Chay Vadhanachai and Roger Unger are continuing to make Tallahassee an even trendier place to eat. After enormous success with Jasmine Café and The Southern Public House, these two food-loving entrepreneurs decided a noodle bar was exactly what this city needed. From this idea, Fat Noodle was born.
Opening in mid-January, Fat Noodle has already attracted a steady following of customers including myself. Chay, who is Executive Chef of the place, got the concept from his time spent living in Philadelphia.
These ramen or noodle bars are found in numerous places up North and in bigger cities, but the closest one to ours here in Tallahassee is all the way in Gainesville…and none of us are traveling there anytime soon. They usually offer a small appetizer selection with items like the Pork Belly Steam Buns (above) and various noodle dishes as entrées.
Fat Noodle is decorated in a minimalist style, with the focus being on the food and the process of creating these umami dishes. If your stomach is seriously growling, I recommend starting with an appetizer like the Vietnamese Summer Rolls (above) with the most killer peanut sauce I’ve ever had. Or try one of the three homemade kimchi (below) and feel your taste-buds explode.
If you’re not ready to leave your comfort zone of sandwiches at lunchtime, Fat Noodle caters to you as well. Besides the traditional Japanese ramen, Fat Noodle offers dishes like their Dac Biet Pho (below) and various Bahn Mi sandwiches, the favorite being the Pork Belly Bahn Mi. Chay also brought the dish, Chang Mai Noodle from his homeland of Thailand. It’s made with a delicious coconut curry broth for those of you who have a taste for spice.
My favorite bowl to date is the Tonkatsu ramen (below). The pork-bone broth is enough to make my mouth water just thinking about it, but Fat Noodle takes it over the top with pork belly, fried garlic, soy eggs, and menma (bamboo shoots). The portions are of gargantuan size, always leaving me with an extra meal.
Very soon, Fat Noodle hopes to begin running off-menu specials. They will run for about two weeks and those that do very well could even make it onto their permanent menu. They are only open for lunch Monday through Thursday, and the seats fill up very quickly so run, don’t walk to Tallahassee’s newest culinary sensation.