A restaurant’s got to be something special if I choose to make a return visit rather than trying something new when I’m traveling to a major city. Such is the case for Fat Rice in Chicago. It’s currently my top recommendation for most people when they ask where to eat in the Windy City.
I don’t get to Chicago very often, so I was thrilled to see chefs Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo at Feast Portland the past two years. In September, they told me about the release of The Adventures of Fat Rice, which includes recipes from the restaurant and a whole lot more. Fat Rice’s food is, in a word, fascinating. Inspired by Macau, it includes influences from China, Portugal, and much of Southeast Asia. I love the bold ingredient combinations and flavors.
One of my favorite things about Fat Rice is the availability of small dishes, so even solo diners can get an assortment of items. The cookbook includes recipes for a number of these, including a wide variety of pickles, pig ear salad, and Macanese potato cake (batatada). There are lots of full-color photos, and some playful cartoons and other illustrations that show how to execute the recipes. I look forward to making not only the arroz gordo (fat rice), but some fat noodles as well. And then there are big plates, like empada de peixe (“Macanese” fish pie), po kok gai (“Portuguese” chicken curry), and porco bafassa (smothered and roasted turmeric pork shoulder).
If you’d like to find out more about the Fat Rice phenomenon, mark your calendar, as the authors are coming for two events in Seattle. They’ll be doing a cooking demo and book signing at the Hot Stove Society on November 14—sure to sell out soon. If you can’t attend that event, find them at Book Larder the next night for a book talk and signing.
(Check out a number of dishes I ate during one of my visits to Fat Rice as part of this article about how I build my eating itineraries while traveling.)