By Richard Campbell
I’ll be the first to admit that sushi is not on the top of my list for dinner foods, but as an occasional partaker in the raw fish world, I’ve grown a little familiar with the routine. The newest addition to the South Boston sushi scene is the ultra-original, funny, cozy hang out place called Fat Baby-which is on the corner of West 4th at 118 Dorchester Street.
The thing about sushi for me is that I never quite feel satisfied after I eat it – although I know I got my protein from the fish and a sampling of vegetables; it takes a lot of the stuff to make me think of it as a dinner. We had the salmon and tuna regular sushi, the flavorful Thai Red Curry Noodles, and the Shrimp beef lo Mein, with a few Sapporo to fill in things. All together these seemed great, but next time around I would go for the specialty rolls our neighbors had, as they were a bit more “exotic”. The Szechuan dumplings looked good and I was thinking about the buns but didn’t dive into them-we thought they were going to be steamed buns, but they are more like sandwiches. Speaking of steam…
One of my old Japanese friends who would take me to undiscovered haunts around Boston, used to insist that all hot food really be hot- steaming hot- and she used to send things back to the kitchen all the time saying, “not hot enough”. “Particularly in the winter when one eats raw fish, the soups and sides need to be really hot!” She would say. I thought of her as we dug into the Thai noodles-creamy, tasty, and hot! One of the COOL things about this place, besides the very nice staff, is the cleverly illuminated wrap around bar. Someone really thought this out well. This is the perfect place to go with a group of friends and kind of own the bar, where you are close enough to mingle with others, and the bartenders aren’t pinned against the wall like so many other places.
The opening menu has a nice variety, and what they make comes out right, tastes great, and isn’t too pricey. For fans of mixed drinks, they have fancy originals, sake, a short wine list, Spanish Cava, and a decent selection of beers on tap. When we went Sunday night it was a little mob scene, but the crowd was convivial. It was neat to see someone with a clever concept that they pulled off, and they got most everything right at this place, which makes it a welcome improvement to the neighborhood.