Sunday, 3 February 2008


By Mark

Sorry, no snappy titles and no hip hop references, unless I think of something by the time I finish writing this sentence.

No, nothing.

The first impressions that 99 makes are definitely good. The menu reads like a feast of tasty, modern and well conceived dishes, and the decor is quirky, pretentious, but undeniably cool. The menus are stuck inside the front covers of old comic annuals, which is a nice touch, and we were served in a very relaxed and confident manner. Things were looking really good as we were told the specials without the aid of a blackboard, or notebook, and the fact that the waitress knew how many portions of the special were left smacked of good organisation all round. I was beginning to fall for 99 and was determined I was going to love the place.

And then it all went a bit wrong. First up, some food that we hadn't ordered came to our table, and then we had to wait something approaching an hour before we got our meals. I was beginning to wonder what was happening, as tables who arrived and ordered after us had finished eating before we had our food. Thinking back, I suspect that there was a mistake with our order, as it was not written down on a piece of paper when it was taken, but on the waitress's hand. Quite endearing, I thought, at the time, but I'm not sure what the health and safety would make of it.

When it eventually arrived, the food was OK, but nothing more. I chose the Toulouse sausages, which were nice, with herby polenta mash that needed seasoning, and herbs. Claire had a Chicken breast that came with mango and chilli salsa. Incredibly, the mango and chilli salsa was also bland (how can something containing mangos and chillis be bland!) and the chicken was dry, and all round, hers was a disappointing meal. Justin's tapas were hit and miss, and only Simon's meal of pork meatballs was met with total approval. The only real hit at the table were the hand cut chips, which came with aioli and hot sauce, and which were stonkingly good.

So after promising so much, 99 ultimately left us a little disappointed. I'll definitely be back, as the charm of the place was quite infectious, but there are one or two problems that need to be ironed out. Since the death of the once legendary Estaminet, Aberdeen really needs somewhere a little less conventional like this, but they can only survive on charm for so long.

Ninety-Nine Bar & Kitchen
1 Back Wynd
01224 658087

No comments: