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While countless others cash in on 'American cool', this glowing, Manhattan-styled restaurant feels like the real deal. The Ninth is TV chef Jun Tanaka's first solo project (after previously working in eight top kitchens, hence the name) and offers a fresh, light Mediterranean menu. Distressed brass, dark woods and shabby-chic furniture set the tone in the softly lit cocktail bar and ground-floor dining room, while the bright upstairs space is suited to less intimate dining. Snacks, salads and various raw or cured items kick things off, but there's plenty more besides: firm, salty beef cheeks are lifted by tangy oxtail consommé, smoky-fleshed mackerel is offset by a tart caper and dill dressing, while dessert includes a crisp-crusted, spongy-soft pain perdu. Occasionally meek flavouring (our rabbit lasagne could have done with more punch from its mustard béchamel) is unlikely to spoil the overall experience – especially as The Ninth's trump cards are service, styling and enticing wines.
I used to watch Chef Jun Tanaka consistently beating other chefs on a TV show called Chopped I used to watch when we lived in the US. What is better than brainless but entertaining television with chefs cooking dishes based on the oddest ingredients and combinations? Plus, my friend Chef Jet Tila made several appearances as a judge which made it even more interesting.
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The exposed brick walls, it’s warm and inviting lighting make this place perfect for dates.It so happened that I would be meeting the beautiful Erin & Felicia for lunch date on a seriously cold wintery day. Two gorgeous girls to cosy up against the luxurious sofa seats? Yes please!We had the whole restaurant to ourselves, how very romantic The Ninth, is the 9th venue from Jun Tanaka (formerly of the Pearl in Holborn) and is his first solo venture, delivering simple yet refined French/Mediterranean food ideal for sharing.
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