We asked Nicholas Balfe, Head Chef at Salon, where he likes to dine, drink, and while away the hours in London…
Favourite date spot?
It depends what date! First, second, third… obviously it’s useful to be able to book a table, and have somewhere nice and chilled where you can chat… but… I had a date at Breddos not so long ago. All that mezcal and chilli seemed to be a good way of breaking the ice.
Favourite brunch spot?
I’m a big fan of Caravan in Kings Cross.
Favourite Sunday lunch spot?
The Camberwell Arms.
Favourite cocktail bar?
Not strictly speaking a cocktail bar, but I love the drinks at Som Saa. Their house cocktail list is full of delicious Thai-tinged concoctions, but they are also make a mean Negroni.
Favourite place for a casual dinner?
If I’m in town, then my go to spot is Koya bar (does every chef say that?). I seem to want everything on the specials board whenever I visit, although I always make sure I save room for the mushroom udon with sticky-sweet walnut miso.
Favourite restaurant abroad?
There’s only one spot I could mention here, and that’s Relae in Copenhagen.
London-based guilty pleasure?
In my early 20s, my guilty food pleasure was a packet of Samwa noodles (the ones that cost 29p in the corner shop) with an egg cracked into it. Basically very low-rent ramen, which now of course are all the rage. I still crave a ramen if ever I have a hangover.
Desert Island Dish?
Lasagne. Lasagne, lasagne, lasagne.
We assume that Nicholas was just being polite… and didn’t want to say that his actual favourite restaurant is Salon.