Just the sight of this adorable cafe makes me grin, as does the name – Fat Man’s Cafe! Inspired by pop art, occasional brightly coloured chairs, tables and kitsch picture frames catch my attention along with the cartoons of the ‘Fat Man’ of Fat Man’s Cafe in different avatars – Fat Man Goes Travelling, Fat Man The Painter, Fat Man At The Gym.
A wall featuring cheeky sayings makes for an interesting point of discussion and in spite of the place being packed out, the owners are incredibly hospitable – making one feel as though an instant friendship has been struck simply by dining there.
Will l leave the establishment a Fat Model? Only time can tell.
I order a mojito to start. Brimming with fresh mint leaves and resembling a lemon, lime and bitters beverage, it goes down a treat – so much so that I order another. And it doesn’t even have alcohol in it!
It is admittedly a far cry from a regular mojito, however I’m not complaining.
The bacon quality is fantastic and to my surprise, local. The prawns have been tenderly grilled to perfection and it is all I can do to not gobble up the whole thing.
The beef cheeseburger plonks itself down at my place, resembling the Fat Man himself, if he were a cow. Filled with melting cheese, bacon, lettuce, pickles and a monstrously huge beef patty, each bite is a stairway to heaven. This is comfort food at its finest.
The cheese is unprocessed (thank goodness) and the remaining ingredients all work together in harmony to form a tried and tested classic staple.
I find myself becoming full halfway through. Can this be?
The chicken sliders pale in comparison. Perhaps the wrong thing to order straight after the colossal cheeseburger (or perhaps I have a masculine preoccupation with size), the dish looks miniscule even though it is standard slider size.
The dish is satisfactory – the meat is a little bland and appears to be processed. The presence of scarmoza cheese manages to make the slider somewhat palatable, but I am not compelled to finish the dish.
I order the vegetarian lasagne with little expectations and am struck by the abundance of cheese that materialises in front of me.
A sizeable block of lasagne reigns proudly in a pool of fresh tomato and olive oil, with two pieces of garlic bread looking on. I wrestle with the lasagne, trying to cut a portion. The cheese holds my spoon captive. I love the drama this dish brings.
I finally manage to secure an area to attack. My mouth meets aubergine and mushroom, lubricated by the tomato chunks and held together by pasta which makes my tastebuds do a jig.
I find myself unable to tear away from this dish. Vegetarian lasagne, let’s spend our lives together.
For an establishment that is in its opening week, Fat Man’s Cafe has definitely done its PR right – the place is booming, so much so that people are being regretfully turned away.
There are small issues that every establishment faces in its first week such as dishes which take a while to arrive, but are largely worth the wait, thanks to the love and care put into each component and the smiling service.
I think I can now change my name by deed poll, to Julia Fatt.
Ambience 9, Food 8.5.
Fat Man’s Cafe is located at ONGC Building 3, Near Lilavati Hospital, Bandra West.