No reservations, open from noon to 4AM, take out available, sharing is a must. Those are the basics at Fatty Crab. But nothing about Fatty Crab is basic.
It has been some time since I left a restaurant (and woke up in the morning saying the same thing) being absolutely "wowed" by the food. The food is delicious. Salty, spicy, flavorful, interesting and fun.
We got there at 6:30 on a Saturday evening. My guess is from then on the festivities and lines begin. We were told it would be about 45 minutes. We put our name on the list and then ambled around the area. We first went up to the top of Hotel Gansevoort for a drink. The views are good and the scene is also a good view. Then we roamed into a few stores which stay open until 8pm. It was all perfect timing.
We walked into Fatty Crab and you get into the vibe asap. The music is blaring. Think Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes and White Stripes very loud. Many tables put into a small space. There is a bar in the back with a few stools but I’m not sure sitting there would not be so choice.
The kitchen looks frenetic but they appear to be having fun. Lots of take out and restaurant orders coming out constantly. There must be some serious preparation during the day.
Sharing was a must, as they tell you from the onset when taking your order. We also went for the beers instead of wine with this meal. Singha, our beer of choice after Thailand.
Our first plate out was Fatty Duck, brined, steamed and fried. 5 medium sized pieces of duck that is cut like osso bucco – bone in the middle. Not only is the flavor intense, the meat is perfectly cooked. It is served with a rich spicy brown sauce almost like a hoisin spice. Excellent.
Next to arrive were the slow cooked pork ribs and the chicken wings. You get 3 large pork ribs which is too bad because I could eat an entire rack by myself. Flavor is rich and spicy. Everyone at the table was a rib lover, and an intense critic when it comes to ribs. We deemed these fantastic. Solid on the bone but the minute you sink your teeth in the meat falls off. These ribs have been roasted in some type of dry rubs for hours upon hours and then roasted again hours upon hours with a spicy sauce. Top! The wings were also excellent. Crispy and spicy. Just how we like them. We could have had a huge bowl of the wings too.
Of the variety of soups available, we all wanted to taste the Wonton Mee. I really liked how they served this. Small bowl of broth with a four shrimp pork dumplings one on side of a plate. The other side of the plate was a huge mound of thin fried egg noodles. Really tasty and good for dunking in the soup, or just adding it all in.
Three main courses were about to come our way. Short Rib Rendang. Woah. Braised short ribs that were completely fallen off the bone. You could taste the lime, chili and coconut all at once. This was served over a crispy yet simple rice. We attacked the plate. Next was a large piece of sea bass that had poached in the coconut broth it was served in. Really tasty but not my favorite. It was lighter than the rest. Still full of flavor but the others were so unbelievable that at this point our expectations were high. Last thing that came out was the Chili Crab. Crab cut up in large bowl taken over by a rich spicy chili sauce. It was served with nice sized pieces of toast to sop up the sauce. Quite a mess but wet napkins are served on the side.
Desserts was not big there or coffee or tea for that matter. So, we got the check. They gave us four small pieces of little sweets cakes. Bite size. Creamy and delicious. I would have been thrilled to get a much bigger piece.
So, we walked over to the Chocolate Bar for dessert. All good there too.
Fatty Crab….what can I say? Sweet. They rule. Delicious. I can hardly wait to go back. All of the above.
this place is great!
oooh! it’s on the list for my next NYC trip for sure.
We were there Saturday night and loved it as well, although expect a wait no matter what time you arrive. And don’t bring a crowd, there isn’t room. Our recommendation is the skate, which is served on a banana leaf and covered in a spicy, fish based dry “sauce” that really makes the dish. And a relative bargain at only $14! The signature Chili Crab is $28, but worth it. Closest facsimile to the actual Chili Crab I’ve had in Singapore that I’ve found in the States. I also agree on the Short Rib Rendang, but the Salt & Pepper Ebi shrimp were disappointing.