Local restaurant, Natural Nine, has received a complete overhaul by legendary chef, David Black. Launching earlier this year, the former fine-dining venue located inside Canberra Casino has been transformed into a “pop-Chinese” restaurant, with a modern Australian twist.
“When you visit the Casino, 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, complimented by casual yet informative waiters and, of course, deliciously creative food,” says David. He also believes the new and improved Natural Nine is like nothing Canberrans have ever tasted before. “We use traditional and unique Chinese ingredients and techniques, then shape them into new and exciting dishes.”
I had my first visit to the restaurant recently to taste the Christmas Banquet and was immediately impressed. Walking through the casino into Natural Nine, the fun yet minimal styling first caught my attention. The lanterns overhead and the placemats featuring brightly coloured vintage Chinese images pair perfectly with the scaled-back furniture of cream long booth seats and tables.
Then there was the Christmas Banquet, which is a spectacular 8-course set menu for $68 per person that is available every day leading up to, and including Christmas. The dishes were generous in portion size with a fun Asian fusion twist on traditional holiday foods. My favourite dish of the night was the playful take on the customary Roast Turkey in true Natural Nine style, accompanied by Native Cranberry Fried Rice.
The Christmas Banquet includes:
- Oysters with sparkling granita and finger lime;
- Chilli butter king prawns;
- Crab and black garlic stuffed snake beans;
- Crispy salmon with tropical fruit and lime coriander glaze;
- BBQ pork with Chinese slaw and quandong sauce;
- Turkey and native cranberry fried rice;
- Brussel sprouts and lap cheong;
- Christmas white chocolate and yuzu cheesecake, matcha meringue and rosella flowers;
- Seasonal fruit.
David, who is a former restaurant owner and executive chef at other local leading restaurants such as ‘The Artisan’ in Narrabundah, has 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,” he said.
Natural Nine is open seven days from 12 pm – 10 pm, with a condensed menu available until 2 am. For more information, visit their website.
The Christmas Banquet runs until 25 December. Bookings are essential, book here.
*Sophia dined as a guest of Natural Nine.