The One With Salon No. 10 – Discreet Is The Word

There isn’t that many places in Hong Kong that is like Salon No. 10.

For one, finding the place can be quite a challenge in itself. There isn’t any signboard to speak of, even the unit number were hidden. I had to cross the road to look over from the other side to see if I was at the right place. Even so, I wasn’t sure… but how many places could there be, with an address like 10 Arbuthnot Road?

Salon No. 10

Crossing the threshold was certainly an experience in itself. I couldn’t put a word to it. It felt like stepping into the belly of a velvety, lush submarine. I was told the design was somewhat David Lynch-inspired. Not knowing who the man was I couldn’t disagree to that, but since the owner came from an interior design background and a well-to-do, old Chinese family, it’s easy to see and understand the kind of lounge vibe that Salon No. 10 was exuding with effortless grace.

Salon No. 10

It was also my first proper restaurant that actually allowed smoking inside. My ciggie-loving friends, rejoice! Then again, perhaps not so fast. The bar is members-only from 11 p.m. onwards, where music performance and carbaret-like shows will be in full swing, and the Salon packed with regulars.

But we were there at dinner time to sample it’s menu – a food programme was introduced just a few months ago – and with Chef Austin (of Brickhouse fame) at the kitchen helm, I was eager to see what magic was in store.

Salon No. 10

The dinner kicked off with a platter of charcuterie. The liver pate is great with honey, just like what the captain, Adam recommended. There were two kinds of cured meat, and the spicy salami was quite a hit… at least to me. My tongue was burned but the ladies were okay. Sometimes it’s really hard to tell that I am a Malaysian.

Salon No. 10

The beef tartare was a little rough (I would have preferred it smoother) but went really well with the spicy mustard and the generous bowl of lotus chips (aren’t they the most ingenious invention, ever?). The contrast with wasabi-infused tobiko caviar was certainly interesting.

Salon No. 10

This plate of marinated vegetable was certainly the most unusual veg dish I ever try. There were so many things going on here – from the okra cracklings to pickled okra roe to asparagus puree – I didn’t know where to start. Overall the vegetables, especially the asparagus, were too sour to my liking.

Salon No. 10

The seasonal salad was like summer in a bowl, but what really captured my imagination was the quinoa croutons! It tasted like Indian food, and I meant in a nice way. Unlike the marinated vegetable – shudder – this refreshing bowl of mainly organic kale and grape confit really got me going.

Salon No. 10

This plate of “something fried” was certainly a dish to remember. It was my first time with fried green tomatoes, which seems to me to be very unusual, but apparently it is the norm in Texas (errr, why?). The jumbo lump crab was extremely lovely, sweet and fresh, yet firm like chicken. We certainly didn’t leave any bits behind!

Salon No. 10

The poached halibut with handmade pappardelle pasta seemed to be the lightest of the three main courses served for the night. The pasta was the thinnest I ever tried, and we were told to have that first to avoid congealing. Hmmmm. The poached fish was ultra smooth, if a bit bland, but certainly didn’t overwhelmed the palate in anticipation for what’s to come.

Salon No. 10

The free range chicken sauté was a certainly the work of genius. Two pieces of delectable chicken were infused with herbs coated with secret batter, lightly fried and oven baked. Very aromatic but far from dry, it tasted like juicy KFC (and I couldn’t have given it higher praise). The sautéed spinach with butter tasted great. Then again, with butter, everything would taste great.

Salon No. 10

The prime beef tenderloin with smoked mustard was, without a doubt, the highlight of the night. Medium rare beef was great, better without mustard. These pieces of almost raw-looking USDA beef sat on a bed of truffle potato puree with braised leeks – creamy, heavy mash great in small bites, but probably too heavy for one person.

Salon No. 10

There was no other word for it – Salon No. 10 is a discreet place to be hanging out at for great food (hint: – in case you are slower than slow – go for the meat dishes) and very decent cocktails. Menu changes with the season, and Chef Austin will try to change two dishes per week to keep things fresh for his regulars. Not sure how you could be a member of Salon No. 10, but perhaps you order enough cocktail to sink an elephant…

Salon No. 10
10 Arbuthnot Road
Central Hong Kong
2801 6768
www.salonnumber10.com
Tuesday – Saturday 7:00pm – 11:00pm.


View Larger Map

The One With Salon No. 10 - Discreet Is The Word by

Post Navigation