Fatty Crab is the worst meal I've ever had in New York
Went to Fatty Crab last night, and all I can say is, skip it. The food is seriously awful. When we arrived, there was no place to wait - which we had to do for a long time, despite our reservation - so we took in some cold rain for a while. When we got inside, I could have used a scotch, but there's no liqour. If you wanted a Singha, you were out of luck, because they had run out. A liter Asahi was the last resort. We ordered all of the waitresses recommendations, and couple of our own choices. The "tea sandwiches" were pork belly (read: pure fat), cilantro, and mayo on white bread. They were, to be blunt, disgusting. The watermelon and pork salad was equally wretched. It contained the cheapest possible cut of pork, the ones that Chinese retuarants throw out and then Fatty Crab picks through the trash to find, which had a tiny bit of meat packed between large layers of fat and gristle. But the piece de resistance remained: the traditional fish soup. Apparently the traditional fish in Malaysia is sardines from a can. I actually choked on the soup, which tasted like vomit mixed with Mylanta. By the time we got to the crab, which was the only thing worth ordering at Fatty Crab, we were already groaning and rubbing our bellies, which were crying out in protest. Although the crab is good, it's a lot of work, and failed to redeem the otherwise awful meal. Save yourself the headache and head over to Momofuko, where you'll have a meal ten times better for half the price.
I agree the space leaves something to be desired but your complaints about the food are way off base...so they only have beer and wine, not the only place in the city where that is the case. The wine list also has interesting choices you won't find in many restaurants. The pork fat/belly (it does tend to be fatty) in the watermelon dish is like candy and melts in your mouth and the the traditional fish soup is fairly traditional. It smells and tastes like fish. The tea sandwich is served pretty much as the menu describes. I find the food quite good at a reasonable price point....
re: vegas dreams
First off, what do you think pork belly is, its where bacon comes from, hence fat. Also, sounds like you are not familiar with strong Malaysian flavors, although "vomit mixed with Mylanta" is a pretty gross and strange description. Also, Momofuko is Japanese food and fatty crab is Malaysian- totally different food.
To each their own, they say, but wow, I could not disagree more. More crab and fatty pork for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i'm usually prone to slamming upscale ethnic eateries run by folks outside that ethnic group, but i actually found fatty crab to be A-OK. it sounds like the OP simply went into the experience not knowing what he was ordering -- for example, pork belly is MEANT to be "pure fat," or something very close to it -- and wanting to avoid strong flavors, which is hard to do in this sort of cuisine.
I think this is simply a case of having very different expectations from the reality of what is offered at Fatty Crab.
Pork belly is SUPPOSED to be very fatty.
I've found the pickled watermelon/pork belly dish to be spectacular.
I've been dying to try Fatty Crab myself, and I have to admit this tempers my enthusiasm (if only slightly).
However, at the risk of sounding passive-aggressive, have you had a lot of Malaysian food before? I only ask because being Malaysian myself, I definitely have foodie friends that as a rule don't enjoy the flavors, spices, and textures of Malaysian cuisine. Maybe that was part of the problem for you?
I do think it's interesting, however, that you recommend Momofuku, since their Berkshire pork belly sandwiches are pretty fatty too (which, as david_sprague and dkstar1 pointed out, is the idea).