What's the draw
'Tis the season – the season for terraces – and despite what its star-studded accolade might suggest, The Ninth is the perfect place to relax and indulge in a spot of casual mid-week dining; with light bites on its sun-drenched terrace and a more serious a la carte offering inside.
What to drink
Start with a cocktail, because cocktails, terraces; terraces, cocktails – come on. If you're more of the fruity type, the peachy sweet pesca royale will be right up your street. Elsewhere you can go, in the words of my dinner companion, "full Mad Men" with a punchy old fashioned; but either way, you can't go wrong with these tried-and-tested classic cocktails. When it comes to the wine, you're best leaning on the expertise of your sommelier. The Ninth knows how to pack a flavour punch and your expert will be able to recommend a pour that can compete just as well with the smoke of chargrilled asparagus as it will complement the umani, lemony sharpness of something like the whole sea bream.
What to eat
Chef-owner Jun Tanaka is a deft hand with seafood, which means you can expect to tuck into anything from silky, delicately grilled Sicilian prawns (heads-on, of course) to flamed and crispy whole sea bass seeped in a fresh, pleasantly sweet seafood broth that's coloured with fragrant torn-up herbs and a bright shole of traffic light Datterini tomatoes. But if that doesn't get your taste buds tingling (sorry, who are you?), don't worry, because it looks like there isn't anything Jun and his Michelin-starred team can't do. And we're telling you now, if you don't order the tender salt beef cheek with wafer-thin, peppery pickled radishes on toasted sourdough to start, then, sadly, this weird little friendship we've got going on is going to have to stop right here.
Sharing plates from £4.50; mains from £23. Wine from £7 by the glass. 22 Charlotte St, W1T 2NB; theninthlondon.com