Review
FOOD
Asian Gastrobar The Fatty Bao opens in Kolkata

Sujoy Dhar and Susanta Paral | @notintown | 26 Nov 2017

Asian Gastrobar The Fatty Bao opens in Kolkata

This surely is going to be one food place in Kolkata where you would hear a lot of oohs and aahs as diners dig into a wide choice of cross Asian plates - ranging from lip smacking dim sums and sushis to seductively seared pork belly or well, desserts which are "orgasmic".

We are talking about The Fatty Bao Kolkata, the Asian Gastrobar by the Olive group, opening on the eighth floor of Fort Knox building on Camac Street this December. An Izakaya and Noodleshop inspired menu, trendy Interiors and exciting cocktails- the new food destination in town promises it all.

Izakaya means a kind of Japanese bar in which different kinds of small, not so expensive dishes and snacks are served with alcoholic drinks. The Fatty Bar is inspired by this culture.

So when The Fatty Bao debuts in Kolkata  a little more than a year after sister concern Monkey Bar it will be a hard choice for foodies between the two located on the same building, separated only by a floor.

The 75-seater Fatty Bao launches with many surprises - a Izakaya and Noodleshop inspired Asian menu that’s brimming with fresh flavours and signature cocktails in a trendy, intimate space.

This is the seventh outpost in India, after Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai (Bandra, Lower Parel, Powai and Andheri).

The food and beverage teams draw inspiration from Asia’s diverse culinary repertoire and Executive Chef Prashanth Puttaswamy’s menu is inspired by an Izakaya- a Japanese Gastrobar.

This comes across in the menu, which offers great variety while still ensuring that each dish has its own distinctive styles and flavour.

Addictive small plates, soupy noodles, hearty bowls of ramen, the signature baos, expertly rolled sushi, chargrilled Robatayaki skewers, and a whole lot moremeans there’s always something new to try alongside your favourites. The desserts too are clever and creative so that there is never a dull moment when you dine here.

Izakaya - style dining, popular in Japanese gastrobars comes to The Fatty Bao Kolkata, and is best enjoyed with friends and colleagues in large groups, especially because the wide variety of small plates on the menu are ideal for sharing.

"This is a bar without a bar and small plates inspired by the Japanese culture of post work relaxation. Our dimsums melt into your mouth and we even import the best quality pork from Sri Lanka. You can visit here anytime for good food with a cost of two with drinks hovering around Rs 2000/-," says Manu Chandra, the chef and restaurant  owner already making waves in India.

Bold and complex flavours found in Asian cuisines with flourishes that are distinct yet familiar. Add to that the new cool, pre-batched cocktails! The flavour and inspiration of the new bottled cocktails, whilst rooted in Asia inspired ingredients, also emphasize on using unique teas to create alcoholic versions of the ever-popular iced tea!

Like the small gastrobars in bustling Asian cities that form an integral part of their identity, The Fatty Bao Kolkata too will add culinary colour to its new home with some gorgeous comfort food in a buzzing establishment.

In Image: Chefs and partners Chetan Rampal, Manu Chandra and Avantika Saraogi 

"Conceptually, The Fatty Bao, Kolkata, is inspired by elements of its predecessors but tells its own story in Kolkata. This is the perfect place for a quick lunch, but works just as well for a fun evening after work with friends and family," says Chandra.

AD Singh, Managing Director, Olive group of restaurants, says: “Kolkata is the latest city to welcome the ramen bowl topped girl that has come to symbolize The Fatty Bao across the country. Renowned for its Asian fare across Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, The Fatty Bao settles in to the City of Joy- known for its deep historical association with Chinese food and culture." ‎

When here, look out for the Uramaki Sushis in a variety of flavours like Spicy Mushroom, Iceberg lettuce and Tanuki; Fried Tofu, Sriracha QP and cucumber; Tuna Tartare and Crabmeat with Tobiko. 

A wide selection of The Fatty Bao signature Open Baos are available along with some new combinations including Fried Fish Bao, which is tempura Bhetki with sriracha mayo and pickled cucumber and the Char Siu Bao, which stays on the menu because it is one of Fatty’s most popular dishes country-wide.

The Chinese Chorizo, Bacon and Egg Sheng Jian Bao and Grilled Mushroom and Asparagus Sheng Jian Bao, cooked in a cast iron skillet are also part of the opening menu.

New and must-try among the salads is the Cold Green Tea Noodle Salad with ginger, scallion, soy sauce, cherry radish, cilantro and lime, the Thai Melon Salad and Yum Nua or Thai Spicy Beef Salad.

An extensive selection of dim sums and gyoza are also on the menu followed by an exhaustive selection of small plates, which include Sichuanese roasted aubergines with chili garlic sauce;Crispy Sesame Tofuserved with Sriracha sauce and raw papaya salad; Duck Nachos topped with Five spice shredded roast duck, hoisin mayonnaise, sliced cucumber, crispy duck skin and tofu cheese sauce; Lop Cheung Bao- spicy Pork sausages, wrapped in a bao, steamed and topped with chili QP,Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken and our signature The Fatty Bao PB&J – twice cooked imported pork belly, first slow braised and then crispened to order with miso mustard jam.

Also new on The Fatty Bao Kolkata menu is the Robatayaki or grilled skewers available in single pieces. Vegetarian options include Corn on cob with chili and miso butter and the Ssamjang Cauliflower with fresh coriander and Korean red chili pepper flakes. The non-vegetarian includes Thai Green Curry Paste Marinated Grilled Chicken, Char-grilled Pork tenderloin with Nahm prik Noom, Gochujang marinated Lamb chops and Sambal Prawns.   

