By Sarah Coyne
Sometimes we all need a little push to take time off work and partake of the touristy activities on our doorstep. With the family’s arrival after a long absence, a day in Latchi was just what the doctor ordered. This included hiring a speedboat for a couple of hours, followed by a leisurely lunch by the sea. Latchi is full of great restaurants to choose from, but we wanted to try somewhere that had been repeatedly recommended and one we had failed to find on a previous visit.
Unfortunately for No 9 Lounge and Restaurant, an internet search shows it as being in front of other restaurants, practically in the sea! So, for clarification, if you are walking along the harbour with the sea on your right, keep going, and they are just passed a few more restaurants, right on the beach, with the frontage where the road narrows. Upon entering No 9 you are greeted with a perfect and stylish winter dining space, but for summer it has the most fantastic terrace right on the beach. The tables are large with comfortable chairs, and much thought and effort has gone into the settings.
The restaurant was opened in 2019 by a couple from Bulgaria called Marianna and Tony, who quite literally fell in love with Latchi at first sight. When asked how they came to settle in Latchi, their passion and enthusiasm for the place are very evident. The way they speak, they sound as if they have won the lottery running the restaurant here. Personally, I love enthusiastic people, and I share their love of Latchi. With many years of experience in hospitality, Marianna is front of house, and Tony is the chef.
The menu is short and sweet, which is the way I like to see it. However, while there is one vegetarian option, most of the menu offers meat and fish, so it is probably not the best place for a vegetarian or vegan. In addition to the main menu, the restaurant offers a small list of daily specials. On the day we visited, these included Scallops with Black Pudding and Minted Pea Purée or a Breaded Goat Cheese to start, and the main included Ribeye Steak, Pork Shank or a Bulgarian Moussaka. The entrées on the main menu had the No 9 Starter offering Octopus, Shrimp, Calamari, Mussels with a Sweet Chilli and Magic Sauce, Honey Halloumi or Prawns in a White Wine Sauce.
As we were ravenous after our boat ride and swimming in the Blue Lagoon, we decided to go straight to the main but ignored the tempting meat dishes, including Lamb Shank, Rack of Pork, Fillet Steak, Duck, Rack of Lamb, Chicken or Pork Souvlaki. Unusually I selected the vegetarian option as it sounded very different and tempting. The Cheese Bowl is Cheese, Tomatoes and Eggs all baked with herbs and served with large chunks of Focaccia Bread. While it might not be the healthiest option, the flavours were outstanding and unique compared to the usual veggie options. The Calamari was a generous portion that was light and crispy and served with chips and salad. Our expert Moussaka lover on the table, who makes it her mission to enjoy this dish at as many restaurants as possible, enjoyed the variation of this traditional dish. It had the addition of potatoes.
We enjoyed the meal with a great bottle of Tsangarides red and finished it with excellent iced coffees. Like the rest of the menu, the dessert section is limited but offers Sticky Toffee Pudding or Apple Crumble with a small selection of ice creams.
Sitting on the terrace just a couple of metres from the sea, this is the place to go if you really want to feel like you are on holiday and get away from it all. The level of service throughout from Marianna and her staff was superb. Friendly, unobtrusive, but always there if you need anything. At night it must be very different with the sounds of the gentle lapping waves on the beach. It is now one of our new favourite eating places in Latchi.
WHERE E713 No 9, Latchi
WHEN Open Wednesday to Monday from 11 am to 11 pm – Closed on Tuesdays
CONTACT 96 135069
HOW MUCH Starters from €7.50, Main Courses from €13.50, Desserts from €6.50