Noveno B, Palma de Mallorca: ‘No quality, nor quantity.’

I ignored all the warning signs of the classic ‘all mouth and no trousers’ restaurant, and yet I still ate here. So I guess I got what I deserve when I was still hungry after a bloody three course meal.

Fried Chicken at Noveno B
  • Food (5/10)
  • Value for money (4/10)
  • Service (6/10)

Any restaurant that likes to experiment with mini pegs, must not be trusted. You know, like a useless, tiny version of a regular clothes peg. It is a theory I have been working on, and in 100% of cases so far, it has been proven correct. A mini peg is the calling card of a bad restaurant, the red flag one must look out for when scrolling a restaurants food pics online. I went to a terrible place recently that hung fried fish on a miniature washing line like a battered bread sheet. What is the point of this? Am I supposed to fuck off cutlery altogether and crane my neck to gnaw at it like a girrafe? I wonder who looked at a piece of fried fish on a plate and thought out loud “You know what, this needs to be more airborne”, and had enough people in the room to agree that it was a good idea. I told my boyfriend I didn’t fancy going after seeing that monstrosity online, and yet we still went and yes, obviously it was over priced and terrible. So naturally, when I saw Noveno B using miniature pegs to clip tacos together, I didn’t want to go. No one needs a taco clipped together, the Mexicans have been doing just fine without it hundreds of years. I expressed this once again to my boyfriend, but he insisted that the menu actually sounded delicious, and I must admit that I had to agree. Fried chicken, poke bowls, wasabi desserts?! I was interested.

If only there was something other than a peg to hold this taco…

The interior of Noveno B really is beautiful. Warm colours and lighting and an impressive wall of greenery gave the impression that this was a really top quality place. The high ceilings and exposded brick wall also made it a rather impressive place to enter, and I was actually taken aback by how stylish it was on the inside. It was also pretty full, so that gave me hope. While I waited for my starters, I checked out their Instagram. My heart sunk as I saw they did a night of food “without cutlery”. Ugh, cringe. Am I just getting old and boring or is annoying and pretentious when restaurants do this? Its better to just focus on providing great tasting food, rather than making people lick bowls clean and eat meatballs off of pieces of string like a literal team building exercise I did at scout camp when I was 14 (but with doughnuts). They also do a ‘blindfold tasting’ evening, which again just brings way too much theatrics to a kind of ‘middle of the range’ sort of place. The whole thing is rather bizzare, and dare I say it, pretentious. It’s actually very pretentious.

Sea bass and monkfish stew with beans.

Our starters were pretty decent, to be honest. Crispy fried chicken in a sweet and tangy sauce, and beautifully fried fish with a garlicy sweet mayo. These were perfect portion sizes too, so I was feeling pretty positive despite the red flags from their instagram shenanigans. The mains, however, were terrible. A miniscule piece of seabass along with some morsels of monkfish in a weak sauce, with one bean to each finger of my hand, if I was missing a finger. That was it, there was more fish in the starter and i’m not even exaggerating. It had no carbohydrate aspect at all unless you count the beans. Great for people on keto – or monks on a hunger strike. I was supposed to have a poke bowl, which came out as basmati rice (not that glutinous sticky rice one would normally have) with a load of pickled onion, pickled cabbage, kimchi and seaweed. It felt like the whole thing had come from a jar, and was truly not appetising at all. Whats more confusing is that i’m pretty sure it was garnished with lambs lettuce, which makes me think that they had ran out of actual garnishes and just threw some lettuce on top. It was one of the worst dishes I have had at a restaurant in a long time. The whole thing just had this overwhelming taste of…pickle. I literally just ate three different pickled vegetables and rice. My gut health is probably tip top now though to be fair, I should’ve washed it down with pint of keffir just for the bants.

Vegetarian Poke Bowl

After the car crash of mains, I had no hope left for dessert and my companion was (no joke) already googling where to get a kebab after lunch because he was still hungry. As expected, the dessert was miniscule. Rather than an actual dessert, it looked like the remnants of a dessert that one couldnt quite finish, like a leftover spoon of excess cake and cream that you couldn’t quite manage. A dollop of cream, a little bit of raspberry puree and some digestive crumbs. We were lured into this restaraunt by the promise of this ‘wasabi cake’ dessert. What I got was microwave sponge with green food colouring and a very very distant hint of wasabi that could only slightly be tasted if you ate the sponge alone. If you’re going to do a wasabi dessert, be bold and make wasabi the main component. It feels like it was just put there to be different. Its like saying “LOOK GUYS! Look how wAcKy and qUiRkY we are, we made a WASABI dessert.” But you didn’t, you just made a dessert and added a tiny bit of wasabi so you could write “wasabi cake” on the menu and look all interesting. Its as though they were trying to follow suite from the trend of using savoury elements in desserts, done beautifully on local places like Adrian Quetglas with his madras ice cream or Vida Meva with their ras el hanut caramel, but just falling flat

Wasabi cake with coconut cream and raspberry purée.

So the food was a bit crap, and I was kind of resigned to it. We got our Taco Bell after wards to feed the gaping hole still left in our stomachs and I didn’t think anything much more of it. But after a while I felt slightly irritated and angry at the pretentiousness of it all. I was clearly served average to sub par food, but the way Noveno B advertises themselves gives off a sort of ‘holier than thou’ vibe. Their tagline on the menu says “Open your mind, not just your mouth.” No? Don’t tell me what to do? How do you know my mind isn’t already open? It was open enough to try the lunch menu here when I was clearly dubious of your peg usage. I bet they’ll put up a sign soon saying “We don’t have wifi, talk to the person in front of you and pretend its 1995. 🙂” They just seem like that sort of place.

The lunch menu was £14,95, a pretty standard price for Mallorcan restaurants, but their regular starters and mains are EXPENSIVE. £12 for starters, £16,5 at their dearest. Their mains reach up to £18, the audacity! The Michelin star Spanish restaurant Sabor has starters that are less than £10, in central London! And the arrogance of thinking your food is so great that you can dollop it on peoples hands or make them eat it with a blindfold like a bloody bushtucker trial.

I do feel a little bit terrible for laying in so hard to this place, but like i’ve said before, nobody really reads this apart from my boyfriend and my two best mates who don’t even live in Mallorca, so I doubt i’m exactly going to be affecting business to this establishment in any way. There are lunch menus for the same price and far cheaper in Palma that are miles better, ones where you won’t leave still hungry.

Noveno B Carrer del 31 de Desembre, 9, Bajo, 07003 Palma, Balearic Islands

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