The pouring shot of salted egg sauce over orh-lu-lu charcoal waffle, molecular spheres and plated desserts comes to mind when I think of FatCat Ice Cream Bar at Bedok North.

2 years down the road, the folks behind FatCat has opened a modern Chinese restaurant Stray By FatCat right at Orchard Central.

This is indeed, not quite the typical, as one would expect them to stick to the same formula of waffles and ice cream which worked.

So what is the secret of FatCat?

A young entrepreneur with a passion that can fire up the kitchen (pun intended). Add a clear direction to be the trend-setter that differentiates themselves from the rest.

Stray By FatCat’s main focus is on Chinese cuisine using traditional cooking methods, and redefining it with a modern twist.

It is not an easy task, especially when most potential diners have the mindset and expectation of what a Chinese dish will taste like.

I was intrigued with the items on the menu, many not commonly found in other places.

Think Yu Sheng Bowl ($20), Sichuan Black Pepper Wagyu ($22), Truffle Paper Wrap Chicken ($16), deconstructed Mango Sago Pomelo ($20) and Commando’s Favourite ($17) made up of Lychee, Longan and Red Tea Softserve.

Going back to the basics, Yu Sheng has been the around in China history for ages and the combination of toppings (cracker biscuits, carrots, sesame oil) used had been proven to be a winning formula.

Riding on the Poke Bowls trend in Singapore, using the winning formula of Yu Sheng was a stroke of genius – citrusy sauce with a sesame aroma, mixed with chewy chunks of salmon belly and crunchy crackers on a bowl of sushi rice.

No worries, this Yu Sheng Poke Bowl ($20) is a permanent item on the menu even after Chinese New Year. Huat ah!

Another one of my favourites was the Black Pepper Wagyu ($22) with Sichuan black pepper sauce, BMS score 8-9 Wagyu beef, Pink Ginger emulsion and an onsen egg.

While the wagyu beef was fatty with a chewy bite with an unexpected taste from the pink ginger, I wished that the Sichuan black pepper sauce could be spicier.

The salted egg craze continues with this Salted Egg Chicken Waffle ($21) using their signature black charcoal waffle.

The charcoal waffle was still as good as those we had at FatCat, but the chicken piece could be dry and tough.

Having prior experience at FatCat, there was an element of surprise with Chinese influence in their softserve (something different from the usual ice cream at FatCat) and plated desserts.

There was something nostalgic eating a bowl of dessert from chinaware, similar to those Hong Kong dessert shops.

The Commando’s Favourite ($17) and also my favourite (even though I am not a commando) with lychee, red date and longan was light and refreshing.

It was an interesting sight to see uncles and aunties being hipsters, and eating Chinese dessert in the form of a softserve.

The Black & Gold ($18) came with a salted egg in the form of a softserve which wasn’t distinct from its appearance.

The soft serve had a slightly grainy texture with subtle and yet obvious salted egg taste that was non-overpowering.

Probably the Mango Sago Pomelo ($20) time-travelled to the present in the deconstructed form with 2 scoops of ice cream and green grapes instead of the traditional version that we are familiar with.

Coconut milk foam is available separately for a milkier taste.

If there was one item that had been around at FatCat since Day 1, it will be the Keep Popping Spheres ($12 for 3).

Infused with with Chinese influence here, think Osmanthus with lime mojito and rum, Lychee with rose and Blood Mandarin with Shirazilemon.

Pop the entire sphere into the mouth and burst the sphere, delivering the alcoholic content right down the throat. And don’t speak until you swallow the entire thing, in case you Merlion’ everything out.

Potent, shiok, deadly.

At the end of the meal, I was impressed at how Stray by FatCat had pushed the boundaries.

Perhaps it may change your impression of Chinese food, that it can be updated and trendy too.

Stray by FatCat
Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, #04-22A/23, Singapore 238896
Opening Hours: 11am – 12pm (Coffee), 12pm – 2pm (Lunch), 2pm – 6pm (Coffee and cakes), 6pm – 10pm (Dinner), Opens Daily

Other Related Entries
Crystal Jade Prestige (Marina Bay Financial Centre)
Janice Wong Singapore (National Museum)
Peach Garden (Changi Airport T2)
Full Of Luck Club (Holland Village)
Birds Of A Feather (Amoy Street)

* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.



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