Wednesday, August 5, 2015

When Fat is Good yet Sinful: An Awakening at Fat Restaurant

Forbes Town has not have a face lift for a long time and I don't think it's intended to be, however more and more restaurants and bar seem to be popping up and they are begging to be more creative and surprising.  So after having fun discovering at the Mind Museum, why don't you spring right over to the building across the street and pay FAT a visit.

I know, I know, Fat can be a scary or challenging name for a resto, right?  
But for a food-lover like me, there is something behind the word that's enticing yet mischievous at the same time, repulsive yet encouraging.

The stimulus behind this idea was Jennifer McLagan's cookbook.  It pretty much says it all: Fat.  A glance at the cover — a white-marbled shank of meat and that single word floating in large letters — you know exactly what you're getting into. But, as these things go, there's also that pesky subtitle, in smaller letters, which tells the real story. This isn't just a collection of recipes, it's "An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, With Recipes." 

Fat as we all know had been unjustly vilified for centuries now but this delightful substance were deeply honored both in the book and at this place.  It's said that every page of the book is dedicated to making the case that fat is both a necessity and an indulgence, that it's something that should be enjoyed in moderation — with the emphasis on "enjoyed."

According to Chef Mikel Zaguirre, McLagen contends that animal fat is not unhealthy and tastes good, but that it has gotten a bad reputation and thus consumers have become afraid of eating it, if they stopped being afraid, they would enjoy it.

Hmmm...for a health-freak me, let's see how the case goes.

But before we go on dealing with their menu, the simple interior is quite noticeable.  I've been seeing a lot of restaurants applying that minimal look with (faux) concrete walls. Aside from this kind of look going around in many food establishments, another trend is the mismatched chairs and tables of unbelievable colors and styles.  However, sometimes you may want to show diners that you are in serious business and it has to show somehow as first impression in the way you style your furnishings, point in case, Fat's classic wooden chairs and tables.

Though both the ground floor and second floor gets all the sunlight from the front glass wall, more light is brought in with the help of these hanging black dome light fixtures.

In that afternoon, I came a little late by a few minutes and found Gerry and Stacy nibbling on a glorified bowl of what nots.   Tremendously enticing, I tried some getting caramely fingers even before I could snap some shots, until everyone's fingers are on it.

Moments after, a white tray with a bowl filled with every little things that I like for snackin', cup of clarified butter, another for caramel and a wedge of lemon, were laid on the table .  Aptly called Bar Mix (P 290), heaps of popcorn, twelve kinds of spiced nuts and micro-greens were put together and drizzled with powdered sugar.  The staff then poured a little of every sauce and asked if we want lemon in it.  Right before someone said surely, I candidly took a quick snap even before wiping my fingers clean off some caramel.

I mean where else can you get something as good as this while waiting for the other foodies to come.

When they say F-A-T, they mean it!  If this plate would give you other meanings then I guess you belong to another world.  In all honesty, I've been laying off with fatty food for a long time due to health issues.  I'm not sick but thinking of eating bad fats makes me sick.

Now, when this platter came to us I said, "Oh no!"  It's a giant inflated pork fat.  But I'll be damned if I say I don't like chicharon.  Hell yeah!  I do love them but I hardly eat them.  I think the last time I had a good chicharon was when my Papa cooked it, it was a long time ago.  Since then I never ate pork fats.

But when someone broke a piece from it and I heard that crackling sound when she bit it, all hell breaks lose.  It didn't matter to me what the doctors said, after all, I can do work outs on the next days.  So do give in, Green Tea Chicharon (P 190) comes with green tea sea salt to given that balance.  Served with a honey vinegar dip and pickled vegetables, this chicharon doesn't come with the eeky oil on it, and what made it even more amazing was that it was still crunchy even after we all finished trying out the other dishes.

Chef Mikel is known to many as the chef of Locavore, being that inventive in his dishes you'll be surprised with the menu he had prepared for Fat.  Take Pork's Ear En Croute (P 370) for example. En Croute (pronounced as "on KROOT") is a French pastry wrapping meat or fish.  Chef Mikel's version is with brioche toasts topped with pig's ears cooked ala Sisig and goat cheese.

Kicking it up a notch with some sauces such as Raspberry Vinaigrette, Saffron Aioli and Mango Mayo.  The Mango Mayo is such a refreshing addition to it, with a subtle sweetness from the mango and the creamy eggy mayo.  It's actually adapted from one of her Benildean culinary students, which was inadvertently made due to lack of time and sound judgement.  The Pico de Gallo also puts some kick to eat giving it just the right zest and tang.

