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Bikramjit Ray

Executive Editor at BW Hotelier, he is a renowned name in F&B industry. In between being a producer, director, anchor and food critic he keeps living his life sitting at a table, waiting for my next meal.

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Go On Fatty, Take A Bao!

Delhi Fatty Bao restaurant, sitting perched on the food stack that is the Sangam Courtyard—what used to be the Sangam Cinema for those who don’t venture too often towards RK Puram—is a little gem of a restaurant. I have been to the original Fatty Bao in Bangalore (FBB), which is a fantastic restaurant in its own right, so I started my meal at Fatty Bao Delhi (FBD) a little apprehensively.

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The restaurant, which has three branches in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai share 70 per cent of their menu, with 30 per cent local dishes, but, as you will read this review, you will realise that the food is at times modified to taste and at time modified due to ingredients used.  
I began my meal with a serving of mixed sushi because of my fellow diner and though I would not normally have sushi in Fatty, it was surprisingly good. After that, things began to really speed up, thanks to the adept ordering of Ankit, who oversaw our meal.
First up, a mix of dim sums. The Wild Mushroom & Truffle Oil dim sum which was a mouthful bursting with flavours which were very different from their blood red colour, this I actually liked more than the non-vegetarian prawn dim sum, probably because of the surprising flavour and texture.
Also part of the starter was the Brie Tempura, which was exactly what it said it was. You can’t go wrong when you deep fry cheese. And the tempura batter was the right level of bland crispiness to balance out the strong flavoured, soft brie cheese.  
(The Fatty Oysters/ Photo Courtesy: The Fatty Bao)
The Duck Pizza served on a crisp tortilla base was full of flavour and a touch spicy, though I believe some of the menu has been changed a bit to satisfy the Delhi palate. I was happy with it, though not as happy as I was with the Fatty Oysters, one of my favourite things on the menu—Cochin oysters with soy butter, chorizo and ponzu sauce, is that the menu calls is. A mouthful of heaven is what I call it. And sourcing this in Delhi can only be a celebration of FBD’s resourcefulness.
I also had a Green Mango and Papaya Salad which was refreshing, but for me, felt slightly bland, but it was fine for my dinner companion who could not take spice.
Because of my proclivity towards them and also because they were some of the most popular dishes on the menu, the next few things I ate, all contained pork.
First was the Fatty Bao PB&J. PB standing for pork belly and the J for a miso mustard jam. I don’t have words to explain what happens to your brain and taste buds when you eat through the soft, fatty pork, cooked to perfection and get the sweet, sharp edge of the jam right at the end. It’s like having a delicious haiku.
Next on the menu was an Open Bao, with bbq pork, green apple kimchi, hoisin sauce, sesame oil and scallion. I must confess that I prefer the version of the dish served at FBB compared to what I ate in Delhi. I was later told that the dish was spicier because of Delhi taste buds. A pity, since its original sweetness was toned down and spiced up, I felt.
(Chashu Ramen / Photo Courtesy: Kunal Chandra / The Fatty Bao)
Then came a bowl of Chashu Ramen, noodles in a pork stock with bacon, braised pork belly, bean sprout to give the right amount of crunch, corn for a bit of sweetness, scallions for their aroma and a soft boiled egg to hit the bulls eye. You must have already realised that the bowl was very good--though I must confess here that I prefer the version made at Guppy by Ai.
My meal concluded with a very modern plating of a dessert called Zen Forest, which contained yuzu (a kind of Japanese lemon) parfait, green tea moss, black sesame sponge rocks, beetroot and black pepper sorbet, sesame nougatine, Valrhona chocolate twigs and micro greens. As large a mouthful as the description and a real party in the mouth.
The restaurant also has an innovative bar menu. I decided to have a Fatty Sour made with raspberries, Jameson whiskey, lime and sugar, which complemented the starters well.
FBD has an outdoor area as well as an indoor one and can seat around 90 comfortably. They are open for lunch as well as dinner, though reservations during the weekends are a good idea.
Fatty Bao, Sangam Courtyard, Major Somnath Marg, Sector 9, RK Puram, New Delhi. For Reservations: 011 2671 5270. Meal for two with one alcoholic: Rs 2500 to Rs 3000 plus taxes.

(The author, Bikramjit Ray, is Executive Editor, BW Hotelier

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