Saturday, October 29, 2016

Fat Lulu : Kickass Food with an Attitude

If you are after barbecue or grilled meats, chances are you will head to a western steakhouse or Korean BBQ house. But what if you prefer a mixup with a more eclectic selection of foods? 

Fret not, there's Fat Lulu. 

Opened by the same founders of Five & Dime, Fat Lulu is a truly hip eatery whose kitchen is run by two #Samsong chefs of opposing personalities. Chef Sam is the BBQ dude who enjoys burning his food because #noburnnotaste while Chef Song is the cool-headed dude who doesn't joke at making desserts that #tastesdope. 

There's no wafting smoke or raucous sounds of inebriation inside, but the space is full of spontaneity yet welcoming. 

The one-page dinner menu is concise and straight to the point. It's divided into three sections--vegetables, seafood and meats--with literally no carbs at all except for the Roasted Potato and Mushrooms ($12)

Ooh yes, don't be surprised that even a humble dish like this offered intensely vivid splashes of flavors, thanks to the wicked use of lamb fat that must have permeated the potatoes and reduced it to a perfect softness #eatfirstdietlater
Ok, that's not the true story for the adventurous date with Fat Lulu as we played cheat by ordering the Open Beef Ravioli ($22) #notlagsania, a special dish off the printed menu. 

It can be easily mistaken as Japanese Omurice but actually ravioli sheets layered with carrot cream, spinach and red-wine Braised shortribs. 

For me, there's nothing short of revolutionary when I get a deconstructed dish that tasted unpredictably good and even better than a classic version. #mammamia 
To start, we had some small, elegant plates such as the Burnt Asparagus to warm up the bellies. For the burnt corn, there's a deep and special sweetness unlocked by salt, oregano, hot coals and time. 

But at Fat Lulu, the meats are undoubtedly the top picks for the fire magic. Take for instance the Sataytay ($12). Somewhere in between the soft sweet fat of the Iberico pork trimmings and sambal marinade lies a gustatory intensity no where to be found in satays or pork skewers elsewhere. 

The Duh Meat Board  ($28) is #likeduh dish one should order because it exemplifies the noble philosophy of burnt food. The wagyu skirt adopts a low char burn for a nice caramelized skin with succulent juices to boot while the Sambal-marinated Pork Collar is exposed to high heat, burnt in such a fast and furious way that it transformed into sweet caramelized char siew! But of course, the way Chef Sam prepared it was different from char siew. Even the bitterness of the soy dashi-glazed Kailan was burnt away to a crunchy crisp. #nomercy 

This place shouts Asian barbeque but don't come expecting the dishes to be as spicy as your sambal stingray. That said, you still get a numbing sensation from the Ikan kabar--fresh parrot fish seasoned with chilli oil, garlic and ginger paste, Kashmir chilli powder and tumeric--neutralized by a refreshing burst of cucumber achar at the side. #cleaneats 

But that's only half the story of Fat Lulu. There's an excellent repertoire of sweets created by Chef Song who used to deliver his dose of happiness at Grand Hyatt, Halia Restaurant and Raven. In fact, I applaud the move to give half weightage of the menu to desserts because that section is often overlooked or simply neglected. 


For those who fancy zesty or fruity flavors, get both the Pineapple and Coconut Ice Kachang ($14) and Berries & Chocolate ($16). But as a creature of comfort food, I'm head over heels for the warm Banana bread in Brandy Butterscotch Sauce ($14). Moist and tender, the cake was not too sweet and complemented perfectly with the Coconut ice cream. 

And there's the Apple Tarte Tartin ($14) born by mistake when the chef burnt the base of his vanilla ice cream. Even though the apple tart tarte Tartin wasn't as "burnt" as I would love it to be, smoky bitterness of the smooth ice cream provided a counterpoint to the sweet richness of the baked apples. 

Looking back, it is really hard to find a place these days that win me over with both savoury and sweet. Indeed, the bromance chemistry of wacky duo must have spilled over to their cuisine and a return is a must. #pigoutforbrunch

Fat Lulu Singapore
297 River Valley Road Singapore 238338
Sun-Thur 6pm-11pm
Fri& Sat 6pm till late
Brunch:
Sat & Sun 11am-4pm
Closed on Mondays
http://www.fatlulus.sg/

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