After all the life changing, career moving decisions that I had apparently taken last November (2014) when I quit my job at a law firm and decided to take a long unplanned break and then in March this year decided to work for a food start-up (because duh), I am surprisingly back at being a lawyer at a law firm in Mumbai. So apparently I can’t get enough of the law (and the law can’t get enough of me). However, it’s only been a little over 2 months at the new job (New Job) so I really wouldn’t want to count my chickens before they hatch and make any statement appreciating or dismissing my time here so far (look at the incessant need to ‘define’ terms).
Nevertheless, what I will not refrain from mentioning is the awesome colleagues I have here. I sit in a room with 3 other people- there is the retarded Mihir (ok not really retarded but when I mentioned it to him that this is what I’ll be referring to him as, he asked me to show him the post before it goes live- like for what I wonder? Proof-read? #SuchALawyer) pretty and witty Eva who is about to tie the knot hopefully sometime in the near future with a super cool dude hailing from Chicago (but more on that later) and Sugandha, a senior in terms of her position at the firm but equally fun to chat with. However, the person that I end up spending most of my time here working with is Priya, a sweet little Bombay girl who makes me feel not so short and is fun to hang around with. That being said, what becomes really relevant for this post is how these people are almost equally in love with food like me, though they keep a check on their diets where I mostly lose that battle and food wins. It was owing to this common interest that one evening Eva, Priya and I decided to finally pay a visit to the newish Fatty Bao in Bandra. For various reasons I had not been able to make my long overdue trip there and so when we were finally talking about going for dinner one evening when work was relatively light, this seemed to be the place to hit. And lo behold! We even got reservations at the last minute. It was fate. I just know it.
So on a Wednesday evening, 3 lawyers decide to go to a Japanese restaurant for drinks, dinner and debauchery. No there is no joke lined up here- just some amazingly tantalizing food and an extremely cheery and pretty, dimly lit ambiance. We had to wait for about 5-10 minutes for our table but that wait wasn’t a pain at all. It was something else- the lights, the music, the vibe, all made me wonder and kick myself on why I hadn’t visited earlier.
We started with drinks first- 2 Double Jades (Beefeater Gin blended with Kiwi, Khus and Kaffir Lime), and 1 of The Fatty Sour (a sensual blend of Raspberries, Whiskey (Jameson), Lime and Sugar) (each priced at Rs. 550). While I found the Double Jade to be a bit too sweet for my taste keeping in mind that I usually stick to a standard Mojito or a Daiquiri (of course) where traces of alcohol can be tasted, it was quite well made in terms of the proportion of alcohol in the cocktail- enough to get me all chatty and light headed. The Fatty Sour, as Eva tells me, did not feel like a cocktail as again the alcohol could not be tasted, but extremely well made and tasty,- just enough to get her happy high. All in all, and I am sure that the girls will agree with me on this, the cocktails were a breath of fresh air after a hard day’s work.
Jumping to the starters we ordered a plate of the Fatty Oysters (Rs. 445) which is fresh Cochin oysters broiled with soy butter, chorizo and ponzu sauce. The dish is marked as a ‘Fatty Bao Special’ and rightly so. The fun of eating oysters right off the shell is what I would go back for- but not only that. The oysters were soft and succulent and the chorizo bits drizzle on top added the oomph factor to the dish. One thing that I would have preferred is bread on the side to cut the saltiness of the dish. But yum is what I say. The Fatty Oysters are a hero and a must try for all non-vegetarian patrons.
To balance the veg to non-veg quotient, since one of us is a vegetarian, we also ordered the Baked Wonton Cups (Rs. 225) and a plate of the Kimchi Baby Potatoes (Rs. 225). The Baked Wonton Cups with wok tossed cottage cheese, corn, water chestnut, chilli and scallion had surprisingly not gone soggy and the crunch in the bite was in fact quite evident. This, I would say, is one such dish that will not make you miss meat. The flavours were well balanced and the cute little things were devoured within a few minutes.
The Kimchi Baby Potatoes, our next vegetarian plate, had a zingy and spicy flavor and were quite delicious. While I had already stuffed myself with the Fatty Oysters, I couldn’t help but keep digging into the bowl for these because really, no one can eat just one.
After feeling considerably fed, we decided to order another round of our drinks and then, once we had gotten a break from the gluttony, we took to ordering our mains for the evening - a bowl of the Chasu Ramen (Rs. 425) (also marked as a ‘Fatty Bao Special’), and a portion of the Lotus Root in Thai Red Curry (Rs. 345).
The Chasu Ramen is pork stock with bacon, braised pork belly, bean sprouts and marinated soft boiled egg. This is the kind of dish that you take a bite of and are transported into wonderland. Hot and so comforting, it warms you from the inside – and when you have the first bite of the braised pork belly, you know it doesn’t get better. After all, the Chasu Ramen is made of all the good things.
But what surprised me even more was the Lotus Root in Thai Red Curry. Why? Because first of all Lotus Root (also known as bhein back home) is something, because of the preparation in which I have eaten this while growing up, I could not associate with being a part of a Thai Curry. Secondly, I am more of a Green Curry person. However, it would be wrong to not mention that I was pleasantly amazed by the intense yet balanced flavours that the Red Thai Curry made me experience and the crisp Lotus Root that went so well with it that I am considering cooking it this way when I am back home next. So much so, this was a great combination with the sticky rice that we ordered and I was glad that there were left overs because that ensured that my lunch for the next day was sorted.
Ab meethe mein kya? Well obviously we weren’t going to skip that. We picked 2 Fatty Bao Specials from the dessert menu- the Fatty Hill (Rs. 265) and the Japanese Cheesecake (Rs. 265).
The Fatty Hill is a sight- a hill made of chocolate cream, mint crème brulee, chocolate crispies and topped with rice crispies. As is well known amongst my set of peers, I am not a very chocolate dessert person, but even I couldn’t resist taking spoonsful of this. A stream of chocolate flowed as soon as we cut into the “hill” and as Eva would say- the first bite was orgasmic.
The Japanese Cheesecake by default became my more of a go to option considering the non-chocolate element of it. A Japanese cheesecake, unlike the regular cheesecake, is soft, fluffy and cushiony. The one at the Fatty Bao passed this test with flying colours. The blueberry compote layered on top was quite a delight and the Cheesecake went extremely well with the scoop of vanilla ice cream served alongside. I lost my heart to this one. Slowly but surely.
Will I go there again? Read the post. I don’t think this question needs to be answered (Of course I will. I am dreaming of the Fatty Oysters and the Japanese Cheesecake right now!)
Where is it? Ground Floor, Summerville, Junction of 14th and 33rd Road, Linking Road, Bandra West Contact: 022 33716006