The Ninth, Charlotte Street

There are few cities in the world where people get more excited about the first blooms of spring than London. Double digits and sunshine bring out pure giddiness in even the most jaded Londoner, as outdoor wining and dining become the order of the day. Some days require a little more enthusiasm than others, but we will seize the sun, even with umbrellas are at the ready.

No better place then to enjoy the still somewhat hazy rays than The Ninth, sitting pretty on Charlotte Street. This Fitzrovian gem made a comeback in March last year, after a blaze in the kitchen forced it to shutter its doors for over seven months. Now – just in time for what locals are hoping to be a glorious summer – The Ninth continues to reclaim its spotlight, marking its pleasingly coincidental ninth year. 

While loyal diners can expect the same vibes they know and love, a dash of freshness has been sprinkled throughout the venue, from sleek leather banquettes to revamped bathrooms, and even jazzing up the tableware for that extra contemporary flair. The much-loved terrace has also staged a return, delighting al fresco diners with its newfound glow. 

Led by the man himself, Chef Patron Jun Tanaka, the menu is nothing short of outstanding. It comes as little wonder, considering Tanaka’s credentials. His culinary journey reads like a gourmet fairytale, starting with his apprenticeship at Le Gavroche under the watchful eye of the Roux brothers. From there, he honed his skills alongside big-hitters like Nico Ladenis, Phil Howard, and Marco Pierre White. 

Fast forward to November 2015 when Jun unveiled his pièce de résistance – The Ninth – setting the stage for yet another culinary triumph, clinching a Michelin star in record time. And now, after its forced hiatus, the resilient kitchen and incredible front-of-house crew are back to welcome diners with open arms, showing exactly why The Ninth has been hailed as one of the crème de la crème in the UK’s hospitality scene.

The menu is a fusion of robust French dishes with a fresh Mediterranean twist, each plate beautifully presented. Chef Tanaka has kept the classics – mouthwatering salted beef cheek paired with tangy sourdough and pickled radishes and the iconic pain perdu with tonka bean ice cream – but has also graced the menu with fresh additions. From duck cannelloni to Iberico pork with wild garlic, asparagus and cucumber, diners are spoilt for choice.

We started with warm sourdough and sinfully delicious butter before moving onto starters of cured, lemony yellowtail and asparagus with wild garlic and house ricotta. Mains were equally sensational; chargrilled whole seabass and – the star of the show – crispy risotto with mushroom ragu, topped with a sunshine-yellow, runny egg yolk. 

To complement our food – and the summery mood – we opted for a bottle of Vincent Chardonnay from California. Straw-like in colour, buttery and creamy, it might be one of the best Chardonnays I have tasted to date. And trust me, I have sampled more than a few. 

Dessert offerings include poached pear with yoghurt ice cream, a gorgeous Amalfi lemon tart and – for those without a sweet tooth – a selection of three cheeses.

With esteemed neighbours such as Roka, Carousel and Kitchen Table, The Ninth is no wallflower, proving that not even a kitchen fire can dampen – excuse the pun – its spirit. So grab those sunglasses, take a seat on the terrace and feel the seasonal blues melt away.


22 Charlotte St., London W1T 2NB