Fatty Fish is a Michelin rated Asian-inspired American restaurant located on the Upper East Side. I have dined here in the past, and I very much like their menu creativity which is slightly unusual in pure, traditional Japanese restaurants. I was recently introduced to Chef Roy and decided to visit again shortly thereafter. After two years living in NYC I feel that I have covered most of the high profile Japanese restaurants; generally speaking most menus are somewhat similar to their peers in my opinion, and I am always seeking to try something new.
When I was speaking with Roy he mentioned that he has been consistently refreshing the menu so that he can offer something innovative or perhaps a new style of cuisine. I love the concept of “East meets West” where Western culinary techniques are used to prepare oriental ingredients – something that has been trendy in the U.S. for a while now. In my eyes a majority of the fusion menus tend to have somewhat of a Japanese influence.
One weekday evening Timothy Sullivan, the Sake Samurai, and I visited Fatty Fish. Roy welcomed us and gave a quick tour of the space. I was amazed by the outdoor seating area which can accommodate 40 guests – all inside a temperature-controlled beautiful garden perfect for a special event or gathering.
We started off with a Hakkaisan bottle of sake with pan-seared edamame sprinkled with kosher salt and seasame seeds. Normally I pair sake with sashimi, however, this combination was equally as nice. We then ordered several small plates and absolutely loved the “Plumtori” chicken basket. The chicken was buttermilk-marinated and fried to a crispy golden brown and then tossed in a special house-blend dried plum seasoning. It was juicy and tender and while it looked like traditional Japanese karaage, it had a different but delightful taste. Afterwards we ordered and shared a pork bun. Pork buns are becoming popular in Asian restaurants in NYC and I haven’t really found any that are memorable and make me want to order more – until now. The ones here are not the steamed doughy kind with flavored pork stuffed in the center. The pork and the bun are served individually, and the mouth-watering meat melted in my mouth. The seasoning complemented the natural flavors of the pork, and I think I could have eaten these all evening!
I ordered curry jumbo shrimp and vegetables for my main course. This dish was Thai-inspired and my first experience of pairing sake with a coconut milk curry – something I won’t find in any traditional Japanese restaurant. Unlike normal Thai seasoning the shrimp was mild and harmonized with the broccoli, bamboo, and greens.
Roy mentioned the he just started ramen and the “Captain’s Wild Catch” is the signature order. I am already excited to come back to try it!!
Another outstanding thing about this restaurant is the warm and friendly service. I was not surprised about that after meeting Roy, and it is very apparent that his personality reflects the attitude of the entire staff. I highly recommend Fatty Fish for a delicious meal or special occasion.
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
Dress code: Casual
Dining alone: Yes, counter is available
Outdoor space: Amazing outdoor garden seating available