After spending five months on the road it has been a joy to rediscover the food scene in London. The Ninth is one of the many new restaurants to arrive in the capital recently. I rarely visit any eatery more than once, but in the last two months I’ve been to The Ninth twice, an obvious sign of my admiration. This sophisticated but discreet venue on Charlotte Street is the first solo venture for Jun Tanaka, a chef whose previous credits include stints at The Square, Brasserie Chavot and Pearl. He has created a menu which celebrates the seasons with imagination and flare, and the dishes served have a French feel while illustrating Tanaka’s eclectic influences.
The Ninth is particularly reasonable at lunch when two plates cost £17, or three are £21. I found the menu exciting and varied with deliciously inventive dishes like Nettle and fregola risotto with grelot onions and yoghurt or the vibrantly fresh and simple Asparagus with truffle butter and crispy egg. One of my favourite dishes was the crispy duck salad with blood orange and pomegranate, the perfect combination of irresistible meat with sweet tangy fruit.
Venture off the set menu to enjoy richer recipes from the a la carte. The dishes change regularly depending on produce. When I visited I enjoyed the silkiest cut of lamb with a Mediterranean mix of wild garlic, tomato confit, courgettes and lemon.
Dessert was my favourite course. The Pain Perdu with vanilla ice cream was utterly delicious, a melt-in-the-mouth sugary delight that was both light but indulgent. Guests can also choose to order the Tarte Tatin to share with rosemary ice cream, a classic French pudding made in a rustic style with an unusual flavour of accompanying ice cream.
This little unsuspecting venue is one of my favourite new eateries to eat at. With an inspiring menu of delicious dishes and prices that won’t make you wince, The Ninth is the perfect place to dine on Charlotte Street.
More information and book a table at The Ninth here.