DINING AT THE NINEB RESTAURANT & BAR, LEICESTER
The NineB Bar & Restaurant, located in the Grand Central Square development is Leicester’s new kid on the block when it comes to wining and dining establishments. It opened its doors back in January and this 120 seat independent restaurant seems to be quite the talk of the city.
NineB fuses sleek, modernity with the Industrial past of Leicester perfectly as well as working with local suppliers. Manish Sharma, the food and beverages manager is well versed in this industry and with Katie (who created much of the cocktail list) gave us a great insight into the menu and vision for the restaurant and bar. They focus on high quality local food.
The kitchen is run by the head chef, Stewart Westwater, who has over 40 years culinary experience and is heading a team of 10 in the kitchen to bring a mix of traditional British flavours with an international twist.
DINING AT THE NINEB RESTAURANT & BAR, LEICESTER
Nine B aims to serve an all day menu, to include small plates, deli style sandwiches, flatbreads charcuterie and cheeses as well as evening à la carte meals.
The restaurant also serves breakfast for the adjoining Novotel hotel in the mornings.
So why the name NineB? Well, as the complex is built on top of the site where the Stibbe Mosaic was discovered in 2017, archeologically the site was names IXb. The mosaic has been stylised and is used in the restaurants branding.
SOURCING LOCAL & A NOD TO LEICESTER
NineB most definitely is supporting and celebrating Leicestershire’s food and beverages at the forefront of its ethos. NineB is currently working with five local suppliers, Brockleby’s (pies and award winning beef and ale ‘wild beaver pie made with traditionally reared beef from the Vale of Belvoir ) Melton Mowbray pork pies and sausage rolls, Langton Brewery ale, St Martin’s coffee and Two Birds Spirits gin.
Following the warm welcome upon entering NineB, your eyes will be treated to the bespoke design of this large dining space. We’re talking high industrial ceilings and exposed pipework (after all Leicester is a city that played a huge part in the industrial revolution) and spherical pendant lighting. Tall columns separating the seating areas, from plush upholstered blush pink booths, romantic tables for two to family size affairs.
There are also high bistro style long tables dressed with gorgeous orange stools, which are quite the accessory. Table top gold mushroom dome shaped lighting on the table tops is great for those wishing to work here as well as the wireless charging points.
The hues and accents of the interior has been paid an eloquent level of attention and the colour palette blends seamlessly with warm tones such as stone, pinks, brick reds, copper and gold tones. The mood is cosy and inviting yet quite personal and private with the array of seating styles available.
Oh and if you think these are stunning interiors, let me introduce you to the private dining space….
Impressive right? This place is perfect for private parties and small gatherings providing the wow factor.
The bar is pretty impressive with an exterior adorned of orange colour pop stools. Again the theme is very much warm and gold. The centre of the bar showcases an open unit displaying the spirits on offer.
We kicked off our evening with a couple of cocktails from the ten strong cocktail menu, which may not include the largest selection but the most interesting. Quality over quantity in this case as Katie explained to Dr C and I and in keeping with the Roman theme, all the cocktails had been named quite aptly, for example, The Mark Anthony, Caesar’s Classic and Ancient Rum to mention but a few.
I opted for the NINEB Old fashioned, which blended Bourbon, orange and Angostura bitters. This was a perfect cocktail for me as it wasn’t sweet but yet a short drink to savour and swill in the hand over fine conversation.
Dr C’s love of limoncello drew him towards, A Roman Treat, it was made naturally from Limoncello, raspberry puree, lemon juice, blackcurrant cordial topped with fizz. A Roman Treat is most definitely a sexy looking lady and tasted slightly fizzy and fruity to drink.
The drinks were made by Katie who I have to say did a fine job of her inventions.
It was time to grab our drinks, sit back and sip as we took a pew on the comfy chairs beside the corrugated leather wall.
Following our drinks, we were shown to our booth, which was spacious and comfortable.
We were quite keen to accompany our meal with a glass of Malbec and chose to have the only one available by glass, which is the Luna del Sur, Bodegas Salentein, from San Juan, Argentinia. It was just what we were wanting and had the perfect mix of ripe, soft berry fruit flavours with a pinch of spice as well as cinnamon and vanilla notes from a short oak aging.
For her it had to be the heritage tomatoes, organic burrata and a black olive crumb.
Lightly dressed yellow and red of tomatoes were sporadically topped with creamy burrata, topped with a subtle olive flavoured crumb with a sprinkling of basil. The flavours reminded me of my Italian jaunts, fresh but with an added touch of luxury from the burrata.
For him, it had to be the black pudding scotch eggs with a warm sweet chilli tomato chutney. Dr C was very fond of the twist on the classic scotch egg and was very impressed with the flavours and textures from the black pudding against the outer coating.
For the main event, we both headed straight to the classic section and I had my eye on the sweet potato and coconut Keralan curry accompanied by steamed rice and a naan. This curry is also available for vegans.
Manish recommended the British pork belly, buttery mash and hispi cabbage for Dr C and that’s exactly what he picked.
My curry was quite different to the curries I have usually and focussed more on subtle chilli perspective with the coconut and sweet potato being the main players. It was quite lovely but not too rich and had enough sauce to scoop up with the naan and rice.
Dr C’s raved about his pork belly being a fab choice and how the meat was cooked to perfection. The mash was creamy and dreamy just as it should be.
There is a good choice of sides but we declined as we knew what was coming up…
Sam, one of our waiters, mentioned there was a lemon cheesecake on the specials, so obviously I obliged and Dr C chose the steamed ginger sponge with poached plums and vanilla custard.
I have to say the cheesecake was tarte with a perfectly buttery melt in the mouth base and was accompanied by a coulis and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. A perfect sweet end to the meal for me.
Dr C’s ginger sponge was dark, and gingery and was the perfect comfort warmer with custard and winter plums.
Accompanying our desserts, I ordered a cappuccino and Dr C his usual black coffee. The restaurant has a signature blend of coffee, having dark chocolate notes, from Columbia and more red fruit sweetness from Brazil.
Just to note, Vegans, Vegetarians and allergens are catered for at NineB as there are plenty of options available for each course.
I have to admit this is a classy addition to Leicester’s dining scene. It’s almost like a quiet haven located away from the main hustle and bustle of the city centre but yet well located for it too.
The cocktails, food and service were exceptional in my experience. The staff made us feel very welcome and were well informed of the menu and were able to make perfect recommendations based on our likes and dislikes. The cocktails were unique and beautifully presented.
Then there’s the beautiful industrial surroundings and swanky deluxe interiors, which do not feel out of place at all in this fusion of food, architecture and Roman history.
So whether you’re looking for a girls soiree, a romantic date night or a family affair, NineB is a bar and restaurant, which is much welcomed in Leicester and a fabulous dining option in the city.
NineB Bar & Restaurant
3 Great Central Square
Tel. 0116 4820444
For more information and the menus, head to NineB’s website
Disclaimer: Our meal and drinks at NineB Restaurant & Bar were complimentary, however all opinions, views and photography are my own and remain a copyright of be-lavie.
NineB Restaurant & Bar is located between the Adagio serviced apartments and The Novotel hotel on Grand Central Square. Read all about my stay at The Contemporary Novotel below…