Bright, bold, kitschy, fun and innovative are just some of the words that spring to mind when describing what you can expect from local restaurant Natural Nine’s complete overhaul – new menu, service, table dressing and wall décor – everything has been flipped on its head, and heads are turning.
Launched last week, the former fine-dining venue has been transformed into a pop-Chinese restaurant, with a modern Australian twist.
We have to thank the legendary chef, David Black, who took over as Natural Nine Director of Food and Beverage in March this year. The new direction has seen Black spending the past month developing a new brand, new menu and new ambience for the restaurant.
“It’s about bringing the modern Chinese experience that our international guests receive around the world, here to Canberra,” he explains.
“I saw so much potential in Natural Nine that we could utilise; from the location to the kitchen teams’ knowledge and even the general atmosphere. So, I set about creating a new restaurant that embraced all of these elements.
“When you visit Casino Canberra, you’re obviously there for a good time, so that was my basis for the new Natural Nine. It has a much more upbeat and vibrant atmosphere, complemented by casual yet informative waiters and, of course, deliciously creative food.”
Black believes the new and improved Natural Nine is like nothing Canberrans have ever tasted before and take our word for it, after our experience of the new space, we can vouch for that!
“We use traditional and unique Chinese ingredients and techniques, then shape them into new and exciting dishes. On our menu, you’ll find items like ‘Ants Climbing Trees’, our take on a traditional Chinese noodle dish, or fried ice cream with green tea custard,” Black says.
“But my favourite has got to be the steamed Mantou, a light and fluffy steamed bun filled with either bang bang chicken, kung pao pork or sensational salmon.”
We were treated to an array of colourful dished picked by the man himself, Black. With every bite, it became clear the amount of passion it’s taken for him and his team to execute this huge revamp feat, and with the utmost eye for detail and care, down to each and every ingredient that graces your plate.
The aroma coming from the kitchen is enough to stimulate your senses and every food offering will challenge what you think you know about traditional Chinese dining. You’ll just have to check it out to see for yourself!
The former restaurant owner and executive chef for other local leading restaurants such as The Artisan in Narrabundah have continued to push boundaries with his new menu.
“I am surrounded by an incredible team of chefs with so many different strengths and so much knowledge of Asian food, which you will see imparted into our new menu,” Black says.
Black admits that while the whole “Asian” concept is quite new to him, he has worked closely with the dedicated kitchen team to research traditional methods and techniques, to deliver fun and exciting food.
“We are also not afraid of change, so expect the menu to be shaken up often. My team and I are very passionate and inspired by each other and what we do. We are constantly developing bold and exciting dishes that we want to show our customers,” he concludes.
Natural Nine is open from 12pm – 10pm, with a condensed menu available until 2am.