The Ninth – our Restaurant Review

We have just come back from Michelin-starred The Ninth in Fitzrovia, and were heavily impressed. Chef Jun Tanaka, whose, you guessed it, 9th restaurant this is, offers “simple but refined French Mediterranean-style dishes”, all made for sharing. Probably because of the rumoured recent pasta obsession of the chef (which is a very good thing, considering his immense skills making pasta!), the dishes today were mostly Italian influenced.

For a very competitive £27 per person you can choose three tapas dishes each to share. Between the two of us, Ms B and I ordered 6 tapas, following the waiter’s recommendation to order the duck leg twice, because it was by far the most substantial dish and you want to get a good fill (she put it more elegantly).

Besides that, we ordered (3) sea bass carpaccio, salsa verde & pickled kohlrabi; (4) pappardelle, venison ragu, hazelnut and sprouts, (5) pumpkin fregola risotto, chanterelles, and pecorino, and (6) orecchiette, egg yolk, truffle veloute; plus two glasses of wine for a very reasonable £5 extra each on special offer.

The plates arrived quickly and we started with the crispy duck leg, which came with a beautifully crunchy red cabbage and apple salad. On the side there was a thick slice of home made pistaccio pork sausage. Thin slices of onion had been stuffed into the leg, adding extra flavour.

The sea bass carpaccio was perhaps not very easy on the eye, with the thick toxic green looking salsa verde and pickled bits of kohlrabi and a few leaves on top, I would have preferred to see the carpaccio and would argue that that’s the only way one should eat this raw fish dish, you don’t want it covered with anything. In any case, the taste was interesting in a very good way.

The gigantic pappardelle with venison ragu had an incredibly rustic look, touch, feel and taste about them and perfectly harmonised with the thin leaves of briefly steamed, still crunchy Brussels sprouts and the even crunchier hazelnuts. Probably my favourite dish of the day.

The pumpkin fregola risotto (feature photo) was flavoursome and we also liked the twist to do a risotto with pasta (Sardinian semolina pasta balls in this case) instead of rice. It went extremely well with the little sheets of pecorino and the mushrooms.

Ever since I recently knowingly came across Apulian orecchiette (literally “little ears”) for the first time (see blog post here), I keep my eyes out for them and get a portion whenever an opportunity arises. And what can I say, can’t really go wrong with egg yolk and truffle veloute, can you.

We will most definitely be back soon. 5 out of 5 in our book.

Looking for more fine dining in London? Check out our posts about Galvin at the Athenaeum, Galvin at Windows, Berners Tavern, and Fera. Or for some inspiration for your next trip, have a look at our posts about our trips to the Sahara, to the North Pole (Spitsbergen), to Porto (including rock-climbing and off-roading , canyoning, a bridge arch climb, as well as an excursion of the Douro valley), as well as our helicopter ride over London.

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