Sampled Fatty Crab last night. Must first thank the 'hound who suggested arriving no later than 6:30. Arriving at 6:37, I was given the last open table for two and by 7 it was so packed that getting to the bathroom to wash the wing sauce off my hands was an aspiration rather than a task that could actually ever be accomplished. The restaurant is about the size of 'ino and 5 times as crowded. Tables are close enough to easily see all who are dining with you. In fact, spotted a few tables down was Jeffrey Chodorow --perhaps scouting Malaysian as a new theme for the restaurant to occupy the space of the recently departed Caviar and Bananas.
All that aside, the food was fun, brightly flavored, and delicious.
We started with the crispy pork belly salad with pickled watermelon rind. The belly cubes, crispy, warm and unctuous, found their ideal foil in the vinegary snap and crunch of the hunks of pickled watermelon.
The dish of green mango slices were a nice way to start as well. After one dip in their accompanying chili lime salt, the tart, toothsome batons of mango were completely transformed from banal to unusual and addictive.
The wings, talked about only slightly less than those that are served at Cercle Rouge, were decidedly deserving of all the hype. Sauced in a dark, molasses-hued slick, they were perfect with the Singha we were drinking.
We also enjoyed the oyster omelet. Some have complained of an overpowering flavor to this dish. I must say that he distinctive heightened briny notes of cooked oyster did not dominate the omelet but actually rescued it from ordinariness. The omelet, a fluffy, puffy, and golden brown disc, occupied the entire surface of a dinner plate and was garnished with an ample crown of fresh cilantro and a sweet, salty sauce that had notes of Nam Pla resounding in every bite. There was an ample amount of plump oysters and we thought this was a winning dish.
Finally, we sampled the grilled skate, which was redolent of coconut milk and had a slight smoky taste from the grill. It found satisfying company in the small dish of coconut rice that we ordered.
I must say that I could eat at Fatty Crab quite often were it not for the crazy crush of patrons clamoring for the food after 6:45. The website claims that delivery will be available in January. This augurs well as many of these dishes would translate quite seamlessly into takeout.
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