Is the Fatty Bao the best pan Asian restaurant in Delhi (non 5 star) right now? This was the question running through my head all day after I tasted their new menu recently. What pips my opinion in their favour is that besides the regular Pan Asian dishes and flavours (sushi, green & red curries etc), this Chef Manu Chandra led joint truly marries innovative flavors to blow you away. So there is a phenomenal Duck rendang, where the duck has been confited first or an unheard of (at least to me) tuna tataki tortilla pizza ! This thread of bold and innovative flavours runs through the entire menu and the chefs seem to be having a lot of fun (and so do we).
There is a selection of ‘open’ baos to choose from (to begin with) and they were each wonderful. The new menu has been especially designed to add newer vegetarian items on them menu and the standout veg baos were the cheesy kimchi and the fried cottage cheese baos. They had suitably amped up flavours to suit our palette but damn tasty nonetheless. My personal reco is the prawn and chilli crab bao, it was like having a very innovative, superb fish burger with the soft and sweet bao complimenting the crunchy patty.
There are three ‘closed’ baos to choose from as well- I had the superb pulled pork bao (served in a Paniyaram patra no less), with a scrumptious hoisin sauce pulled pork filling.
Another superb dish was the Sichuan dry , stir fried beans. This spicy and delicious dish will whet anyone’s appetite, vegetarian or otherwise.
Another favourite was the Pok Pok chicken wings, which are boneless chicken wings filled with chicken mince and slathered in a phenomenal sweet, sticky, salty glaze. This is a surefire crowd pleaser and a must try.
The Tuna Tataki pizza was one of my favourites as I had never had something like that before. The wonderfully seared tuna was brilliant to eat on the crunchy Tortilla base and some five spice seasoning.
For the carnivores, do not leave this restaurant without trying the PB& J pork belly and the Duck rending. These two dishes are the reasons to come back to Fatty Bao over and over again. The rending was my favourite ever since I have tasted it here and the confit duck just adds the richness to elevate it to a new level.
The PB&J pork belly is the tastiest, juiciest and most importantly most crackling-ey pork belly I’ve had in delhi !, nuff said.
Even with desserts, the pastry chef has kept the innovation alive. There are no run of the mill desserts and besides the phenomenally brilliant Zen forest and the Egg, the new menu has a Gluten Free s’mores bar and a lemon meringue gastrotart.
The smores has a wonderful chocolate centerpiece (made with Indian chocolate no less) , a combination of flourless chocolate cake , chocolate custard and toasted meringue with a sea salt and coffee ice cream. The chocolate custard in itself was A+ but I do think the ice cream was a little salty affecting the overall balance to an otherwise great dessert.
The final dessert was a wonderfully light, lemon tart that was served with a blueberry sorbet to die for. There are so many elements on the dish, each done perfectly – the ice cream, the cake, the sable, the crumble and my only minor grouse (or personal preference) was that I was craving for a richer lemon curd to go with the sparkling sorbet, but that is for another time.
The Fatty Bao’s menu shines through with its unique, innovative dishes and some regular Pan Asian fare, each done the way it should be. Its fresh, hip and scrumptious- do not miss it.
The Fatty Bao