The Fatty Bao's new menu: Are BBQ and small plates the future of our drinking culture?
It’s a new year and Kolkata’s beloved Asian gastrobar is making way for a change in pace. The Fatty Bao’s New Wave features an all-new cocktail and food line-up that’s comfortable and yet just the right kind of adventurous for our post-work binging. From impeccably curated small plates selections, spirituous, signature cocktails and shooters and some great barbecue grills, The Fatty Bao (a part of the Olive Group) is kicking things up a notch with over 20 new cocktails and 51 new dishes. The brand new Gin & Tonic pairings had our attention first; all the ingredients for each cocktail is made in-house and the joint has a focus on seasonal bounties.
So drinks like Kumquat & Friends (homemade kumquat and basil shrub with gin and tonic) and Mr Muddle (fresh grapefruit mixed with thyme, gin and tonic) feature infusion of all-fresh ingredients. We settled for a Splendour on the Grass, a fantastic cocktail made with a homemade lemongrass shrub, and of course G&T. We were the most impressed with the drink’s striking lavender colour, which their in-house mixologist Robin informed us is achieved by using the herbal blue butterflower pea tree made with blue flower petals which obviously go towards a lighter purple-ish spectrum when infused in the cocktail.
There’s a new selection called Twisted Classic Cocktails, offering a fun spin on old favourites like Fresh Chilli & Basil Cosmopolitan, Smoky Old-Fashioned Tea, Dill & Cucumber Margarita and a gorgeous Bacon Whiskey Sour. We kicked off our lunch with the Javanese Tofu, a juicy, tender tofu marinated with mushrooms, lemongrass, cherry tomato and basil sauce, and is then wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled; the appetiser is great on many counts, but mainly because of its balanced seasoning and lightness.
The BBQ section has some really great vegetarian options like stylistically served Assorted Mushrooms (shiitake and button mushroom skewers served with chilli bean and coriander sauces) and Cottage Cheese served in Chilli tobanjan sauce, zucchini, sesame and scallion. The Crumb-Fried Goat Cheese from the vegetarian Small Plates section was a total find, as you can immerse your senses in the interplay of aromas originating from its blend of curry sauce, chilli oil and mil coriander.
The Har Pang pork is pretty big on spectacle and we love it; the appetiser consists of delicious Sichuan-style minced pork served on prawn crackers served under adorable bamboo arcs. The non-vegetarian Small Plates section also has some comfort numbers like Crispy Chicken WIngs and Crispy Chilli Fish. We were really impressed with the newly added Chef’s Special section which features some of the more elaborate numbers; we went for the Whole Salt-baked fish first, which presents a rock salt marinated fish tossed in homemade Shaoxing wine. It’s delicious, it’s earthy and you can taste all the elements of flavour involved. We also tried simple but wholesome Hainanese-inspired Chicken Rice which is served with a veggie broth and on a bed loaded with greens.
The Fatty Bao’s new menu also has some new desserts in their line-up like the Sakura Sakura (lemon meringue, vanilla and yoghurt panna cotta, strawberry compote and white crumble) and Yuzu Pistachio Tart (made with Yuzu curd, pistachio cream, lemon caviar, sesame tuile and some edible flowers). But we went for the incredible Instagram-worthy Rain Drop Cake, which is gaining a lot of relevance in the global dessert spectrum. The cake is similar to an oversized, clear raindrop and you can spot the fruit stuffing externally; it features fresh seasonal fruits like kiwis and strawberries and is served with fruit jelly, pistachio crumble and honey soy sauce. Price for two: Rs 1,500