the ninth, London: restaurant review
We pay Charlotte Street’s latest addition, The Ninth, a visit for bold, French-Mediterranean classics, including house-cured meat and fish, with head chef Jun Tanaka’s signature twists
In a nutshell
Located in the heart of Fitzrovia, The Ninth unsurprisingly is the ninth venue on Jun Tanaka’s illustrious C.V, and his first solo venture, delivering simple yet refined sharing dishes.
Jun Tanaka has more than 20 years’ experience in London’s finest kitchens under the tutelage of Marco Pierre White, Phillip Howard and the Roux brothers to name a few. His modern approach to French cuisine earned him three AA rosettes at Pearl restaurant in Holborn and he’s bringing all of that and more to the table as he strikes out on his own.
Menu know how
Seasonal produce takes centre stage on an a la carte menu, which is split into eight sections. Built around cured, pickled and brined specialities, like the zesty razor clam cerviche, Tanaka layers flavours in an exquisite, delicate style, enabling each ingredient to shine.
Must orders and misfires
The highlights are plentiful at The Ninth, with stand out dishes in every section of the thoughtfully composed menu. Start your meal off with a choice of snacks including the mouth-watering oxtail croquettes and the Monacan speciality, barbajuans; ravioli parcels filled with lightly fried Swiss chard, pine nuts and feta. The ossobuco tortellini and bone marrow tastes even better than it sounds. The succulent salted beef cheeks arrive in a deeply flavoured oxtail consommé and are perfectly complemented by smoky, charred cabbage which lifts the rich, earthy flavours to another level. Vegetables also share top billing at The Ninth – the stunning cavolo nero with hazelnut pesto is a dish you have to try. Finish off the meal with the classically indulgent tarte tatin with rosemary ice cream, which delivers, fresh, savoury flavours amongst the sweetness. With his sights firmly set on layers of perfectly balanced flavours in every dish, there’s no chance of a misfire from Jun Tanaka at The Ninth.
What’s the room like
Step inside, beyond the copper and deep green exterior of the alfresco terrace and The Ninth makes an immediate impression. Designed by Dale Atkinson of Rosendale design, each floor offers diners a unique, sophisticated experience. Exposed brick work, vintage copper kitchenware and antique mirrors lead the way to a warm, inviting dining room, lined with stylish iron wine racks and overlooking Charlotte Street itself. Hand-painted textured walls, glass-blown pendant lighting and secluded tables combine to create an intimate space.
The Ninth brings an exciting mix of French-Mediterranean classics with a unique, modern twist. A must-visit, but get there quick before word gets around, and remember to take someone who likes to share.
The Ninth London, 22 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 2NB
Words by Nicki Smith
Published December 2015