It only opened last November but already casual new eatery Fat Rice has gleaned an abundance of glowing reviews, and as a result of the eager foodies that descended en masse, now boasts some of the city’s most sought-after tables. Don’t let the home-style vibe and cosy fit-out fool you; this is the setting for true gastronomic extravagance with chef and co-owner Abraham Conlon fusing the flavours of Portugal, Macau, China and India. Coming from the team behind underground supper-club X-Marx, it’s housed in an intimate Logan Square space with an open kitchen and Euro-Asian-influenced decor.
After selecting a glass from Craig Perman’s Iberian-focused wine list, peruse the long menu offering tempting mains like Piri Piri chicken, Sichuan shaking chili whitefish and Goan cauliflower curry, but for first-timers at least, opt for the prix-fixe for two. It begins with a delicious soup like pumpkin with tofu or Wintermelon with Chinese bacon, then your choice of vegetable, before their namesake specialty Arroz Gordo (‘fat rice’).
This enormous paella-like dish with sofrito-scented rice is filled with flavours from both land and sea like Chinese sausage, Portuguese chicken, roasted pork, salted duck, prawns, littleneck clams and topped with tangy tea-egg (soaked in soy and tea). And save room for the inclusive desserts too, like pineapple upside-down cake with Xerez vinegar and caramel, or Serradura with guava, cream, banana and cookie crumbs. They don’t take bookings, so arrive early for a table.