Serious Eats: New York

'Malaysian' Home Fries and Bacon Sandwich at Fatty Crab's All-Day Brunch

"Are home fries traditional Malaysian fare? "

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The number of times I’ve eaten, much less written about, brunch can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Actually come to think of it I’ve never written about it. It took Fatty Crab’s introduction of all-day brunch to cure my aversion. While I do tend to sleep in on weekends, my real motivation was an overwhelming desire to try the curried bacon sandwich ($14). I’d heard the bacon was made from Heritage Pork bellies that benefited from a three-day cure before being smoked at the soon-to-open Fatty ’Cue. This only served to whet my appetite further.

People have been saying bacon has jumped the shark for quite some time, and it’s true to a certain extent—but not in the case of this sandwich. The combination of crispy slices of bacon intermingled with pickled baby leeks, charred leek greens, cilantro, and creamy sambal aioli is utterly delicious. Like many of the new sandwiches at Fatty Crab, it’s served on a Martin's potato roll, which does a fine job of soaking up the aioli and warm bacon fat. The shredded egg garnish on top is a whimsical touch that both pays tribute to and mocks traditional brunch fare.

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While sipping a Bloody Mary and finishing the last bites of the sandwich, I noticed Giat Gentang "Bravas" ($7) listed under the side dishes. “What the heck are those,” I asked Fatty’s resident mixologist Allan Katz. “Doesn’t matter, you're getting them anyway,” he responded. When he placed a bowl of fried potatoes that looked Malaysia’s answer to home fries on the bar, I knew why the word “bravas” rang a bell. It’s a sly reference to papas bravas, a popular Spanish bar snack of crispy potatoes in a spicy sauce.

Are home fries traditional Malaysian fare?

Most likely not, but that doesn’t matter, these flash-fried chunks of potato tossed with fried shallots, coriander, turmeric, chili, fennel seed, cumin, and white pepper and topped off with aioli and pickled chili sauce are crazy good. Next time I’ll be sure to order them along with the bacon sandwich. That way I can alternate bites, making for a truly fatty brunch.

Fatty Crab Upper West Side

2170 Broadway, New York NY 10024 (map)
212-496-2722
fattycrab.com

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