French inspired Mediterranean food
|Char-grilled lamb, crispy breast and couscous salad|
If you consider yourself a foodie based in the UK, the name Jun Tanaka shouldn't be a unknown to you. A chef who has regularly appeared on cooking shows such as Saturday Kitchen and Masterchef, Jun's latest restaurant on Charlotte Street was launched last year and since then has become a dining hot spot for serious food lovers. His take on French-inspired Mediterranean-style cooking, with an elegant edge, is a somewhat unique approach and gives The Ninth a real buzz. It has a rather a long menu and contains a selection of snacks, cold starters, hot starters, fish and a meat course. At lunchtime, it also offers a set lunch menu which costs £21 for three-courses, which is a bargain (most mains from the normal menu cost around £20).
|Gratinated mussels, herb butter|
|Cod brandade and egg yolk ravioli|
We opted for a mixture of set lunch items, as well as dishes from the main menu. The cod brandade egg yolk ravioli was a smart and flavoursome dish, the seasoning was spot on as was the texture. The ravioli had a lovely smooth and thin texture and the creamy egg yolk mixed exceptionally well with the saltiness of the cod. The whole roast sea bream was cooked perfectly, the fish came off the bone easily and was very moist. But the lemon and miso dressing it was served with lacked that sharpness it promised and the flavours failed to blend in beyond the fish skin. The salted beef cheeks was truly a show stopper; they were so tender and blessed with the powerful flavours from a perfectly executed oxtail consommé. The sweetness of the broad beans and earthiness of the girolles also added a fine depth of texture to the dish.
|Whole roast sea bream, lemon and miso|
|Salted beef cheeks, oxtail consommé, peas and broad beans|
|Tarte Tatin, rosemary ice cream|
The Ninth was an interesting encounter, a high level standard of cooking in an edgy, slick space with sound service. It’s hard not to fall in love with Jun's latest restaurant. I did notice the quality and size of the set lunch dishes compared to the main menu was massively difference; the set lunch dishes were a lot simpler and smaller, but then again that is to expected when you look at the price difference between the two menus. The dining experience at The Ninth was an eye opener, it had some very delightful Northern African flavours with a touch of modern French refinement to it - it was very enjoyable indeed.
What I paid:
£44 per head
Average cost without drinks and services:
22 Charlotte St, London W1T 2NB