Flavours of the Mediterranean

The Setting

Nestled inside a residential village off Rama IX, the whitewashed two-storey house gives the impression of a Greek restaurant that is fresh and contemporary-looking. Inside, the gleam of brass light fixtures against bleached stone walls creates a classy feel; while dark wooden furniture and granite floors tone that down a little for a casual, homey vibe. The scheme of ocean blue runs throughout the place in the form of comfy cushions and blue glassware, which help bring a touch of flair to the rather neutral-toned dining room. The restaurant is spacious, with space for 100 diners. However, this doesn't mean reservations are not needed.

The menu

With experience working in the kitchens of American chefs Alex Stupak and Rick Bayless, chef Yakup Tangsongsirisak has brought home with him American cooking techniques. That was combined with his love for Mediterranean cuisine and halal food guidelines to become Fat Lamb.

On the menu, expect to find Turkish, Greek and Spanish staples with a Western twist, all of them halal.

The kitchen is probably best known for the beautifully marbled, succulent Rack of Mottainai lamb (B1,700), from Australia. Highly praised as the queen of lamb and referred to by many as the wagyu of lamb, it has been scientifically bred to taste clean and to have a great amount of fat to make it tender. The meat is nicely charred, with a smoky flavour and served with silky mashed potatoes and braised root vegetables in saffron.

Another highlight is the Seafood paella (B400/B1,200/B2,400), cooked using risotto, which has the ability to soak up juices. To make it flavourful, chef Yakup adds in slices of sucuk, a Turkish spicy beef sausage with paprika and dried spices.

Rack of Mottainai lamb.

Arnavut cigeri.

If you wish to sample Mediterranean staples, a platter of Pita bread with hummus, baba ganoush and tzatziki (B120) makes for a good choice. But even more captivating is a Turkish dish called Arnavut cigeri (B220), popcorn-size chicken livers that have been battered, deep-fried and tossed in smoked paprika and sumac (a Middle-Eastern spice with a tangy lemon flavour). The livers are served on zesty salsa, with the surprise accompaniment of crispy potato cubes -- a combination that sounds heavy. But I finished the entire plate and still felt light enough to quickly jump into the thick rack of lamb.

However, the menu is not entirely focused on Mediterranean dishes. Chef Yakup also eases customers into new tastes by offering them something familiar, like Charcoal-grilled chicken breast with nham jim jaew (B170) and Spicy Thai pasta (B360), cooked drunken noodle-style.

By the time you're done with the savoury items, you're probably filled up to the brim. But I suggest that you do not leave without trying the desserts. Get the Greek yoghurt mousse with pomegranate syrup (B180). It offers a bright flavour with a smooth texture. If you have a sweet tooth and capacity to try something heavier, a slice of Kazandibi (Turkish caramelised custard) dressed in dark chocolate-coffee sauce (B180) that hits the spot.

Seafood paella.

The Fig ice cream (B220) is made to order by blending fig molasses with liquid nitrogen and vanilla ice cream. If you want to go for a more traditional treat, there are Turkish ice creams (B90 per scoop) in flavours such as mango, pistachio, vanilla and chocolate.

For something to drink, the Fat Lamb serves mocktails, the most extravagant being the pomegranate-cranberry Cappadocia (B220), which has a mini hot air balloon floating on top of it.

Insider's Tip

The Fat Lamb has a secret item that is not on the menu and needs to be ordered a day in advance -- Mottainai braised lamb shoulder (B400), served with saffron risotto and crispy funghi. If you're looking for a glass of wine to go with your meat, unfortunately the Fat Lamb doesn't serve alcohol. Instead, think well-crafted mocktails starring fruity goodness, like the Witch hair (B220) that combines grape and pomegranate juices with date syrup, and the Flamingo dance (B220), blending beetroot and raspberry topped with apple foam.

Value and Verdict

Compared to most casual Middle Eastern restaurants on Sukhumvit 3/1, Fat Lamb offers diners a more refined experience in a space that is far more polished, yet still laid-back. Although this makes for a higher price point, diners can be sure they are getting their money's worth.

  • Fat Lamb
  • Mediterranean-Halal
  • Rama IX Soi 45
  • Open Tues-Sun noon-10pm
  • Call 061-418-4545
  • Visit fatlambbkk.com
  • Facebook: Fatlambbkk