South Boston, MA - South Boston’s no stranger to transformation over the past fifteen years. The smoke thick dive bars and ubiquitous pizza houses that once dotted Columbia Rd seem like all but a distant remnant of the past, replaced by wine boutiques and gastropubs. And while there’s no shortage of Asian cuisine to be found in Southie, you’d be far pressed to find one that serves something more than the phosphorescent Orange Chicken and deep fried egg rolls of your youth.
Enter Fat Baby Sushi and Cocktails.
Helmed by owner Mike Shaw and General Manager Rachel Titcomb—responsible for bringing the likes of Loco, the Lincoln Tavern and Capo to South Boston—Fat Baby promises pan-Asian cuisine with its own singular twist. Yes, you’ll find Crab Rangoons here. But they may not be the crab rangoons you’ve come to expect.
“Crab Rangoons here are super unique. They come rolled like taquitos so they’re a lot easier to eat, and it’s just a fun way to change up something that is really beloved and recognizable to people, but kind doing our own,” Shaw said.
But the reconstruction doesn’t end at Crab Rangoon. Fat Baby’s specialty is sushi; and they’re certain to deliver their own distinct twist on familiar classics. Their White Tiger roll pairs tuna with apple chunks over a goat cheese emulsion, while their Spicy Tuna roll combines pineapple and jicama topped by an aji amarillo sauce.
Other entrees include the now omnipresent bao, only in Fat Baby’s case stuffed with chicken, pickled vegetables and a sharp aioli; Korean Fried Chicken with kimchee honey and Korean slaw; and a Hawaiian Salmon Poke with black bean and chipotle vinaigrette. But most intriguing is the Jambalaya Fried Rice.
“Jambalaya Fried Rice is killer,” explains Shaw. “The Chinese sausage has a super unique, kind of spicy taste with a little bit of sweet, and the duck confit is done so well, combined with the rice and the over easy egg on top, it’s just like the perfect combination of flavors.”
But unlike other long-running Asian restaurants in the area, Fat Baby also promises an atmosphere that is at once contemporary and fun with exposed brick, Asian inspired murals and a copper bar serving to anchor it all.
“The first thing you notice when you walk in is the glow of the copper bar that’s in the center of the room, so I think people tend to gravitate towards it,” notes General Manager Titcomb. “We try to keep the room a super comfortable place that you want to be in to eat dinner and then hang out afterwards.”
Only time will tell if Fat Baby will join the ranks of its sister restaurants Loco and Capo in changing the landscape of cuisine in South Boston for years to come. But judging from the reaction so far, we’re willing to bet it will.
Fat Baby is open Monday-Wednesday between 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Thursday-Friday from 5 p.m.-11 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 3 p.m.-11 p.m. Brunch is served Saturday-Sunday from 11 a..-3 p.m. No reservations required. Fat Baby is located at 118 Dorchester St. in South Boston. For more information, call (617) 766-3450 or visit fatbabysouthboston.com