Last Saturday I decided to head downtown to one of my favorite restaurants in NYC; Fatty Crab. It's a Malaysian restaurant in the West Village helmed by chef/owner Zak Palaccio (who also helms 5 Ninth and is creating a Malaysian menu at a spot on the roof at 230 Fifth Avenue. I actually partied with Zak a few months ago too).

Fatty Crab is very casual and makes you feel as if you are dining in a hut in Kuala Lampur. I like the lack of superficiality the restaurant exumes unlike many of it's nearby neighbors, a stones throw away in the Meatpacking District.

I've been here on many occasions and each time all the dishes are extremely flavorful. The one big setback I will say about the food here, is that although flavorful, many dishes are extremely spicy too. I am a fan of spicy food, but I prefer a balance between hottness and sweetness, and hate it when spiciness is overpowering, takes over the dish, and lingers in my mouth after each bite. I've had many dishes here where this lingering of spice occurs, and Saturday was no exception. I would assume that this is probably typical of Malaysian cooking, where Mr. Palaccio spent some years studying and cooking. There are also dishes that you can order that aren't as spicy, which is a good thing. So, despite this setback, I am always drawn back to the Fatty Crab for the flavors, the ambiance, and the inexpensive prices.

On this occasion, I started with a dish that won the 2006 Eat Out award for "Most deliciously unhealthy salad" from Time Out NY, which was the Watermelon pickle and crispy pork salad ($7). Now, I'm not a huge fan of watermelon, but this dish actually works splendidly. The watermelon is such a refreshing balance to the crispy tender pork. It also had some greens to make it more salad-like. It is a delicious and tasty salad.

For my entree I tried the Fatty Duck ($9). The duck was very tender, very flavorful, but of course very spicy, and the spice did linger around my mouth for a while. 

They have a nice selection of Asian beers at the Fatty Crab and I decided to accompany my meal with a large Morimoto Soba Ale. It was excellent.

So if you are looking for flavorful food, with a huge kick of spiciness, and for a good price, the Fatty Crab is a perfect place to go. Sit back, grab a large beer, let the spices flow and remember to have a fun time. I always do.

Fatty Crab

643 Hudson St (Btwn Horatio & Gansevoort St)

New York, NY 10014