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Fatty Crab is the worst meal I've ever had in New York

j
JohnnyMags Nov 14, 2006 03:16 PM

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.

  1. o
    Ottojr Jul 8, 2011 08:24 PM

    Well I finally got to visit Fatty Crab two nights ago. I have read so many blogs and comments about this place and watched Roger Mooking list a dish as one of his very favs. I just had to visit with two other friends.

    I made reservations and arrived on time and we were escorted to our booth. The server explained how the food comes and we were left to order. I chose the Watermelon Juice to drink with my meal and thoroughly enjoyed it. I had ordered three by the end of the meal.

    I chose the Fatty Dog, Watermelon Pickle and Crispy Pork and a side order of Toast and Sauce. My friends both ordered the Chicken Clay Pot and Chicken Satay.

    Fatty Dog: 5/10 - It was ok, nothing exciting, would not order it again.

    Watermelon Pickle and Crispy Pork: 10/10 Absolutley delicious and so worth trying. I would definetly go back to try that again. Roger Mooking was so right to pick this as one of the best combos he has tried.

    Toast with Side sauce: 5/10 I did not feel like fighting with crab so I decided to try the much talked-about sauce with toast. I was very disappointed with the sauce. I had read so much about it and I was expecting something amazing. It was ok but to me nothing to write home about.

    Chicken Clay Pot - 3/10 I tried some of my friends dish. When this hit my mouth, I thought.."Are you kidding me???" It was horrible, I mean soooo bland and salty. Do not try this..Ever.

    Chicken Satay - 6/10 Ok dish. Chicken was good but I have tasted a better peanut sauce at other places.

    Watermelon Juice: 10/10 Will try this again

    I would visit Fatty Crab again to try other dishes. The service was very good. I did find it a bit pricy though.

    -----
    Fatty Crab
    643 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

    1. o
      Ottojr May 30, 2011 01:07 PM

      You know I just have to try Fatty Crab. I have heard so much for pro and con that I just have to make my own decision. Roger Mooking on 'Best Thing I ever ate' said that the pork belly/watermelon dish was amazing. I believe it was in the combo food area. The crab dish always has great debate. Taste like it was frozen...blah blah blah. One thing that most to almost all agree on is the sauce that comes with the crab. I can always enjoy that if all else fails.

      -----
      Fatty Crab
      643 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ottojr
        boredough May 31, 2011 12:53 AM

        Fatty Crab is still on Village Vines at 30% off.

        -----
        Fatty Crab
        643 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

        1. re: boredough
          o
          Ottojr May 31, 2011 08:35 AM

          That 30% runs until the end of June.

      2. Motosport Mar 24, 2011 01:50 PM

        Interesting to note that the OP only has two posts. Both blasting restaurants. And no responses to any of the Fatty Crab thread.
        I always take this type of post with a skeptical view.
        I've never been to Fatty Crab but it was interesting to read all the posts. The OP certainly stimulated some thoughts on Fatty Crab.

        -----
        Fatty Crab
        643 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

        1. floretbroccoli Mar 18, 2011 09:05 AM

          I'm always a little confused when people talk about Momofuku. There IS no restaurant called Momofuku, is there? There's Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Momofuku Ko, and now, Ma Peche. The cost varies pretty widely from restaurant to restaurant.

          Are people who say Momofuku generally referring to the original noodle bar?

          -----
          Momofuku Noodle Bar
          171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

          Momofuku Ko
          163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

          Ma Peche
          15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

          1 Reply
          1. re: floretbroccoli
            Wilfrid Mar 24, 2011 09:01 AM

            You are right, and there is no way of knowing which one people mean unless the context provides a clue. Some of the posts above probably refer to Ssam Bar, but when people talk about a "faux-Japanese, faux-Chinese" place you can stop reading, because you are not going to learn much from them.

          2. kelea Mar 16, 2011 03:02 PM

            I feel this review is completely unfounded. (Not to mentioned he pretty much never posted again) I went just a couple weeks ago for the first time. I'm been trying to avoid this place since I grew up in Singapore and ate this type of food my whole life.

            I will say Fatty Crab (like Momofuku) has serve one big purpose for me and that is to make Asian cuisine not only accessible but exciting. Esp Fatty Crab since a lot of these flavors would never see the likes of many American palates. Was the food delicious? Absolutely - we had the roti, the pork sandwiches, the pork and watermelon, nasi goreng and chili crab. Was the flavors spot on? Oh most definitely (to a point that I was impressed).

