The Place If you were familiar with the previous Five & Dime café along River Valley Road, do not be surprised if you haven’t already realised that it has now become Fat Lulu’s Asian Barbecue & Dessert. Opened by the same team as Five & Dime, Fat Lulu’s is anything but its predecessor. It focuses on charcoal-fired BBQ dishes in the evening and serves a brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays. The restaurant takes on the same cosy vibe as the space is not huge, exuding a chill-lax vibe which we can only imagine intensify in the evening. Did you spot the bar counter as well?
The Food The chefs at Fat Lulu’s believe in spontaneity and passion in their dishes and ingredients, and we can see why from the dishes we tried on the weekend brunch menu. For one, the Vanilla & Pandan Sticky Rice (S$12) was a promising start. This Thai-inspired sticky rice is not quite the same as we imagined, as the pandan and vanilla gave it a more aromatic flavour as compared to the usual mango sticky rice. The mango was very ripe, while the homemade granola and coconut yoghurt within lends a healthier flavour to the dish.
It was evident at this point that the brunch menu here is not the usual you will expect. The Croque Tambi (S$18) was surprisingly a hit for me. Think curried omelette with smoked mozzarella, sriracha, homemade ciabatta, mayo, and served with a side of the Indian-inspired cucumber and pineapple raita. The raita added that refreshing bit to balance out the heavy and appetising flavours of the curry.
If you are a conventionalist, then stick to the Bacon & Eggs (S$22). The thick cut slab bacon was sinfully yummy, which was smoked and lightly grilled and in oven. My other favourite component is the accompanying ciabtatta with garlic sour cream, so good.
The Lamb meatballs (S$23) is meant to be a homey dish, though it wasn’t exactly our favourite dish here as the lamb could come across as too gamy. That said, the sauce and crispy papadums resonated with us, including that hidden sous vide egg. Dip the slices of sourdough bread with it.
Visual creatures will love the Fried Chicken with Pancakes (S$22), just look that that nice hue of the red cabbage slaw. Instead of conforming to the Southern American version of fried chicken and waffles, this huge stack of pancakes with fried chicken was generously drizzled with homemade sweet chilli sauce.
For desserts, there is no compromise in terms of plating and creativity as well. My favourite of the lot is the Childhood (S$16) – love that Peanut popsicle which is an indulgent combination of peanut butter, hazelnut paste, 40% milk chocolate, coated with 55% dark chocolate with frozen cassis puree.
Other dessert options include the Pancakes & Friends (S$16), with cream cheese chantilly cream, raspberry and coconut Crumbs, and the Tiramisu (S$14) with Mascarpone panna cotta and Kahlua. I definitely enjoyed the savoury items more than the desserts here.
Rants The small space is either cosy or claustrophobic, depending on how you choose to accept it. Seating capacity are as limited as the parking lots behind the restaurant, be sure to reserve well ahead.
Will I Return Again? We didn’t manage to try the dinner menu this time, which is really what Fat Lulu’s all about – barbecue meats. The vibe and ambience at night should be an inviting one for a good meal.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Make your reservations instantly at Fat Lulu’s here.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
Sundays, Tuesdays to Thursdays: 6pm – 11pm
Fridays & Saturdays: 6pm till late
Saturdays to Sundays:11am – 4pm
Closed on Mondays
Ranted by The Ranter