I'm so loving this, I could swear by it, making this my once a month (once every other day if my health permits) habit as a reward for the over-worked mom that I am.

Ok, now done with the appetizers, and of to sampling one of their salad. 

Pleased by seeing no fats anymore, meaning no meat, the  Grilled Unagi Salad (P 750) was an easy crowd-pleaser.  If the pink-colored lavash bread on some bed of fresh greens would not visually stun you, perhaps it's mix of flavor will.

The grilled Unagi redefined what you think of a salad.  And because Fat isn't your ordinary go-to comfort food joint, your salad is also avante garde ("may arte-arte talaga!).  Unagi if you're unaware is freshwater eel.  The well-cooked unagi combines a rich flavor (described by some as a bit like pate) with an appealing texture, crisp on the outside but moist and tender on the inside. The cooking process is what makes the eel both crisp and tender: The eels are first grilled over hot charcoal, then steamed to remove excess fat, then seasoned with a sauce reminiscent of a teriyaki style barbecue sauce, and grilled a second time which caramelizes the sauce and crisps the skin and outside of the fish.

You'll get more surprises as you delve into this dish, with lots of "Yum!" as you chew.

Yet another break to the fat-intended meat dishes - Salmon and Uni Pasta (P 780).  Unlike the other foodies who were akin on the large-sized shell pastas and the huge slab of pink salmon, I was taken aback seeing fish scales on top and the equally gratifying 64 degree egg on the middle. Wondered if it was made into chicharon, crunched deep-fried.  I was right.  I made sure I took one of it to try.  Since I was half-filled I didn't scoop a lot of the pasta but made sure to get an ample serving of the salmon. I bet this could serve two to three diners, not only it was made hefty like most of their dishes it was really heavy.

The Sous vide salmon complemented the creamy pasta sauce and the sea urchin roe on it's side and the rockets, the heirloom cherry tomatoes and the rest of the veggies made this dish something worth trying.

Another Porchetta (P 770) version to try here.  This slow-roast pork given some herb-lovin' infusion has that crisp outer layer  and a fall-of-the-fork tenderness on the inside.  A complete "Fat-ty" plate in itself, has creamy mashed potato, spinach and mushroom ragout and some tarty condiments of your liking. 

The menu as you may have noticed is a hodge-podge of cuisines, making this resto one of its kind fusion.

With the Moroccan Spiced Chicken Fillet (P 590), you will think of a chicken dish in a whole new light.  It's all about a matter of flavor here, and my taste buds agrees with me.  I've never really tried Moroccan dishes but my chef  friend said it's near the Middle Eastern dishes, with heavy notes on spices such as ginger, turmeric, cumin, paprika, salmon and others.

Just by the mere aroma of the chicken, you will say, it's different and it's smells delicious.  A quarter of a free-range chicken is marinated on some of the spices I've mentioned and then grilled and plated with Spanakopita. Spanakopita, simply Greek Spinach Pie, is a mix of spinach and some cheeses placed on pastry puff and baked.

Dessert was also unbeatable, with White Chocolate Cheesecake (P 360) and Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake (P 360).  

I'm a sucker for cheesecake so I voted for this versus the chocolate-based dessert.  However, this is also chocolate-based, white chocolate that is.  The compound of sour and sweet always gets me, and this one is a contender to some of the best cheesecakes that I had and baked.  Another thing I love about this dessert is the addition of candied lime and orange rinds and the thinly made salted caramel sauce mizzled around.  These treats are unusual gourmet finds that are hard to get around.

The Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake of Fat gives of a bitter note at the end of every bite which I also like, though I can not really vouch yet whether this is less-sugar, but less carbo perhaps. Made with the maddening Chocolate Praline Mousse and topped with Chantilly Cream.  Make sure to drip some Creme Anglaise  to it.

I'm happy to have found FAT even though it would mean I have to sacrifice having the body I've been dreaming of, but I guess for now, having that shapely body is enough, while indulging enough with these kinds of ingeniously-designed comfort food!

FAT Restaurant

Address:  Forbes Town Center,
                29th Street Corner Rizal Drive,
                Bonifacio Global City
Contact Details:  09175791936 / 028348600

FAT Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


  1. Sure looks like an interesting place! :)

  2. Hi Meika, so nice of you to drop by. It is, do visit them.

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