            However, I will never be returning as Fatty Crab is one of the least money for value meals I've ever had. It's just tough knowing you could get all of that food for about $50 and we had to pay $200. Especially I'm going home in July.

            -----
            Fatty Crab
            643 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

            13 Replies
            1. re: kelea
              h
              H Manning Mar 16, 2011 03:07 PM

              Fatty Crab is great, though I'd love to know where to get good Malaysian food in Manhattan for 1/4 the price.

              -----
              Fatty Crab
              643 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

              1. re: H Manning
                boredough Mar 16, 2011 03:25 PM

                In case you "need" to go back, for approx 2/thirds the price (30%off) you can go to Fatty Crab UWS on Village Vines.

                1. re: boredough
                  h
                  H Manning Mar 16, 2011 03:41 PM

                  Thanks for the tip boredough!

                2. re: H Manning
                  Duppie Mar 16, 2011 03:51 PM

                  Try New Malaysian in Chinatown, Good food at good prices.

                  -----
                  New Malaysia
                  48 Bowery, New York, NY 10013

                  1. re: Duppie
                    h
                    H Manning Mar 16, 2011 03:59 PM

                    I'll try it. Thanks Duppie!

                  2. re: H Manning
                    p
                    Pan Mar 17, 2011 10:36 PM

                    Nothing in New York is nearly as chili-laden or good as you can get in London, but Skyway on Allen St. just south of Canal is decent and cheap.

                    1. re: Pan
                      Duppie Mar 18, 2011 03:39 AM

                      I have got to try Skyway. Any standouts on the menu? I love a good pungent Laksa.

                      1. re: Duppie
                        p
                        Pan Mar 18, 2011 05:18 AM

                        Their laksa is OK. For some time, I haven't gotten anything other than relatively small dishes I can eat by myself, so one-bowl soups (laksa, curry mee with yong tau fu, Java mee) with or without noodles, and achat. I used to like their seafood dishes a lot, but haven't tried any for some time.

                      2. re: Pan
                        Wilfrid Mar 18, 2011 07:43 AM

                        Skyway is good, as is a little place called Oversea Asian (very downbeat look, but good, inexpensive food).

                      3. re: H Manning
                        kelea Mar 18, 2011 06:59 AM

                        Or try Taste Good in Elmhurst. It is a hole in the wall and no frills but delicious

                        1. re: kelea
                          p
                          Pan Mar 23, 2011 11:05 AM

                          Have you been there since their chef/owner left? A friend went and said everything was insipid - no spiciness. I hope they're still good, because I doubt there's any really good, dependable Malaysian restaurant left in the 5 Boroughs.

                          1. re: Pan
                            kelea Mar 23, 2011 11:47 AM

                            Sorry to hear that Pan! No the last time i went was over a year ago. I haven't been needing to go cause I've been flying home a decent amount

                            1. re: kelea
                              p
                              Pan Mar 23, 2011 09:51 PM

                              Lucky you! I told my girlfriend that I have to lose a lot of weight before going back to Malaysia, because there are so many wonderful rice and noodle dishes there, and so many great fruits!

                    2. h
                      hegelthedog Mar 15, 2011 07:15 PM

                      I haven't eaten at Fatty Crab yet, but, oh my god, if the food at Momofuko is ten times better, then the grub at FC must be really, really, really, REALLY BAD.

                      -----
                      Fatty Crab
                      643 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

                      1. m
                        Marco Oct 12, 2009 05:23 PM

                        I'll second one of the worst meal$$$ in Manhattan

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Marco
                          g
                          gastrognome Nov 12, 2009 09:26 PM

                          Hey has this place improved? I tried a fatty slider at there booth near Madison Square Park and it wasn't too bad.

                        2. sixelagogo Dec 15, 2007 03:30 AM

                          I went there about a month ago and although I wouldn't say it's the worst meal in Manhattan, it's probably the least professional restaurant I've ever eaten at...I guess i came during to early an hour (6pm) , but half the staff was in the dinng room during staff meal while i was there and i felt like i was crashing a private party, as they were loud, swearing, and altogheter negligent towards patrons....I'm not a snot about food joints and i understood the place is casual, but i also understand the need for some semblance of professionalism...maybe i am getting old and fussy, but if yer shelling out $50 bucks for a solo meal, i think you should get something better than they have to offer.
                          As for the food, i thought it was decent, though I've had better in cheaper malaysian restaurants in the city.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sixelagogo
                            j
                            josh L Dec 20, 2007 08:44 AM

                            You obviously don’t get it. The menu is very unique and unlike any other Malaysian restaurants. The flavors are strong, complex and intense and I think it’s actually a good deal for the price. Some of my favorite dishes are the pork belly sandwich, the shrimp sambal, the short rib rendang, the new fish curry or the skate panggang, pork belly salad and the Nasi lemak, one of the best dishes anywhere. You will not find flavors like these anywhere else in Manhattan. I actually like the staff, yes they are eccentric but they have gained my respect. They are actually very knowlegable about the menu and the drinks.

