Fat Lulu’s Asian BBQ & Desserts – No Burnt, No Taste (In A Good Way)
Housed in the same quaint premises Five & Dime formerly occupied on River Valley Road, Fat Lulu brings together two talented chefs Sam and Song to create “Wicked BBQ. Smooth Desserts”. The former is a BBQ dude, blasting kickass flavours into meats, fish, and vegetables seasoned with Asian spices and chillis. While Chef Song creates desserts of refined delicacy that are technique-driven and visually arresting.
So first on our table that evening was a high char ‘burn’ dish of bio-corn! The Burnt Corn ($11) is rubbed with salt and lemon, oregano, served with sour cream. There is also Burnt Asparagus ($14) dressed in housemade bernaise sauce. My favourite appetizers include Sataytay ($12) with Iberico pork collar on skewers, marinated one full day in sambal (chilli, garlic shallots mixed together with kicap main and kosher salt). Such tender and juicy meat with a hint of smokiness. Not forgetting the Roasted Potatoes and Mushrooms ($12) that are poached in lamb fat and pan seared. It’s finished with roasted hoshimeji mushrooms, kale, rosemary, parsley, garlic and lamb jus.
Inspired by his experience in Bangkok, Chef Sam has done up a flavourful platter of Grilled Mangalicia Pork Collar ($24). The pork collar is seasoned with just salt and grilled hardcore. Serving on the side is okra grilled together with sambal. I love how he combines local spices with grill, it just feel so much at home while eating this yet a little different.
Duh Meat Board ($28) is not ‘duh’ at all especially when you have wagyu inside skirt cooked in thai fish sauce and dehydrated on top of grill Kailan. On the other side, there is iberico pork marinated in sambal. This is honestly the plate for meat lovers.
For something more local, go for the Ikan Bakar ($28). Literally means “burned fish” in Malay, the wild line-caught parrot fish is marinated with chilli, garlic, lemon juice, Kashmiri chilli powder, served with cucumber achar with “kiss of Nicki Minaj” (spicy chaat masala). I love how the flavours sit into the meat and keeping it moist while allowing the surface to char.
The Spicy BBQ Full Rack Pork Ribs ($28) consists of a generous whole pork rib marinated with blended sauce of chipotle, kechap manis, rice wine vinegar, resulting in a smoky flavour. The ribs has been sous vide at 77 degrees for more than 10 hours, it turns out full of flavour and slightly on the sweet side. But well, I am not a big pork ribs fan to begin with.
Chef added another dish for us to try that evening – Open Ravioli of Beef ($22) and it was yummy. The delicate pasta glisten beneath the parmesan cheese and accompanied by a velvety sauce. At the pressure of a fork, the dough gives way to the soft and melting red wine braised beef.
Apple “Tarte Tatin” is an inspiration from the accidental origin of Tarte Tatin. While making a traditional apple pie, the apples were mistakenly over-caramelised, and to save the dessert the chef threw pastry on top of the apples, baking it as an “upside down” tart. It was so well received it became the restaurant’s signature pastry. Similarly, Chef Song’s discovery of this pastry came from his own mistake of burning the base of his vanilla ice cream, a flavour he “created” by accident.
Chocolate lovers will like Atas Kinder Bueno as it has four different chocolates in a “chocolate bar” – Bailey’s hazelnut cream, chocolate sponge, creamy milk chocolate, and bitter chocolate sherbet. For a more refreshing touch, the Berries & White Chocolate is a refreshing, frozen, fruity dessert using white chocolate and cassis, with elderflower-infused strawberries, making an excellent complement to the burn and heat of Asian BBQ.
There are also desserts which help bring back memories of the past. Childhood has got peanut butter popsicle, dark chocolate cookie, and raspberry granita all in a plate; while Pandan Muesli features a rice pudding of Arborio rice, cooked with pandan and vanilla for an awesome, gooey sticky texture. There’s homemade granola and yoghurt with a very ripe slice of mango. Mm!
Fat Lulu’s also serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
Note: This was an invited tasting.