One of my friend since high school visited London. He was interested in if I want to try some restaurants together and I obviously said “yes”. I should have mentioned his family running several successful high-end restaurants in my home town Changsha. Although it is in a side road to a main road, the Ninth locates in an relative quiet area full of restaurants. We got a table on the upper floor, though I prefer a table on the ground floor or even outside since it was a nice day. The set menu is fairly small, containing only five dishes including a final dessert. In particular, all the dishes are for shared. It is a relatively small set menu but only at £90 per person.
The first dish we liked, together with my friend, is “Spaghatti, Autralian Black Truffle & Age Parmesan”. The spaghatti was towards the raw end and very chewy, adding a hard texture. Both the parmesan cheese and the truffle flavours were not as strong, which means I can still taste the spaghatti very well. I enjoyed the simple but sophisticated presentation and the flavour. The second dishes I liked is “Chargrilled Hispi Cabbage”, which came together with the main fish dish. I personally liked cabbage myself. The seasoning of the cabbage is very light but only a bit of salt to emphasis the unique bitterness and the “roughness” taste from chargrill. There were a few slides of daikon, also mooli, to bring in some juicy flavour. This entire small dish combines well with main dish comprising of chargrilled fresh-tasted seabase and and sour-tasted tomato. The main pork dish looks very disappointed in term of presentation. However, it is surprisingly a very juicy and no fat sirloin or similar. I was impressive on their skill to ensure the tenderness, especially, pork must be almost fully cooked.
There were a few dishes I enjoyed, but I was a bit disappointed in general. Although it is understanding to make a friendly and family dining style, the dishes all being presented for sharing for the table certainly does not help. I think that the dishes in the chef’s choice are not very impressive in term of the presentation given the price point and the location in central London. Separately, we found the the main part of every dish was a bit too salty while the side part had no seasoning; I am not sure whether it is the style. I felt I was dehydrated half way the night. I guessed the a la carte menu is probably a better value for a weekend dining out.