                          2. n
                            newportt Dec 14, 2007 09:43 PM

                            After several disappointments with celeb restaurant "tasting menu"s, I want to say I thoroughly enjoy the Fatty Crab experience. I had some real tasty food for a change!

                            I went early (6 PM on Friday night) so there was no wait. I was also by myself so I sat at the bar, which was no problem and I got great service.

                            The water melon with pork belly was interesting. I also had the green mango appetizer which was quite good. Then the Chilli Crab was sooo good, I thought I died and went to heaven! Yes, the MP was $36, but compare with those celeb "tasting menu" prices, it's still worth it. I don't mind the music and loudness either. In the small space you hear the wait staff joking with each other and bantering, it makes for very friendly and relaxing atmosphere.

                            1. cmballa Dec 12, 2007 02:32 PM

                              I thought I'd jump in because I ate here recently — the meal, sadly, was a bit frustrating.

                              But first, a silly mistake: we didn't order crab. My friend who I was with wasn't feeling it and I didn't want to pressure her so we tried some other things. Also, she cannot eat pork so (again, frustrating) we couldn't try a number of great looking things. We ordered chicken wings (a rather pointless choice really), the chicken clay pot (bland before the inclusion of a chili sauce), and the Malaysian fish fry (delicious!). I am not really complaining about the food here, I just need to go back with someone who can actually eat things on the menu.

                              The problems for me were first the atmosphere — which was sad, loud (what is that nasty post-drum-n-bass droll they play), and amped up obnoxiously by Meatpacking rabble — and the prices, which I felt didn't really reflect the size of the servings as well as they could.

                              Or maybe I felt the food wasn't good enough to cost that much.

                              I'll go back, and come back I'm sure, with a better opinion. (No offense to Meatpackers.)

                              1. b
                                burritobelle Dec 5, 2007 05:21 PM

                                Wow! I just spent a week eating my way through Manhattan, and my friend and I named Fatty Crab the BEST meal of the trip! I loved the watermelon & pork salad -- so unique. The chicken curry with coconut rice was anything but ordinary -- as the name of the dish implies. And she has been talking about the fatty duck ever since. The service was also great -- and we loved the little dark, crammed in space. PLUS, $3 PBRs were exactly what we needed after a week of expensive boozing.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: burritobelle
                                  jvish Dec 6, 2007 09:56 AM

                                  Fatty Crab is great..its cramped, small, but so what?..you didnt realize from the outside it was small and cramped?..were you expecting to walk inside and find Morimoto..please...there are like 12 tables there is no "good table" everyone gets thrown into a tight corner....but the food is very good..waiting is part of every small place..he mentions Momofuko which is fabulous, but if you knock a restaurant for the wait and not having scotch well thats 2 strikes on Momofuko too.

                                  1. re: burritobelle
                                    p
                                    Pan Dec 12, 2007 06:20 AM

                                    I still haven't tried the place.

                                    What other places did you check out on your trip?

                                  2. z
                                    zoeterry Mar 7, 2007 09:10 PM

                                    I have only had amazing experiences at Fatty Crab. Every time I go, I just order random small dishes off the menu and tell them to just keep coming. All the food has been amazing and on a freezing winter day, their special teas warmed be right up.

                                    1. 1
                                      1uc7 Mar 7, 2007 03:25 PM

                                      I agree with sap -- they don't take reservations, which is the one reason why I don't eat here more often. If they did, I would be here every other week -- the food is great and a decent value (I will add that I love momofuku as well, but I don't crave their menu the way I do FC!)

                                      1. s
                                        sap Mar 7, 2007 02:31 PM

                                        Obviously the original poster of this thread wasn't paying attention. I am a regular Fatty loyal and even I can't get reservations. They just don't offer them. So you 'having to wait despite a reservation' is simply BS. Yes the lack of waiting room sucks, but the food is worth the wait. And in terms of price compared to Momofuku, the prices are comparable, in fact Fatty's are lower, most of their dishes being under $25, hence it being reviewed by $25 and Under in the NYT and Momofuku being reviewed by F.Bruni.

