Dinner at Fatty Crab – West Village

Truth be told, I’ve been enjoying cooking at home a lot more lately and it’s been a while since I’ve tried a new restaurant (shocking!). But last week, I ended up at a spot new to me when my friend Sarah organized a small dinner for our friend, Rahima’s birthday at Fatty Crab, a Malaysian restaurant in the West Village.

Birthday girl and her lobster

Mind you, a few of us hadn’t eaten all day from fasting, so when I walked into the small, dimly lit spot, I was already feeling faint. The place is perfect for dates (there were plenty being had around us) and our party of 6, but probably not more. Seems like the whole concept of the restaurant is about getting close or closer, from the tables in close proximity to being served small plates to share.

When I took a look at the menu, I panicked momentarily. The dishes were mostly dominated by pork (which I don’t eat), and the already well-edited menu had even less veggie options. After not eating for 16 hours, this was the worst case scenario, I thought. But I was pleasantly surprised — not only was every dish we did order delicious, but the service was impeccable.

We first the Green Mango & Papaya Salad (with chili lime and peanut), which was ridiculously refreshing to break our fast with.

Green Mango & Papaya Salad

Next came an order of Shrimp & Belly (crispy chili glazed shrimp, red, onion, cilantro, and sesame seed). This normally comes with pork, but they left it out for us.

Shrimp & belly without the belly

Finally came the Green Curry Vegetables (with seasonal veggies, potatoes, and curry coconut broth), the most filling of the dishes with the side of rice. Also really good — didn’t even miss the meat.

Green Vegetable curry

The most surprising, for me at least, who probably had lobster served in its shell only once in my life was the Szechuan Black Pepper Lobster (1.5 lb lobster, black pepper sauce, served on a bed of creamy garlic noodles).

I mean...look at this thing

The thing looks hella intimidating. A full lobster, brought out with complete with claw crackers, and lobster picks. We were so full at this point that I didn’t think I’d care to try it. Eventually I caved and started picking at the garlic noodles which were so, so good that I had to go in for the meat. The lobster was marinated so well in the black pepper sauce and the accompaniment of the black peppercorn and noodles made it actually one of the best dishes I’ve tried out of my comfort zone. It was the highlight of the meal. If you’re feeling adventurous, you must try it.

I also should note that at the end, we wanted to give Rahima a little birthday surprise in the form of Magnolia’s cupcakes. Usually restaurants in NY are so obnoxious about bringing dessert and making you pay a ‘cutting fee,’ but the staff here gave us no issues at all with that. They even kept it in the fridge for us until we were ready to serve it. Double points in my book.

Meal: Dinner

Occasion: Birthday dinner!
Price: $$$
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: ** (Place is cute and they played great music but it’s pretty loud)
Food: ***
Service: ***
Would I go back?: Yes

Restaurant Info:
Fatty Crab

643 Hudson St,
btw Gansevoort and Horatio St.
New York, NY 10014
(212) 352-3592

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