Kolkata has always been synonymous with street food, but the last few years have seen a surge in upscale gastronomical bars and eateries. The latest feather in the cap is the popular Asian gastro-bar Fatty Bao, that opened its doors to the City of Joy early December.
We were eagerly awaiting this launch, and walked into the newly-opened eatery on a fine winter afternoon to enjoy a sumptuous meal, while soaking in a brilliant view of the iconic Victoria Memorial.
We started our cosy afternoon with a virgin Peach Fizzler (INR 250). Just the right blend of peach and apricot juices, along with a dash of zesty orange—this one’s a perfect afternoon drink if you want some Vitamin C, or a non-alcoholic option for a Sunday lunch/brunch affair.
Time for Baos
As the name suggests, Fatty Bao is known for its Baos, so it only seemed fair to start our meal with them. The Mushroom and Bell Pepper Bao (INR 310) was a perfect pick for spice-loving vegetarians. Loaded with mushrooms and piquant bell peppers, this one might open clogged noses—ideal for Kolkata winters.
The Grilled Sambal Chicken Bao (INR 355) was a pleasant surprise. Tinges of soy and lemongrass come together to create an exotic flavour, one we were unfamiliar with, but lapped up. The big plus about both these baos was that they were steamed to perfection. Not overly chewy like most places, this one almost melts in your mouth. Luckily, their menu will keep both vegetarians and non-vegetarians happy.
The next dish that we treated our taste-buds to was, The Fatty Bao PB &J (INR 520). The chef claimed this one is a bestseller and once we tried the PB & J, it was clear why. Twice-cooked imported pork belly that is first braised and then crisped with miso mustard jam is to die for. Highly recommended and a big thumbs-up from us! Just the right crispiness on the outside and the accurate texture and softness as you bite into it, this one is irresistible. Garnished with micro greens and sesame sponge, it’s a visual treat too.
Next up, it was time for sushi. Again, The Fatty Bao offers enough options for vegetarians too even on the sushi front. We opted for a portion of Asparagus Tempura, Cream Cheese and Sesame Sushi rolls (INR 365 for four pieces and 720 for 8 pieces). Although good enough for vegetarians, the tempura asparagus was a tad bit too oily.
Spicy Salmon, Cream Cheese and Cucumber Sushi (INR 425 for four pieces and INR 840 for eight pieces) is definitely worth a shot. All the ingredients were super fresh. If you are in the mood for sushi, this has to be the one to go with.
Moving on to desserts, one must be prepared to transcend into cloud nine. Firstly, it’s a treat for the eyes with impeccable presentation. Secondly, the juxtaposition of unimaginable flavours will blow your mind. We tried the Zen Forest (INR 320)—an edible and oh-so-delicious recreation of a forest. Think of Yuzu Parfait teamed with sesame sponge, green tea moss and beetroot and black pepper sorbet. Honestly, one wouldn’t know beetroot can taste this good with chocolate till you try it out for yourself.
The last dish that our taste buds encountered was Cocoa Caramel (INR 320). If you like desserts that aren’t overly sweet, and jump with joy the moment you hear the words ‘salted caramel’, well this is guaranteed to be your next favourite. The praline, flourless cake and meringue blend in excellently with the salted caramel ice-cream and gel. Again, very impressive plating and definitely Instagram-worthy!
Strangely enough, we could not spot a single Kolkata-inspired dish on the menu, which came as quite a shocker! I guess we were expecting a special Bhetki-based Bao or a Nolen Gur-inspired dessert. Here’s hoping that they incorporate some local flavours soon.
Overall, the menu is on point and a must-try if you are keen on progressive Asian food. Portions are small because they are based on the Izakaya concept, so it might pinch your pocket. Be prepared to order more than what you planned in the first place. It has a pleasant ambience to seat 70 persons, with a lovely bird’s eye view of some of Kolkata’s heritage structures.
Having said that, The Fatty Bao is the place to be with your squad this month end. Time to say ‘Bao’ now!
ting:4.5 out of 5
Address: 6, Camac Street, Fort Knox, 8th Floor
Phone: 033 4010 1500
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