                                        Know what you are talking about before you start dissing someone's restaurant.

                                        1. j
                                          jasmine802 Feb 10, 2007 08:57 PM

                                          Food does come out in random order. If you want great service don't go there during rush hour!!! I went there on a Sunday at 4 in the afternoon with my husband and we had great service. our appetizers was served before entree. and there was only 3 or 4 tables. Service was great.

                                          1. j
                                            jasmine802 Feb 10, 2007 08:53 PM

                                            Fatty crab is a great place. Nasi Lemak is great (I went to a malaysian restaurant in chinatown and also tried Nasi Lemak it was awful, so there is your comparison). Duck dish is not good, very fatty and fried at the same time. Dungeoness crab with thick white buttery toast is the best but its not worth $32. I can make that at home I am asian. This lady that complains about fatty crab doesn't know what asian food is. Fatty meat is part of the asian cuisine. and fish soup we put fish sauce so it is smelly but its good. if people are close minded about certain cuisins and food they should stay home instead of going out and giving themselves a nose bleed.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: jasmine802
                                              p
                                              Pan Mar 8, 2007 12:04 AM

                                              "I went to a malaysian restaurant in chinatown and also tried Nasi Lemak it was awful"

                                              Which restaurant?

                                            2. g
                                              gastrognome Dec 1, 2006 05:10 AM

                                              Maybe the problem is inconsistency both in service and quality amongst the dishes on the menu.

                                              1. t
                                                tatiana_nyc Nov 29, 2006 02:07 AM

                                                I concur! The worst highly-hyped meal I have endured in Manhattan. The $120 we spent on dinner for two several months ago would have been much better spent at countless other restaurants. The crab was the one item we ordered which we enjoyed, and the portions (1 crab for two people) were far too small to satiate our appetite.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: tatiana_nyc
                                                  j
                                                  jeanki Nov 29, 2006 04:34 PM

                                                  Strange you must have ordered everything on the menu because the crab is the only thing over 20 bucks.

                                                  This place really gives polarizing opinions. But I dont get people who call it overpriced, it's quite moderately priced. I still think it's one the best bangs for the buck in NYC.

                                                  1. re: jeanki
                                                    y
                                                    yogaboy Apr 27, 2008 07:50 AM

                                                    I would agree that it's not crazy expensive but our Sunday lunch for 2 cost $70 with tip.
                                                    The one comparison that was constantly swirling in my mind stems from the fact that I previously lived in Singapore. The same nasi lemak I had at FC for $16 would have cost me $2 at a hawker center/coffee shop in Singapore! Would it have come all cheffed-up with a poached egg? No. And were the flavors spot on? Yep. :-)

                                                2. b
                                                  byntbynt Nov 28, 2006 06:26 PM

                                                  fat, fat and then some fat on side

                                                  1. s
                                                    skeetereats Nov 27, 2006 08:45 PM

                                                    The Short Rib Rendang was a religious experience. The meat was so fatty and well braised that it just melted in my mouth! And the added touch of coconut shavings to top off the sweet/spicy dish just made it SING! I still can't stop thinking about it!

                                                    I loved the random order for sending out the food. The cramped quarters and noisy atmosphere didn't bother me at all...it kind of reminded me of all those authentic food eating experiences I had traveling through Asia. Loud, a little dirty, a lot cramped...but who cares if the food is good!

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: skeetereats
                                                      p
                                                      Pan Nov 28, 2006 03:13 AM

                                                      So fatty? That scares me as a recommendation for a place. Is all or most of their food characterized by extreme fattiness?

                                                      1. re: Pan
                                                        shirlotta Nov 28, 2006 04:02 AM

                                                        i didn't find the short rib rendang to be scarily fatty, just nicely fatty. there are plenty of non-fatty dishes as well - notably the fatty crab and the kang kung belucan - if fattiness is a concern, just steer clear of the dishes that include pork belly.

                                                        1. re: shirlotta
                                                          nyufoodie Nov 28, 2006 04:38 AM

                                                          I finally got to try Fatty Crab for dinner last Sunday. We were a big group so, we were able to order all the entrees and ate it family style. Upon ordering, the waiter did let us know that food is served as they are ready which maybe what the orig poster didn't like.