Inspired by the Noodle Houses of South East Asia and in keeping with the current global trend – the menu at The Fatty Bao Kolkata gives you a taste of soupy noodles goodness that can be customised to your taste.

Pick your noodles from buckwheat, whole wheat, Udon, rice vermicelli or wonton noodles, dunked in a rich broth and generously garnished with meats. These are a choice of pork belly, spiced pork mince, shredded duck in five-spice oil, grilled chicken, grilled seafood, fish cakes or chicken katsu.  Vegetarians can opt for fried tofu.

Then add a selection of classic toppings like sautéed bok choy, wild mushrooms, bamboo shoot, charred broccoli and long beans, sautéed spinach and more. Spike them with ‘flavour bombs’such as a dash of chilly oil, Malay spicy chilly paste, Korean chilly flakes and roasted garlic. Don’t hold back if you feel like adding some extra meat or toppings.  

Here the large plates also always have something for everyone, whether vegetarians or non-vegetarians.  The Fatty Bao also has an exhaustive selection of Ramens, with noodles that are made in-house and the stock simmered for over 8 hours, giving the broth an unparalleled robust flavour, a perfect base for a wide variety of toppings and components on offer.

New Ramens including Soto Ayam Lamongan an Indonesian-style aromatic chicken broth with coconut milk and Tantanmen- a chicken and pork stock with sesame and chilly oil.

Fatty regulars will be delighted to see some of their favourites retained on the Kolkata menu including the signature PB&J, dim sums, flavourful curries and more.  The vegetarian, always happy campers at The Fatty Bao, now have more to cheer about, with a whole new selection of dishes including Sichuan Dry Stir Fried Long Green Beans with sesame oil, dried red chili, soy sauce and fujiko; Stir Fried Broccoli with mirin; Spicy Edamame steamed and topped with sea salt, crispy garlic and fresh Asian greens; Kang Kong, stir fried with chili, garlic, sesame oil and soy; Snow peas stir fried with ginger and chili.

A meal must end with some of the amazing new desserts – try the eggless and sugar-free Kaffir Lime Panna Cotta with almond crumble, raspberry caviar, coconut and lime sorbet or the delectable eggless Fried Miso Apple Tart served with miso butterscotch and sour cream ice-cream.

Also must-tries are the Sour Cherry Vacherin with sour cherry cream, lemon ash meringue, Matcha sponge and vanilla bean ice-cream and the absolutely scrumptious Peanut Butter Mousse – with peanut crunch, caramelized bananas, banana ice-cream and cocoa cake. The famed Zen Forest is artwork on a plate!

The bar offers a selection of fabulous cocktails that have Asian influences. Some of these cool, ready-to-drink, pre-batched cocktails also draw from teas to create alcoholic versions of iced tea! The syrups and shrubs used in cocktails are all made in-house.

The idea is to have a fun bar experience allowing bartenders to have a conversation with the customer without compromising on the quality or flavour of the drinks.Order a bottle of Cool-Ade- a heady mix of gin, cucumber, elderflower, thyme syrup and bitters or if you prefer something a little fruitier, the Peachy Lemonade with gin, green tea, lavender, peach and key lime, comes highly recommended.

Passion Mule combines white rum with homemade ginger ale, mango and passion fruit but if you love your whiskey The Elixir is just right with Bourbon whiskey, maple syrup, apple and pear. 

Our signature cocktails from the ‘Root to Fruit’ menu continue to feature, with our bartenders creating the most refreshing cocktails using house-made syrups and different parts of plants.

Flowers, seeds, leaves, roots, stems and even the pods are used in these cocktails and the sweetness, acidity and distinctive aroma of each part of the plant brings out the essence of the spirit, for cocktails that are all their own.  For the traditionalists, classic cocktails, an extensive wine list available by the glass and bottle, single malts, Japanese Sakes, beers and other premium spirits are also served.

The ambiance is important too here with a great decor which is at the same time not too cluttered or exaggerated. Here you find an Ingo Maurer inspired-modern take on popular Asian fans that form light fixtures. 

These lights reflect the classic Asian designs on the natural fibre paper on the wall classical in Asian design. Placed above large panels of origami artwork and motifs, they are flanked further by mirrors that provide visual depth to the space. It is always the lighting that sets the final tone for a space and at The Fatty Bao, this is just one of several interesting sets of lighting. Perhaps the most predominant is the Lantern wall that consists of twenty-seven lanterns placed at varying heights and distances. This cluster of lanterns surrounds a central artwork, making The Fatty Bao as much of an interior décor dream as it promises to be a culinary adventure.

The material theme of rattan, wood and bamboo is used in multiple forms, punctuated by timber, terrazzo flooring and glass. Overhead framed mirrors reflect the restaurant, enhancing its aesthetic appeal. The chairs, with their tightly woven patterns, recreate the vibe of a Japanese tea room. 

The walls, ceiling and floor have been designed for a seamless, easygoing ambience. With pops of colour, brightness in the day and warm lighting at night, this is a dining experience to fit many moods. Designed by Bangalore-based interior design and architect firm W. A. D., this project has been led by Principle Architect Jatin Hukkeri and the artworks have been created by The Republic from Mumbai. 

Opening Hours: All Days of the Week: 12:00 noon to 3:30pm & 7pm to 11:30 pm (Only guests 10 years and above permitted for dinner)

Wallet Factor:  Meal for two without alcohol, excluding taxes Rs.1500 ++/Meal for two including alcohol, excluding taxes Rs. 1900++

Address: The Fatty Bao
#801, Fort Knox,
6, Camac Street, Kolkata- 700017.Call: 033 46022744
Facebook/ Instagram/ Twitter: @thefattybaokol

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