Sunday, June 10, 2007

Forties + Fatty Crab = Fantastic

OK, it's not quite a 40 (though at 33.8 oz, it's close enough) and yes, my gal pal and I shared the one Asahi, but it really hit the spot on this hot steamy day in the city as a chaser to the spicy Malaysian food we three commenced to eat at Zak Pelaccio's ever-popular West Village eatery Fatty Crab, near the top of my list of places I had to hit during my trip to Manhattan.

I'd already had variations of a bunch of things, like the fatty tea sandwiches (now pork-filled, but duck when I was still living in NYC); crispy pork and watermelon pickle salad (cubes of crisped pork belly and fresh watermelon when I knew it once); meaty and messy chili Dungeness crab; and braised short rib pendang nestled on a bed of coconut rice. So on this visit, we decided to try a few new things:

The green mango salad (not pictured) started things off on the right foot. Fresh, super spicy and perfectly complemented with cilantro, thai bird chilies, basil, peanuts, garlic and lime juice.

The Shrimp Sambal complete with bibb lettuce, charred scallions, toasted coconut, cilantro and peanuts looked mighty purty, but didn't knock our socks off. The flavors just didn't pull together. Go figure.

The saucy, salty Lo Si Fun comprising fat rice noodles, Chinese sausage, shiitake and other veg was a bit overpowering. Loved the sausage and the poached egg on top, but coulda done with a bit less potency in the (too) salty sauce.

Turns out tried and true was what won the day. The Nasi Lemak was as delicious as I'd remembered it. A falling-off-the-bone curry chicken leg and slow poached egg come served on a fluffy heap of coconut rice and framed by upwards of 10 pickled and fresh sides. I like to refer to it as the Malaysian version of Bi-Bim-Bop. This is it pre-mixed. Post-mixed, it's absolutely divine.

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