                                                          Best dishes were the watermelon pork belly salad, skate panggang, chili crabs, heritage pork ribs, fried duck, oyster omelet and the beef rendang
                                                          short ribs which was good but, definitely not authentic. But, I don't think Fatty Crab thrives to be authentic. so, everything worked-out at the end. our all Asian table unanimously gave it a thumbs-up. prices are a bit steep compared to C-town Malaysian places but, fatty crab is in the heart of the meatpacking district so, for it's location and food quality, i'd say it's a bargain.

                                                          1. re: shirlotta
                                                            p
                                                            Pan Nov 28, 2006 09:27 AM

                                                            I always avoid pork belly nowadays. But the richness of rendang is supposed to be from the coconut milk. I feel pretty safe in saying that traditionally, rendang would have been most often made with waterbuffalo meat, which is very lean. Anyway, I feel somewhat reassured by your remarks.

                                                            1. re: Pan
                                                              shirlotta Dec 1, 2006 04:06 PM

                                                              well, as a chinese girl, maybe you should take my remarks with temperance. i've never been put off by a little fat. : ) just kidding, honestly it's not that fat, especially if you get non-pork dishes.

                                                      2. r
                                                        rachael333 Nov 27, 2006 03:25 PM

                                                        I totally agree. I had a very similiar experience. We waited for an hour outside then were shoved in a corner by a more than mooody waiter. Our food was nothing special, expensive and came out in a very random order.

                                                        Very disappointing.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: rachael333
                                                          Peter Cuce Nov 27, 2006 11:43 PM

                                                          They tell you when you order that it's going to come out in whatever order they make it.

                                                        2. g
                                                          gastrognome Nov 27, 2006 06:59 AM

                                                          I had a very mediocre meal at Fatty Crab.

                                                          Is the idea that it is novel for a white guy to be cooking mediocre south east asian food in a hip setting?

                                                          Maybe I ordered the wrong stuff.(forgot to order the watermelon salad)
                                                          But for a place that is so acclaimed should there be extremely mediocre items on the menu?

                                                          In my mind excellent south east asian food is defined by clean fresh flavours that really pop out. I didnt find this at all here. Just like the chef had mixed a bunch of asian sauces out of the jar.

                                                          The crab was okay.

                                                          The tea sandwiches were not exciting or good at all. When the waiter asked me how everything was i told him; "I didnt really like the tea sandwhiches very much" he replied;
                                                          "well they have been written up in just about every food magazine in the city"
                                                          as he walked away I punched him in the kidney

                                                          The ribs (barbecued,not short ribs) were also extremely mediocre.

                                                          The chicken wings were okay, but more in a fast food kind of way than anything truly special.

                                                          The highlight of my evening was seeing Wilem Dafoe out on a date.

                                                          Its an alright place for beer and mediocre snack food if you live in the neighborhood and want to a chance to see Willem Dafoe up close.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: gastrognome
                                                            p
                                                            Pan Nov 28, 2006 03:12 AM

                                                            Your report would be more credible if you didn't say that you punched your waiter in the kidney. That was funny, though.

                                                          2. m
                                                            MoxieMax Nov 27, 2006 06:48 AM

                                                            Alright everyone - got any suggestions for other Malaysian places in the city? I liked Fatty Crab, but then again, I just assumed it was Anglo-malaysian cuisine. I'd like to test that hypothesis with something people would deem "authentic"...

                                                            10 Replies
                                                            1. re: MoxieMax
                                                              shirlotta Nov 27, 2006 09:50 PM

                                                              skyway malaysian in chinatown is really great. check out this recent thread for more places: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/23491...

                                                              1. re: shirlotta
                                                                bigjeff Nov 28, 2006 06:47 PM

                                                                second the rec to skyway; I only had a small meal there but there was a lot of potential. it's in the eastern part of chinatown (past bowery, etc.) but well worth a visit. go in a larger group and you can really chowdown. one thing to make sure, ask them to make everything extra spicy, I think their default setting is kinda weak.

                                                                1. re: bigjeff
                                                                  j
                                                                  josh L Nov 28, 2006 07:14 PM

                                                                  i had one meal at skyway and was not that impressed.

                                                                  1. re: josh L
                                                                    p
                                                                    Pan Nov 29, 2006 04:25 AM

                                                                    What did you order? Also, what Malaysian restaurants in New York have you preferred?

