Good old pub grub hits the spot


Fatboi Tavern’s Mutton Fried Rice comes with a side of mutton masala. — Photos: CHAN TAK KONG/ The Star

ONE thing Fatboi Tavern owner Deveshwar Chandrasekharan is most proud of when it comes to his outlet is that every food item in the menu costs less than RM25.

The fun pub and restaurant had an auspicious start in 2018 when the SS2 premises opened for business on New Year’s Eve.

The pub’s  version of happy hour offers cocktails with gin as the main ingredient, priced at only RM6 from 3pm to 7pm.The pub’s version of happy hour offers cocktails with gin as the main ingredient, priced at only RM6 from 3pm to 7pm.

The 32-year-old then had only one simple goal for his first business venture — a place where diners can enjoy good music and food without burning a hole in their pocket.

“I wanted the place to be like Cheers, the fictional Boston bar made famous in the 1980s American television sitcom. Cosy, friendly and where everybody knows your name, ” said the Klang native.

As such a homely place should have an equally homely name, it was decided the eatery was to be named after a personal hashtag he had used on his Instagram account.

“Fatboi was a nickname I created for myself, as I have always seen myself as a broad kind of guy when it came to body size.

“Since everybody already knew me by my hashtag and I felt that it was catchy, saleable, easily understood and easy to pronounce, I went with it, ” said Deveshwar.

He pointed out that his chef, Yogeswaran Rajoo, 25, is also rather round in size. Coupled with a cheerful disposition, Yogeswaran had, from the onset of his career, earned the nickname Chef Bubbles.

Chef Bubbles also has his own story to share on how he convinced the boss to let him create a menu and earn himself a pay raise.

Crispy Pork Chops with mushroom sauce. The apple and red cabbage salad adds a tasty crunch.Crispy Pork Chops with mushroom sauce. The apple and red cabbage salad adds a tasty crunch.

In the beginning, there was only a snack menu like luncheon meat fries and so on. Chef Bubbles then gave the classic dish of deep-fried anchovies and chicken sausages a spicy twist with a sambal balado sauce that he had perfected. The dish was so impressive, it was named Boom Bilis for its volatile and savoury qualities.

Since then, the menu has expanded to include starters, mains, pastas and chops, decently portioned to satisfy the most eager of appetites.

Besides gin cocktails at happy-hour prices, the signature items at Fatboi Tavern include Pork Nachos, Kam Heong Lala, Satay Pizza, Crispy Pork Chops (we kid you not, they are really crispy) and Mutton Fried Rice.

The Pork Nachos has a generous layering of cheese and minced pork done a la bolognese that goes all the way to the bottom of the dish. Layered like a lasagna, mozzarella cheese is poured onto each layer of heated tortilla chips before pork chili is poured over. This is so that the chili will stick and not fall off in mid-air.

Two of Fatboi’s signature dishes — Chili Pork Nachos (front) and Kam Heong Lala.Two of Fatboi’s signature dishes — Chili Pork Nachos (front) and Kam Heong Lala.

The aromatic and addictive Kam Heong Lala was inspired by a friend’s mother.

“As a kid, I used to go to the house of a Chinese friend whose mother often cooked kam heong pork. I learned the recipe for the kam heong sauce from her. The ingredients are quite basic — dried shrimp, garlic and oyster sauce. The secret lies in the balancing of flavours, ” said Chef Bubbles.

The Satay Pizza features a house-made peanut sauce. From the aroma, one can tell that the cook had spent a long time coaxing the groundnuts and spices to yield their fragrance.

We were also impressed with the crispy texture of the pizza crust, achieved through a series of in-house experiments to determine the correct baking time and temperature.

Satay Pizza topped with chicken and oozing with cheesy goodness. The satay sauce and pizza crust are made in-house.Satay Pizza topped with chicken and oozing with cheesy goodness. The satay sauce and pizza crust are made in-house.

A herb marinade is used in the Pork Chops. Sliced thinly, the outer layer is grilled until it sports a crisp, flavourful texture while maintaining the middle part’s tender juiciness.

The meat is lathered with lashings of mushroom sauce. This is made with sauteed button mushrooms and chicken broth, which is then simmered for four hours. A red cabbage and apple salad makes for a refreshing side.

For a satisfying meal, the Mutton Fried Rice is simply a meal that cannot go wrong. The spicy fried rice with mutton includes a serving of chunky, dry curried mutton pieces, a fried egg and prawn crackers.

In the two years that this dish has been on the menu, no one has ever complained about its efficacy for filling a hungry tummy.

FATBOI TAVERN, 80, Jalan SS2/60, SS2, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. (Tel: 03-7863 0500). Business hours: 1pm to 10pm, daily. In view of the conditional movement control order, physical distancing will be observed. Non-halal.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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