Fat Lulu's: For a Good Time

Had Chef Sam Chabalani become a dysfunctional alcoholic after a fruitless stint at Raven, we wouldn't have the fortune of reaping the sweet burnt fruits of his labor at the new Fat Lulu's located at the now defunct Five and Dime. If you, like me are addicted to @Sammeernoog's eccentric Instagram persona, you'll be glad to know that his outlandish character spills over into his dishes. The portrayal of friendships cemented in the kitchens evident in the nosh put up and the amicable yet spontaneous service.

Brunch threads on familiar territory with a few stand out dishes that speak in a stronger tone of the kitchen's #noburnnotaste rule. But hold up, we'll get there eventually...

For starters, the Vanilla and Pandan Sticky Rice ($12) is fantastic as it luxurious despite the tidy portion sizing. Arborio rice is mixed with pandan and vanilla and cooked till sticky. This is served alongside granola and maple syrup and a dollop of homemade yogurt. Flanked by super ripened mango, the dish makes a perfect dessert even, especially so for Thai Mango sticky rice fans. Wash it down with the smoldering sweetness of Gin and Jade for some sweet relief, in this breakfast cocktail, homemade pandan syrup meets Gin and ice, ice, baby.

Chef Pang Ji Shuang helms the pastry kitchen here at Fat Lulu's. And together with Chef Sam, the bromance yields some crazy theatrics such as the ghetto breakfast of Croque Tambi ($18), the brazen brainchild of the #SamSong duo. The house made ciabatta bread churned out by pastry based Song is stellar on its own, but provides a magic carpet ride for the curried omelette in a slurry of smoked mozzarella, mayonnaise and sriracha. The final touch of meat curry powder and soya sauce gives the mess an iconic Indian touch which ties in with the side of cucumber and pineapple raita. If there was one dish that left me smitten, this would be it.

Some safe options include the Bacon and Eggs ($22) : the thick slab of pork belly smoked and lightly grilled in the oven, splayed out in all its caramelized beauty with the support of scrambled eggs and chives, grilled San Marzano tomatoes as backup singers. Assembling it on accompanying side of sourdough slightly charred and smeared in sour cream is a fun perk.

It's hard not to be tempted by the sight of Lamb Meatballs ($23) - an ode to Lamb Shashouka (or so I would imagine), Spiced meatballs meets a ketchup based chili crab sauce, fava beans (cue, I'm you fava), sous vide eggs and yogurt for an illustrious middle-eastern vibe. As much as I love the shower of crisp papadum chips over, one can't help feel that the lamb meatballs were a little too firm and overworked. Nothing that a little more braising in the tomato sauce won't solve.

Last but not least before the desserts are unleashed upon us is the Fried Chicken and Pancakes ($22). This concoction ought to leave the traditionalist perplexed, but for me, I was swept off my feet. Gula Melaka infused sweet chili sauce worked its way sneakingly through the nooks and crevices of spongy pancakes. The accompanying sluice of pink apple coleslaw providing an OTT sweet juxtaposition to the savoury chicken chunks. Judge me once, judge me twice; that's the kind of thing I like.

Desserts had some big shoes to fill and Chef Song did so with guns ablazing and nimble fingers over the "show-kitchen" front of house. The Pancakes and Friends ($16) says it like it means it; this feast is better meant for larger congregations as a dessert! Fluffy stacks with raspberry and coconut crumble for texture is ramped up with billowy mounds of cream cheese chantilly. Be still my heart.

It become clear to us by the end of the meal that desserts are not to be overlooked at Fat Lulu's. The desserts menu are as verbose and elaborate as the food menu, take for example the innocent looking Childhood ($16), a quaint play on the classic peanut butter and jelly winsome deal; a peanut popsicle coated with 55% dark chocolate is served with chocolate cookie crumb, frozen cassis puree and frozen cassis. If you have a thing for Magnum's peanut butter, this takes the cake by a mile.

Oh, and then there's the $14 Tiramisu where mascarpone panna cotta resmebling tofu sit atop soaked sponge finger and topped with kahlua granita. This proved a little lackluster as compared to the preceding offerings with neither the creamy element nor the liquered coffee notes being highlighted in the dish.

To be fair, Fat Lulu's brunch offers nothing out of the ordinary in the flavor stakes. Still, this should prove a hit with anyone hankering for a quick hangover cure on weekend mornings . Visit during dinner for a better representation of the #noburnnotaste concept and DO NOT leave without wrapping your lips around the Spicy Iberico Pork Sataytay first.

Fat Lulu's
297 River Valley Road
t: 9236 5002

Operating Hours:
Mon: Closed
Tues - Thurs: 6pm - 11pm
Fri: 6pm - late
Sat: 11am - 4pm; 6pm - late
Sun: 11am - 4pm; 6pm - 11pm

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