                                                                    1. re: josh L
                                                                      bigjeff Nov 29, 2006 03:28 PM

                                                                      well, the default spice is definitely lacking, but I had the house special pork, one of the large casseroles, two of the soup noodle dishes and two of the dry noodles and I found it really good. the flavors were different than what I had already gotten bored of from nyonya and you definitely need to ask them to kick up the spice, but the flavors are just a bit deeper and more complex than other places. Another recommendation is Sanur (which used to be called New Indonesian/Malaysian) on the corner of Pell and Doyer in Chinatown (the weird twisty windy part just south of canal and mott); their noodle soups are good, as are their seafood dishes steamed in banana leaf.

                                                                      1. re: bigjeff
                                                                        p
                                                                        Pan Nov 29, 2006 10:47 PM

                                                                        I just don't like Sanur. Try those dishes at Skyway and see if you don't agree with me that they're better.

                                                                        1. re: Pan
                                                                          bigjeff Nov 30, 2006 12:50 AM

                                                                          ya, I haven't been to sanur, I've only eaten there when it was the older name but I don't know if that involved any change in management or chefs or whatnot, but I definitely enjoyed my meals there maybe 3 or 4 years ago. but to go back to it, try skyway again, and kick up the spice; the place is much better than any of those cookiecutter places like penang or singapore cafe or even nyonya.

                                                                          1. re: bigjeff
                                                                            p
                                                                            Pan Nov 30, 2006 08:20 AM

                                                                            I think the spicing at Skyway is adequate. Malaysian food doesn't have to be really firey to taste authentic.

                                                                            1. re: Pan
                                                                              j
                                                                              josh L Nov 30, 2006 02:32 PM

                                                                              it doesnt have to be firey to taste authentic but it does have to be flavorful and my meal at skyway was a bit dull. Maybe, it was an of night.

                                                                              1. re: josh L
                                                                                p
                                                                                Pan Nov 30, 2006 11:22 PM

                                                                                What did you order?

                                                              2. f
                                                                flossinator Nov 27, 2006 01:56 AM

                                                                I don't think Fatty Crab takes reservations!

                                                                I personally love the food in small doses. The heat can get a little overwhelming to my sensitive palatte, but the flavors are otherwise always spot on.

                                                                1. guttergourmet Nov 26, 2006 08:18 PM

                                                                  I had intended to try this place for a while and your post inspired me. The watermelon and pork belly salad was...scrumptious! The chili crab was pricey for the size-a fairly small dungeness crab for $32- but I would happily bathe in the chili sauce (which come to think of it I did after picking out every last morsel from the shells). Cool place in the same league as Momofuku and Province Canteen

                                                                  1. h
                                                                    hps Nov 16, 2006 05:55 PM

                                                                    I really thought Fatty Crab was extremely good. I had the braised ribs and just couldn't stop eating! The pickled watermelon and pork is not for everyone, but my taste buds enjoyed it. Only complaint - my friend and I got squashed into a table with another couple...right in front of the bathroom. Ick!

                                                                    1. j
                                                                      jeanki Nov 16, 2006 01:31 AM

                                                                      Put me in the camp of 'the original poster has no taste buds.' Fatty Crab is one of the BEST places in NYC hands down, with unique kickin flavors for a great price. The watermelon and pork salad is one of my favorite dishes of all time, and I hate watermelon and fatty meat usually! There isn't supposed to be meat when the point is that the FAT, charred perfectly, is delicious and decadent. I think it does live up to the hype, and I am someone who finds Momofuku greatly overrated, and I'm Asian.

                                                                      1. a
                                                                        ADB Nov 16, 2006 01:19 AM

