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my 2 cents on Fatty Crab in Manhattan, NY

b
bcmchong Aug 5, 2007 07:43 PM

I had lunch today at Fatty Crab. I was totally unimpressed. I ordered the green mango salad and not only was it not authentic, it was very plain and way overpriced. Then came the Malaysian fish fry. Not worth the price and it had a thick batter and the rice was way too overpowered with the belacan. I also tried the 'Jalan Alor chicken wings'. Take it from someone that has eaten at Jalan Alor in Kuala Lumpur. The chicken wings at Fatty Crab don't even come close. Talk about misrepresentation! Lastly the wonton noodle was really bad. Again, for the price not worth the visit. Lunch came to over $80 for two. I wouldn't recommend this place. Take your money elsewhere and enjoy great eats. I would never go back.

  1. j
    jeanki Aug 6, 2007 10:15 AM

    I've heard these type of complaints a million times about Fatty Crab and I just think you're missing the point. Fatty Crab isn't trying to be THE authentic Malaysian place. It is just a hip young chef's riffs off big Malaysian-inspired flavors. It is what it is. And I still think it's super tasty and unique, and reasonably priced for what it is. I disagree about the wonton noodle soup, I thought the broth was really well rounded in its flavors, and I love the diversity of the Nasi Lemak. The short ribs are super tender and the watermelon pork belly salad is still one of the best dishes ever created, ever. And I'm Asian-American, I'm pretty picky about 'watered-down' Asian flavors.

    I went here again recently after hearing a 'downhill' alert, and while the menu has been somewhat downsized and some of the prices raised/portions shrunk, the food is still delicious, and the music rocks. It's still one of my favorite places in NYC.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jeanki
      k
      kobetobiko Aug 6, 2007 10:25 AM

      Absolutely agree with Jeanki. Fatty Crab is not supposed to be authentic, and has never tried to be so. It is fusion asian, with a lot of Malaysian inspired flavors. To comment their dishes based on authenticity is certainly not a fair judgement. Taste is a subjective thing so if you do find it flavor off-putting then may be it is not a restaurant for you.

      This is so similar to some people comparing Momofuku Ramen and Setagaya and said Momofuku is not authentic. It is not supposed to be. I think you can say it tastes worse than Setagaya (as again, taste is a personal thing). But judging it based on authenticity is so missing the point.

    2. m
      Mepafoodie Aug 7, 2007 07:32 AM

      To base your arguement on either authenticity or price is a joke. If you don't like paying meatpacking prices go to Chinatown or elsewhere (say Kuala Lumpur). At least here, I can distiguish what the protein is on my plate. The food is an "interpretation" of a cuisine and the ingredients are high quality.

      1. m
        moh Aug 7, 2007 07:45 AM

        While I can't comment on those other dishes, I did have the chance to have the chili crab dish in the past and was very happy. Do they still have it on the menu?

        1 Reply
        1. re: moh
          j
          jeanki Aug 7, 2007 08:30 AM

          I saw someone else eating the crab, so yes the namesake dish is still around.

        2. m
          mondaybox Aug 7, 2007 02:57 PM

          this used to be one of my favorite places, and we'd drop in regularly enough for a bite at lunchtime or in the evening. but last two times it has gone way downhill. the warm pork and watermelon salad is still good, but the malay fish fry has been poor last couple of times, as was the dungeness crab dish (had it last time, not time prior). also bugs me the way their bus boys frequently try to clear the table when you're not done ... even if you are on your last dish (plates come in random order). i may give this place one more go, but i think i'm over it ...

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