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Fatty Crab, West Village

643 Hudson Street
West Village
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 352 3590
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Fatty Crab Upper West Side

2170 Broadway
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 496 2722's insider take:

Before building a cult following in New York, Chef Zak Pelaccio lived for a time in Malaysia. The country's street food, served up at this casual West Village roadhouse, caters directly to his fan base. The squeamish and spice-averse might look elsewhere for dinner; these dishes are rich, fiery, complex, fatty, and messy. Intense, tangy aromas infuse the cramped dining room, with its lacquer-red walls and lazily spinning ceiling fans; the hip young waitstaff delivers small plates—perfect for sharing—from the tiny kitchen as soon as they're ready. Tart pickled watermelon contrasts with luscious cubes of crispy pork belly; various spicy sambals top delicate quail-egg shooters; and slices of green mango are served with an evilly addictive dipping powder of chili, sugar, and salt. The delicious main courses, like the pile of sticky-sweet chicken wings, or hunks of Fatty Duck (steamed, then fried), are ten-napkin affairs. Indeed, the specialty of the house, chili crab, nearly requires foul-weather gear; there's nothing to do but surrender to the mess, lick your fingers, and wash everything down with a cold, economy-size Hitachino beer.

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