                                                                        Well if it makes his opinion a little more valid, I have been around here for awhile and I think Fatty Crab is vastly overrated. Their food ranges from crap to good, the service is beyond terrible, and the atmosphere, well it's cool if that's what you're into (which I am actually), but it is not justifiable at its price point. That being said, congrats to Zak and crew at FC for making it work, for having a good PR team and for convincing the dining public it is the new hot thing.
                                                                        I like Malaysian food. I also think you can find just as good, authentic Malaysian at real Malaysian restaurants around town, for a much better price. What I would think I am paying for at a place like Fatty Crab, is the chef's take on Malaysian food, bringing a more refined, American-style fine-dining approach to it. Their service and atmosphere don't live up to this at all. Don't get me wrong, I love that attitude, the loud music, etc, but when I'm at a bar I'm paying $2 for a PBR at. And I have to say, the watermelon and pork salad also really pissed me off. I fucking LOVE pork, and there's nothing better than a nice, fatty piece of belly. That being said, there has to be some meat on it. Especially when you are paying those prices, justified by the fact that it is supposed to be a locally-raised heritage breed and/or organic pig. It defeats the whole idea of that if they are giving you nothing but fat. And that is what we got. No meat, just fat. Four pig enthusiasts, and Malaysian food lovers, sat around the table grumbling about being served really expensive pieces of lard. I work in restaurants that use the same purveyors as Fatty Crab, and it is clear where those pieces of meat we deem unservable end up.
                                                                        Having gotten that off my chest, Fatty Crab is not that bad. They have some really good food. But it doesn't live up to the hype at all. Try it. Then try a real Malaysian place, uninflated by hype and a PR machine and make the decision for yourself.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: ADB
                                                                          p
                                                                          Pan Nov 16, 2006 03:04 AM

                                                                          I haven't been to Fatty Crab yet but would like to have your recommendations of Malaysian restaurants in New York.

                                                                        2. c
                                                                          catbirdeat Nov 15, 2006 09:55 PM

                                                                          I had the identical experience at Fatty Crab--it's the emperor's new food.
                                                                          Cunningly dressed up as it is, with little green fronds and mincing portions,
                                                                          it belongs in the garbage disposal, not on a plate. That said, the guys who
                                                                          were waiting in the vestibule for tables were delicious to look at. My suggestion...
                                                                          hang out for half an hour, pretending to wait for a table, to chat with the
                                                                          slavering loiterers, then duck out and go to one of the myriad nearby restaurants
                                                                          that serve the world's more edible cuisines...

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: catbirdeat
                                                                            k
                                                                            Kanger Nov 15, 2006 10:01 PM

                                                                            Ouch. I can respect the indictments of a specific restaurant, but slamming one of the world's great foodie cuisines as a whole? Yowch. If you define "edible" as "less interesting" or "less Asian", I suppose I'd buy it. Otherwise, I have immense pride as a Malaysian that our food is one of the best foodie cuisines in the world, unique in its blend of Indian, Malay and Chinese flavors.

                                                                            Still, I can't argue with your tastebuds. They are yours, after all.

                                                                          2. Woodside Al Nov 15, 2006 09:39 PM

                                                                            Glad to see I'm not the only one who finds it odd to object to southeast Asian pork dishes (including one labelled as pork belly) for being too fatty. Sort of like objecting to a hamburger for being too meaty. Similarly with the Penang Laksa, which is supposed to use strong oily fish for its strong taste (and smell).

                                                                            So the original poster may just not like that type of cuisine (as for the restaurant in question, I can't comment, as I've never been there), which is fine. But to follow that up with a recommendation for a lame "scene" joint like Momofuku that does horrible fusion-y things to Japanese and other East Asian food, well...

                                                                            1. m
                                                                              moko Nov 15, 2006 09:08 PM

                                                                              experience was terrible. stupidly loud, too dark to actually see food, seating way too tight, menu was unique but food was merely OK.

                                                                              1. k
                                                                                kayonyc Nov 15, 2006 08:29 PM

                                                                                God - so mistaken are you! And of all places to recommend, Momofuku? That, darling, is the most over-rated, over-salted over-priced faux japanese-chinese resto ever...But don't get me started. Just read my review on menupages and citysearch. Anyway, if you don't want fatty cuts of pork, don't order the Pork belly dishes. Duh. I've never had a bad meal at Fatty Crab, and especially regard that Watermelon, mint and pork belly salad as my favorite!

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: kayonyc
                                                                                  x
                                                                                  xavier Nov 15, 2006 08:52 PM

                                                                                  My major objection to Fatty Crab is the screamingly loud rock music.

                                                                                  1. re: xavier
                                                                                    Peter Cuce Nov 16, 2006 12:19 AM

                                                                                    I like the vibe, including the music. I wouldn't want every restaurant I go to be like that, but it works for FC. To each his own.

                                                                                2. m
                                                                                  mondaybox Nov 15, 2006 07:55 PM

                                                                                  wow! i could not disagree more, either. i had a fantastic meal there last friday night with two friends. we had the watermelon/fatty pork dish, which was superb. we also had the chicken wings (good), a braised rib dish (great), the crab (great), and a turmeric battered fish on crab curry (very good). i also enjoyed my wines by the glass, i thought they were quite interesting.

