We visit The Ninth, Jun Tanaka’s Michelin starred restaurant on Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia.
It feels like everyone has been living it up on a terrace in London this summer.
From rooftop gardens to riverside decks, every establishment worth its Aperol Spritz has made the most of its outdoor space.
Never has the 10ft-sqaure patch of rough outside the front door seemed so profitable.
But if you prefer your outdoor dining with a side-order of style, then allow me to point you in the direction of The Ninth, the understated Michelin-starred restaurant on Charlotte Street.
The space is small, but perfectly formed – we’ll have no Pimm’s-fuelled rabble tripping over their Toms here, thanks.
No, The Ninth is all about simple, fine dining and sophistication, and while the rest of London scrabbles for street food on top of a carpark, you can sit pretty while nibbling on the likes of razor clam ceviche – a super-fresh, zingy and impossibly pretty plate – fois gras scotch egg (do I even need to say any more?), and salted beef cheek with pickled radish on sourdough, a lip-smacking, meaty dish that will have you seriously considering if at least another two plates is too much (it’s not).
While the terrace menu is designed for snacking, it’s also a nice precursor to the restaurant’s a la carte, if you decide to stretch your evening out once the sun goes down.
Tanaka has created one of those menus at the Ninth where you feel genuinely spoilt for choice.
The pasta section offers the likes of orecchiette with egg yolk and black truffle, rabbit agnolotti, pan-fried livers and girolles, and langoustine ravioli with peas and Datterini tomatoes.
We went for the latter, which was luscious and sweet, each component in perfect company with the other.
And then another showstopper in the form of lamb en croute, pink meat and pastry being a long-standing match made in heaven and here doing nothing to suggest otherwise, with a side of chargrilled cabbage with bearnaise sauce.
There’s one other thing you need to know about The Ninth, and that’s that you have to order a dessert, and that it should be the pain perdu.
Unless you don’t like moist, custardy brioche surrounded by the crunchiest sugar coat you’ll have got your teeth around since those bright red toffee apples your parents begrudgingly let you have on Bonfire Night to shut you up.
Trust me, it’s a class act, just like everything else at this Fitzrovia favourite.
Visit The Ninth’s website here.
For more restaurants with terraces, read our guide to the best alfresco restaurants in London.
By Vicky Smith
The Bon Vivant Journal
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