about the salad. It was that good… not to mention, a go-to dish for health freaks (kale and quinoa at the same time?!? *mind blown*).Next I opted for The Raw (currently a beef tartare) after which I went to stalk Austin for a photo opportunity as he prepped another guest’s plate.I’m a big fan of beef tartare (aka steak tartare) so I especially appreciated the Asian twist that Salon has applied to their version with wasabi-infused caviar, and lotus root chips as an in between condiment. The swipe of sauce was a strong mustard which – of course – no tartare is complete without!Thankfully my friend was open to sharing, so we both got to sample most of the dishes on the menu. Above is Something from the Sea (currently poached halibut), which I venture to say was my absolute favourite.
Having spent many years in a part of the world where olive oil and olives pervade many of the dishes, this dish was a fantastic blast to the past for me.
Laying in a bed of black olive sauce and long strands of delicate parppadelle, the halibut’s texture was incredibly smooth and refined. Nomnomnomnomnomn… Exquisite, and beautiful to look at, too.As our dinner wound down, we ordered The Veg (currently an asparagus-themed plate) and Something Fried (currently fried green tomatoes and crab).The Veg proved to be a very green and fresh-tasting medley of veggies with a touch of seafood. Probably a safer bet for someone looking for a light bite… it definitely doesn’t fill you up, but is a nice transition dish – if that’s what you’re looking for.Lastly we tried Something Fried, where I finally got to try fried green tomatoes after always wondering what they tasted like because of the movie… called… Fried Green Tomatoes. It turns out the flavour is pretty familiar (yup, tomato taste) but tart as opposed to sweet.
Fleshy crab meat nestled between roquette leaves offered a nice variety of textures that complemented the FGTs (a bit of citrus/tartness always works well with seafood).So, that brings me to the end of my Salon food experience. It’s international fusion with an emphasis on European and it’s done with heart. The fact that you can stay afterwards for drinks in an ultra-cool hotspot doesn’t hurt either…Bakker x