Since I do most of my living and eating in Brooklyn, I've not yet been to the mini-empire of Fatty Crab, the Malaysian-inspired seafood-heavy restaurants that are super popular in Manhattan. So, I was curious when Fatty 'Cue (91 South 6th, between Bedford & Berry, 718-599-3090) opened up not even a month ago in Williamsburg and headed over with some friends to see what all the fuss was about. What. A. Scene. Dudes in Supreme hats, women dressed in vintage, and music blasting at a level that actually made me clutch my head in discomfort. Since our table was in the bar area, we had to ask about three or four times to have it turned down. I'm not a kill-joy, it's just that I don't enjoy losing my voice during dinner conversation and don't want to develop tinnitus. Once they did turn the volume down I was able to actually hear that they were playing good music. Old Beasties and Snoop; nice touch.
Fatty 'Cue really lives up to its name. The food is decadent, smoky and fatty and is served all at once to encourage sharing, which I love. That way you get to taste everything and ordering requires group effort. I'll start with describing the Food Specials. The House Cured Beef Bacon in Sherry Bouillon with Poached Egg & Lovage, a celery-like green was my favorite. The broth is full flavored & very salty with substantial chunks of tender, falling-apart meat. I also love anything with a poached egg, which added a nice, creamy touch to the entire dish.
The other Food Special was the Seafood Sausage, a cold smoked shrimp & scallop sausage with green curry and charred spring onion. This was surprising. It was delicate and fresh-tasting with a slightly spicy curry sauce. It didn't taste particularly seafood-y, but was more like chicken sausage.
From the list of Specialties we ordered the Pork Spare Ribs with smoked fish/palm syrup and Indonesian long pepper. These were smoky, tender, juicy and slightly sweet. Fun to eat with your hands, they come three to an order, $5 for each extra rib.
Another Specialty we chose was the Bobo Chicken with a red onion, chili & cucumber condiment. This was fantastic, with the big chunks of chicken a deep, smoky flavor, yet moist and delicious. I was really impressed with the chicken, and the sauce on the side was like summer in a bowl. We ended up asking for more it was so good.
The Red Curry Rubbed Duck with sweet pickled daikon was another Specialty we got. The first piece I took from the plate was small and therefore crispy and well-done. The second piece was very rare and lacked the flavor the first piece had. This was the least interesting dish to me out of the bunch.
Then there was the American Wagyu Brisket with chili jam, bao, pickled red onion and bone broth. I think the Bao bun was the best part of this. You basically make your own little brisket sandwich, with either a garlic aioli or chili jam as your condiment and thin-sliced or chunks of brisket. The chunks had more flavor and were more heavily salted than the drier, thinner slices. The bun was soft, pillowy and perfect with the chewy meat and stalks of cilantro.
From the list of Snacks we got just the 'Cue Coriander Bacon, with toast and steamed curry custard. This was a crazy dish. Sort of like bacon candy with thick slices of fatty, sweet, and succulent meat. Totally decadent and over the top, some pieces barely had any meat on them, but were fantastic nonetheless. The yellow curry custard provided a sharp tang that nicely complimented the greasy bacon.
We were pretty satisfied after all that, but my friend couldn't resist getting a slice of the Shoo Fly Pie, a favorite from her childhood. The waiter placed it down on our table and proceeded to poured some cream over it. I'm not sure I've ever had Shoo Fly Pie before, and found it to be like a cross betwee Oatmeal Raisin Cookies & Pecan Pie. I think it's the molasses on the bottom. It was good, with a flaky, buttery crust.
Along with a few wines and draft beers, there are a ton of canned beer and a number of cocktails to choose from. I liked the refreshing The South 6th made with gin or vodka, cucumber, Thai basil, lemon & Ginger ale. My friend enjoyed the Big Ben (Benromach Scotch, St. Germain, Campari & Orange), but it felt like sipping the aftermath of a campfire. There was also a constant backup at the bar, so it took a while to get our drinks. The food was delicious and I appreciate the use of local and humanely grown/raised/fished products and the slow-food methods of preparation, but all those plates really add up. Also, make sure you get a table in one of the dining rooms instead of the bar.