Laidback Michelin-Starred Bistro in Fitzrovia
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Modern European
Address : 22 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 2NB, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : https://www.theninthlondon.com
Opening Times : Mon-Wed: 12pm-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10pm, Thurs-Sat: 12pm-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm
Closest Tube : Goodge Street
Jun Tanaka‘s star has been rising for some time now. We remember him from the heady days of the early 2010s, when he ran Street Kitchen out of a retrofitted Airstream in Finsbury Park. Now he‘s upgraded to one of Fitzrovia‘s classiest dining rooms with a shiny star from Michelin and plaudits from everyone from Jay Rayner to Grace Dent. On a sweltering summer afternoon we dropped in for a late lunch and were promptly whisked away to a Ligurian locale with Tanaka‘s delicious Mediterranean-influenced menu.
The dining room blends industrial accents with classic styling. Downstairs you‘ll find an intimate al fresco dining terrace perched over Charlotte Street. Inside on the lower ground floors distressed bare brick juxtaposes with slick gunmetal-hued banquettes, sharp latticed mirrors and dark wooden tables. A long oaken bar hemmed in by oxblood leather high-tops dominates the rest of the room. The design conceit is carried through upstairs where tall windows illuminate an agglomeration of bulbous pendant lighting, an edgy wine display and crosshatched rebar installations with natural light.
Tanaka demonstrates a keen talent in his cooking, imbuing classic dishes with thought and care. Vegetables were especially good, he seems to capture their inner souls with dishes like roast peppers with anchovies and almonds; pickled baby artichokes with parmesan; and perfectly crisp Belle de Fontenay potatoes. There are some similarly enlightened pasta plates on the menu: rabbit lasagne; ossobuco tortellini with a hazelnut gremolata; and an elegant yet unctuous plate of orecchiette with egg yolk and black truffle. But our favourite event of the afternoon had to be the hot skillet of chargrilled seabass with datterini tomatoes, mussels and herb sauce. And don‘t forget the Pain perdu with vanilla ice cream to punctuate the meal with a full-stop.
The Ninth looks to redefine what constitutes a Michelin-starred restaurant, with pure-flavoured, perfectly executed food served at a reasonable price.