FATTY CRAB – NYC
643 Hudson Street (bet. Horatio and Gansevoort) New York, NY 10014
Date dined: 4.13.12
On a Friday evening after seeing a comedy show uptown right after work, a few friends and I wanted a low key dinner somewhere that wouldn’t make us wait two hours without a reservation. Fatty Crab has been around for a couple years now and was the first really well known restaurant serving Malaysian inspired food in NYC. It currently has two locations in Manhattan and now one in St. John as well. The West Village location is tiny with just a handful tables inside and, in good weather, a few more outside as well.
We started with some of their signature snacks. The green mango and papaya salad which is a hai-style pounded salad with chili, lime and peanut. This salad is both refreshing and spicy at the same time so each time you go back for another bite your mouth is momentarily cooled by the fruit and then hit with the aftereffect of the chili.
We also began with some if their their tea sandwiches which change on occasion. The combination of the evening was hand pulled lamb shoulder, tofu aioli and salted chilis. Though the tiny sandwichs look like they might have come out of a third graders lunchbox they certainly pack a more exotic punch. The lamb was gamey with the aioli acting as luke a healthier version of mayo and the chilies were a bit tangy. I would be happily surprised if someone packed this for my lunch.
Next were the pork buns. These are a must order if you eat at Fatty Crab since they are known as some of the top in the city. Pillowy buns filled with meaty pork belly topped with a sweet sauce and a cilantro and red onion salad. The fresh cilantro cuts through the intensely rich pork.
The jalan alor chicken wings were roasted and glazed in kecap manis which is an Indonesian soy sauce sweetened with palm sugar, chili and fennel.
We also had the mini beef and pork burgers with sambal aioli, pickles and lettuce. These little guys also pack a pretty big punch so make sure you have a nice refreshing cocktail close by.
The Chili Crab is one of Fatty Crab’s signature dishes but they barely even describe it on the menu. The large Dungeness crab is broken down into a few pieces which helps somewhat but be prepared to get your hands dirty because the crab is doused in a deliciously thick sauce that is probably made of 50 ingredients. Thankfully the dish comes with a few thick chunks of buttery toast to sop up the incredible sauce which is peanutty, spicy and complex.
To end the meal the waiter brought over a few small pieces of cake that don’t really look like much of anything at all but when you pick it up it is much heavier than it appears. The thick cake is coconutty and gooey – a nice little treat with teh check.
Fatty Crab is a great restaurant for a casual meal anytime to enjoy bold and different flavors.