We ask chef Jun Tanaka: The Ninth vs. The Pearl?

After serving as the executive chef at The Pearl Restaurant & Bar in London from 2004 to 2012, Jun Tanaka has kept busy with numerous television appearances, a venture into organic food truck territory with The Street Kitchen and even reality show cooking contests.  However, it’s Tanaka’s new solo venture in the London neighborhood of Fitzrovia, The Ninth, that has diners salivating.  Following a soft launch from Nov. 19-21, the restaurant officially opens its doors on the 23rd.

On Saturday, Tanaka held a short question-and-answer session on Twitter in the midst of menu tastings and other preparations.  Having previously dined at The Pearl – which featured French food – we wondered what he would be able to do at The Ninth (promising a French-Mediterranean menu) that he could not within the confines of a hotel restaurant.

To translate from Twitter-ese, Tanaka responded that at The Ninth, he would be able to focus on “just delicious, fuss-free dishes.”

“The longer I cook, the more I appreciate simplicity,” Tanaka added.  “Like the flamed mackerel with capers, dill and cucumber.” Tanaka and his team at The Ninth have been sharing hints of what to expect on various social media networks, both from the perspective of the food and the venue.

Jun looking super chuffed with his new charcoal grill which finally arrived yesterday. #letthecookingbegin!

Posted by The Ninth on Thursday, November 12, 2015

#Friday is for carb-loading, obvi. Great tasting session today @theninthlondon #goingonthemenu

Posted by The Ninth on Friday, November 13, 2015


The menu is still being fine-tuned, but Tanaka’s stated desire for simpler fare is an intriguing one given the complexity of some of his dishes at The Pearl.  Below are several photos of a three-course set lunch from The Pearl in early 2011, which split the dishes on his menu according to main ingredient just for clarity (and were, for the record, delicious):




Located at 22 Charlotte St., London W1T 2NB, The Ninth by Jun Tanaka officially opens on Nov. 23.