My friend Lisa was in town visiting from Alaska. She lives in a small town and rarely eats out (even if she wanted to her choices are limited) and she had requested Asian for dinner. Dave and I decided on Fatty Crab, known for its flavorful Malaysian street food, which recently opened a second branch on the Upper West Side.
We didn’t have a reservation, but arrived by 6pm and were seated right away. However, once seated we were forgotten for quite a while and didn’t even get menus until we asked for them. After this initial hiccup, however, our server was attentive and gave us some nice suggestions with respect to our meal. Everything is meant to be shared so we ordered a bunch of dishes, though finding things without meat in them on the Fatty Crab menu is virtually impossible. In addition, the whole fish bakar, which sounded delicious and had been recommended by a friend, was sold out.
The first dish that arrived was steamed veggie buns. The cooked vegetables, to which we were instructed to add a piece of hard-boiled egg and some fresh cilantro, were divine, and went nicely with the bun. On the side was a sweet and spicy sauce that was the prefect addition to the buns.
Next came the fatty sliders (mini pork and beef burgers). Dave and Lisa dug right in and seemed very pleased. Dave described the combination of beef and pork as, “succulent and tender.” He also noted that the cucumber added a nice crunch.
Along with the sliders came the lo si fun (short rice noodles with Chinese sausage and shiitake). Initially, I was planning on just picking out the pieces of sausage, which were easy to spot. But, after a bit of digging it became clear that, in addition to the sausage, there was a hefty amount of ground meat in the sauce (Dave thinks it was beef). I was able to taste a few noodles, which had a nice texture, but I found the sauce to be a bit heavy.
We also ordered a side of steamed baby bok choy (with oyster sauce). This (quite standard) dish was well executed and brought me back to my days living in Hong Kong. I think it helped that Lisa and I were in Hong Kong together, and shared many a meal.
Our last dish, which was the crowd favorite, was the fatty duck. Yes, I had a piece. The duck meat was sweet and crispy and fatty and amazing. It came on a bed of rice mixed with cilantro and some thinly sliced chilies. Every time you got a bit of chili in your mouth it provided a pleasing burst of hotness.
With the check came a complimentary desert of coconut panna cotta and mochi cake. The panna cotta was nothing special but the cake was excellent. It was light and cakey but with the chewiness of mochi. I need to find a recipe for this cake and make it myself soon.