                                                                                  both of my friends, who are from thailand and fairly well acquainted with malaysian cuisine, were raving about it! having not been in well over a year (because it is often crowded when i decide to drop by) i was very impressed, and it had much improved - foodwise - on the the first time i'd been (which i'd liked). i couldn't recommend this place more highly. service was ok, barman was quite nice. very surprised by the OPs take on it, but everyone to their own ... :-)

                                                                                  1. Peter Cuce Nov 15, 2006 05:28 AM

                                                                                    I love Fatty Crab. Everything I've tried there so far has been great. It's a fun place, good vibe, service has been OK the times I've gone.

                                                                                    1. c
                                                                                      cheftamara Nov 15, 2006 12:56 AM

                                                                                      Our visit was hit & miss as well. Some stuff was very good, some not worth it.

                                                                                      1. n
                                                                                        nola17 Nov 15, 2006 12:50 AM

                                                                                        I've never posted here before, but since I consider the pickled-watermelon and pork belly dish at Fatty Crab one of the most memorable and delicious things I've ever eaten in NYC, I figured I should reply:

                                                                                        The pickled-watermelon and pork belly dish at Fatty Crab is one of the most memorable and delicious things I've ever eaten in NYC.

                                                                                        I also tried the crab (very good), mussels (very good), chicken (OK) and the pork-ribs (not my favorite).

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: nola17
                                                                                          tupac17616 Nov 16, 2006 04:27 PM

                                                                                          I feel exactly the same way about the pickled watermelon and pork belly salad. Outstanding. Maybe the original poster just hit it on a bad night?

                                                                                          (The crab was great, too, I thought)

                                                                                          I would gladly go back.

                                                                                        2. j
                                                                                          JeremyEG Nov 14, 2006 04:25 PM

                                                                                          I love fatty crab. Is that weird that the original post made me want to go eat there more? I went to sushi once with a friend a splurged on toro for us and he wouldn't eat it because "the chef gave us a fatty piece instead of a good one." Oh well. : )

                                                                                          Jeremy

                                                                                          1. jen kalb Nov 14, 2006 03:57 PM

                                                                                            I can sympathize on the soup - Sounds like they were serving Penang Laksa, which is traditionally made with mackerel and tastes like cat food to me. In general, I found this post to be almost encouraging about the authenticity of the Fatty Crab's food!

                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: jen kalb
                                                                                              k
                                                                                              Kanger Nov 14, 2006 04:04 PM

                                                                                              Good point. I'm not a fan of Laksa either, which has led to no end of grief and shame in my family.

                                                                                              1. re: jen kalb
                                                                                                Brian S Nov 14, 2006 04:11 PM

                                                                                                Yes, belacan (aka trassi) is often used in authentic Malayan food... snd if you don't like it (I love it!) it tastes like vomit.

                                                                                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrimp_p...

                                                                                                1. re: Brian S
                                                                                                  k
                                                                                                  Kanger Nov 14, 2006 05:31 PM

                                                                                                  For me, it's more the tamarind that throws me off--I've come to enjoy the mackarel flavor. Kang kung w/ belacan may just be my favorite vegetable preparation in any cuisine ...

                                                                                                  1. re: Brian S
                                                                                                    jen kalb Nov 14, 2006 08:24 PM

                                                                                                    its not the belacan that i have an issue with - I love that, and cook with it at home - its the mackerel in the penang laksa.Dont think its the tamarind thats in there too since I like other tamarind flavored foods. Singapore laksa which is made with coconut milk I love too. Its just that darned catfood (um, mackerel)

                                                                                                  2. re: jen kalb
                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                    josh L Nov 28, 2006 07:06 PM

                                                                                                    jen- you would definetely dig fatty crab.

                                                                                                  3. k
                                                                                                    Kanger Nov 14, 2006 03:54 PM

                                                                                                    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).

                                                                                                    1. dkstar1 Nov 14, 2006 03:53 PM

                                                                                                      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.

                                                                                                      1. d
                                                                                                        david sprague Nov 14, 2006 03:48 PM

                                                                                                        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.

                                                                                                        1. skigirl Nov 14, 2006 03:40 PM

                                                                                                          To each their own, they say, but wow, I could not disagree more. More crab and fatty pork for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                                          1. v
                                                                                                            vegas dreams Nov 14, 2006 03:37 PM

                                                                                                            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....

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: vegas dreams
                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                              josh L Nov 28, 2006 07:05 PM

                                                                                                              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.

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