Beef up your meal at Fat Belly
Fat Belly is one restaurant that requires you to not judge it by the cover because it is not a charmer.
It is a 10-seater all-beef eatery that shares space with an ice cream parlour at Serene Centre, in Bukit Timah.
The shared space is made up mostly of the kitchen. This means most diners get a front row seat at the counter.
It can get claustrophobic and is not ideal for any meaningful conversation.
Although my personal fat belly feels an affinity with the restaurant's name, what really got to me were the dishes.
Beef is not for everyone, but there are certainly winners in there.
Fat Belly's selling point is the use of alternate cuts. The current culinary trend is a great one because it reduces wastage.
The menu is really simple.
Either you order a set at $78 or you get items from the short a la carte menu. For value, the set works because each item is big enough to make you worry how you'll finish the seven courses.
But the set meal didn't start well for me.
Inexplicably, it began with a dense foie gras creme brulee. Besides being off-theme, the starter was just too heavy.
Perhaps a tartare would have been a more boring, conventional choice, but it would have worked better.
I understand where Fat Belly is coming from. It wants to be innovative and flip the menu and start with a dessert item. Innovation is great, but not always needed.
Luckily, the meal got much better after.
A skewer of beef intercostals (the meat between the ribs) delivered on flavours. It has a chew, so take your time to slowly draw the beefiness out.
The chimichurri sauce added to the pleasure.
I was already excited as the chef brought out the beef ribs char siew. It was such a stunner.
The traditional char siew sauce did not overwhelm the meat.
In fact, the glaze enhanced the flavours.
Kale is at the bottom and it's not just for show. Get the kale and the beef in one bite for a mouthful of textures and sensations. The wagyu slider has a juicy patty and the tart sundried tomato and fresh basil pesto sauce balanced it out.
As a one-bite item, it is just too big. But eaten separately, each component sparkled.
The Wagyu Marble Score 4-5 Onglet Steak ($50) is taken from the a la carte menu, one of three cuts of beef available.
Onglet is also known as the hanger steak, and it was as tender as you would expect.
But I recommend you stick to the set menu because that comes with the Wagyu Tri-Tip, which was almost buttery and just as tender.