Friday, 1 January 2016

The Ninth London

After 5 + City Pig’s Summary

French and Mediterranean
Average spend is £45 per head - sharing dishes and service at 12.5%. (Excluding wine)
Healthy scale 3.5/5
5/5 – Food
4/5 – Service
4/5 – Comfort of dining in
3.5/5 – Value for money
4.5/5 – Overall rating
[Scale: 1= Poor; 5= Excellent]
22 Charlotte Street, London. Nearest tube: Goodge Street
Opening times
Check out website for more details.
Eat in/Takeaway:
Recommended dishes & drinks
Beef Cheeks, duck breast and smoked dishes.
Vegetarian dishes
Loyalty card

Simple and flavoursome dishes.

This is the first restaurant owned by Jun Tanaka and a soft launch was being offered which I took up as it entitled me to 50% off. Soft launches can be tricky as operationally a lot of things may not go as planned but sometimes you can get the most diligent service. I decided to go on the third day of opening.

I was very excited to be trying Jun’s food as I had never eaten at Pearl – a restaurant he was head Chef. My sister had told me the joys of Pearl and when it closed I was disappointed I could not try. I also watched his TV shows and enjoyed his style of cooking.

Fortunately, The Ninth London announced its opening on Charlotte Street taking over Nizuni’s spot. I was at Nizuni a few weeks ago and all traces of it left my mind as soon as I arrived. Stepping into The Ninth is a cooler, edgier design that instantly uplifts and gives it a boutique feel. We sat on the ground floor but upstairs is where you want to be if you have a choice. It feels cosier and again the edgier design with the fancy modern light displays are heavily featured.

The staff were very friendly and explained the dishes well and told us the cuisine is a modern French and Mediterranean blend. At first glance, I was immediately impressed with the dishes but also eagerly wanted to know what they would look like and most importantly taste like.
We ordered for starters the cured Sardines tart and the Prawn macaroni. The sardines were cured to perfection it was not too salty and the puff pastry at the bottom was a delight. The Prawn macaroni had an amazing stock that left you wanting to eat every spoonful. The balance of the flavours for me was spot on.

Moving on to main courses, we had the beef cheeks and the smoked duck breast. I couldn’t choose which of these dishes were best as each one of them I enjoyed very much. This is unusual as I don’t often like all dishes equally in many restaurants.

I really liked the use of walnuts in the duck dish to give it texture. The beef cheeks were so tender it melts in the mouth and has all the intense flavours with beef consume.
The sides are not usually a focus but I have to applaud the attention to detail that went into these potatoes – soft and fluffy. We did have room for dessert and I urge all of you to reserve space for it. Although at soft launch, we had limited choices – both of these were made to perfection.
We tried both the French madeleines and French toast with honey comb and vanilla ice cream. The madeleines were light and very addictive. The French toast dessert was crispy and then cakey in the middle. The honeycomb and vanilla ice cream complements the French toast very well and is an interesting dessert.

The coffee served here is Nespresso – and so if you were hoping for a Barista style coffee you may be disappointed. Nevertheless – the focus is on the food and that is where it should be. However, for those picky coffee lovers this is something to note. In this case, it is priced at £2.50 which appears to be reasonable.

The dishes are based on a sharing concept which I love as I always like to pick and share dishes so that I can taste more. In summary, the food is simple and combines flavours well with a focus on curing and smoking cooking techniques that can be seen in most of the dishes on the menu. The dishes are food that I could happily eat any time. I highly recommend this restaurant and I can see this being the next popular hotspot.

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