Fat Choy

New York Magazine - - FOOD - 250 Broome St., nr. Lud­low St.; 347-778-5889 the irony of two cooks r.r. & r.p.

who met while work­ing at the un­abashedly car­niv­o­rous Can­ni­bal go­ing on to open a ve­gan Chi­nese restau­rant isn’t lost on Justin Lee. Late last month, he and Jared Moeller launched Fat Choy on the Lower East Side with nary an an­i­mal prod­uct on the eight­item, $10-and-un­der menu. Nei­ther is ve­gan, and they con­sider their meat­less­ness more of an en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­nom­i­cal state­ment than a di­etary one. “For us, this restau­rant is about a fu­ture for ev­ery­one,” says Lee. “We see way too much fac­tory farm­ing of an­i­mals.” Rather than com­pro­mise with com­mod­ity meat, Lee keeps prices low with a plant-based menu. But Fat Choy stands out from the tra­di­tional ve­g­anChi­nese pack by fo­cus­ing not on wheat-gluten mock meats but on sea­sonal veg­eta­bles, most sourced from small Chi­na­town pur­vey­ors. Lee’s cook­ing style is witty and ec­u­meni­cal, and, ac­cord­ing to the brand’s tagline, “kind of Chi­nese.” He sluices smashed cu­cum­bers in a bro­ken-vinai­grette “leop­ard” sauce and tosses crunchy ro­maine and “Asian fines herbes” in “Chi­nese ranch” dress­ing. He min­gles jas­mine rice, beans, and greens with vi­brant cilantro and gin­ger. And for his Mush­room Sloppy sand­wich, he sim­mers flower shi­itakes with smoked tofu, then tucks the mix­ture into a house-baked sesame roll. The re­sult is im­pres­sive, and it passed what might have been the ul­ti­mate Un­der­ground Gourmet ve­gan-food lit­mus test: On the way home from the restau­rant the other day, we walked by Katz’s, peered wist­fully at the old hot-dog grid­dle through the win­dow, and for a mo­ment con­sid­ered, then re­jected, the idea of pop­ping in for a post­pran­dial pas­trami on rye. In other words, we didn’t miss the meat.

the un­der­ground gourmet quick bite

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.