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Sunday, May 2, 2010

99 Chicken - Santa Clara

Found out about this restaurant quite a while ago. Not having a chance to check out Bonchon in LA made me looking for a local alternative and came across 99 Chicken. Most of the reviews on Yelp were positive. Seriously how could you screw up fried chicken, right ? Anything deep fried in my opinion couldn't go wrong. But some of the reviews did say that the chicken were good but nothing special. Well...if it's nothing special then we could have gone for KFC for that matters. Anyhow a couple of days ago I came to talk about Korean food with a coworker and he also mentioned 99 Chicken. So I was like ..heck..let's give it a try to stop all this guessing.

We arrived on Saturday afternoon around 1:30. There were only two tables occupied the tiny restaurants. We walked in but nobody greeted us and I started to wonder if we should just take a seat ourselves. But then the lady owner came from outside and told us to sit wherever we want. She then came back to our table with the menu. We took a quick look and decided on #6 spicy fried chicken (8 pcs) and kimchee jjigae (spicy kimchee stew).

It took about 15 minutes for our fried chicken platter to arrive. Before that, the same lady invited us to help ourselves at the salad/rice/water/tea bar. The salad consisted of kernel corn, pickled daikon, broccoli, cole slaw, mixed greens. There were also 2 different types of dressing. I am not big on dressing but I tried one anyway and it tasted like homemade asian style dressing - miso perhaps ?

The kimchee jjigae arrived first and I took a taste to it and liked it. I haven't tried any before so I couldn't really compare it. It seemed pretty simple to prepare, just kimchee, pork with little fat, green onion and top with tofu. The broth was flavorful, sweet, sour and goes very well with rice. Probably more appropriate for a cold day. But we didn't care.

The chicken came on a big platter. For some reason I thought the chicken were going to be drumettes but they were drumstick instead. Crispy on the outside but juicy on the inside. The sauce that came with them was sweet, very spicy, sticky and gooey. I am not sure whether the sauce was made extra spicy for us because hubby asked for it that way. I remember the other Yelpers didn't find that spicy chicken to be that spicy. But we felt our lips were burning when we ate there. At that time I wasn't sure whether it was the hot stew or the chicken that was so spicy. Later on we ate our left over chicken and determined that the sauce was the one that burnt our lips. No.. no....they were good because we love spicy food :) I just learnt never to challenge the chef by asking for extra spicy.


99 Chicken
2781 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051  (408) 244-5599