I really don’t know where and how I met Rajiv (Tandon). But what I do know is that Rajiv is the most generous, indulgent and warm human beam I’ve encountered in Bombay. Rajiv opened the first Fat Man’s cafe (in Reclamation, Bandra) while I was away being a social worker in Dhaka. I was most bummed as Instagram announced their arrival, their breakfast eggs taking centre stage. I made it a priority to eat breakfast there as soon I landed in Bombay.
“I’m going to find a happy
I’m going to find a happy
I’m going to find a happy place”
Katie Melua sang!
Now Fat Man got himself a partner Kunal and went and opened a brand new bar and grill. It’s a vibrantly casual place, at the edge of my shrink’s clinic in Juhu. Fat Man’s Bar & Grill is housed in a building with other food/beverage establishments, the only thing they have in common with the other establishments in this building is the elevator. Rajiv and Kunal have introduced molecular cocktails, innovative drinks, new dishes, they have also hijacked a few familiar wait-staff from the Bandra outlet and it really just feels like coming back to a larger home!
Oh, can we please take a moment to gush over their beautiful smoking staircase. I reckon Toni Braxton would have approved of this naked-bulbs-creating-fairy-light-esque effects in an air-conditioned stairwell!
These stools were not only inviting but unnaturally comfortable too. After you’ve had several of Fat Man’s delicious Whiskey Lychee slushies, which are completely possible to finish in 90 seconds, get ready to go into a bacchanalian brain freeze.
Between Tinka and Rixi’s imagination, Rajiv’s trip to a shipping yard, Qurikbox art and a colour palette right out of a Wassily Kandinsky canvas, the space insists you smile and bring along your most positive attitude. I promise the experience couldn’t be more convivial. (I foresee several shrink visits morphing into boozy brunches).
Now there isn’t really a correct time to order yourself Eggs Benedict and a Margherita with a beer bottle upturned into the glass. Or is there? I think 5:30 PM is just fine to indulge in this. So while my lovely photographers fussed over exposure and shadows, I sat myself down with a plate of this outrageously well-done Eggs Benedict, a double drink and The Happy Reader.
In this issue of The Happy Reader, Aziz Ansari (the very witty dating-guru) shares his journey with books, in a long-form interview. The Hardy Boys was mentioned!. The other part of this delightfully succinct (only 64 pages) but overwhelmingly insightful magazine is Dorothy Carrington’s fetching portrait of Corsica, GRANITE ISLAND. If you send Nupur Joshi a cup of hot Jasmine tea, she might just tell you where you could get yourself a copy.
Last Christmas, Fat Man’s Cafe gave me their heart and helped me raise funds for Teach for India, where I was a class teacher to almost 60 munchkins. We did an absolutely fun pop-up where Fat Man and I conjured up a magical menu which included #deconstructburgers, Sangrias, hot air balloons and a pizza with a sunny-side-up in the middle. We are geniuses and we really love that about us. #HumbleBrag
While reminiscing about last Christmas, this next plate of goodness was brought upstairs! It had all the trappings of Christmas memories. Being a conscientious carnivore, I really appreciated this rack of lamb. Although I must eat several more of these and pair them with all kinds of Merlot. This is generously portioned and, therefore, a triumph. (The zucchini was (obviously) not eaten, it was just there to add some colour).
I called this the Superiority Burger. And I loved it. It’s got all the components to make me hungry, content and inaudible. Those who claim not to like it are either lying or are rare specimens. Apart from the unnecessary lettuce, there was thankfully a not-so-generous helping of alfalfa sprouts. The patty and the eggs and the caramelised onions took center stage. Smack under the spotlight. What makes it the Superiority Burger? Well, the sunny-side-up on top of it of course. Of course.
I consumed this, almost, exclusively by obligation. Meghna, Rajiv’s sister insisted I try this new addition on the menu. I wasn’t very excited about an omelette, with neatly arranged chicken on top and spicy salsa. But, holy mother of baby Jesus, it was outstanding. How could eggs and chicken and salsa ever go wrong, I asked my doubting self as I went home. Silly me?
It’s delicious, really.
This is Love Potion Number Nine.
And the only fitting way to conclude a six-hour dinner at Fat Man’s Bar & Grill.
The only way I can thank Rajiv and Kunal is by going back for several six-hour meals!