11 Wheeler Ave, Pleasantville
Village Social Restaurant Group chef Mogan Anthony, creator of three distinctive restaurants — globetrotting gastropub Village Social, seafood-heavy Pubstreet, and Locali, serving stellar Neapolitan pies — recently launched the brand’s first entry into the fast-casual space: Fatt Root, in Pleasantville. The restaurant has special significance to Anthony, who was born in Malaysia: “The inspiration is from Asia, especially Malaysia and Thailand,” he says.
Inspired by “millennial concept” restaurants like Cava and Sweetgreen in New York City, Anthony wanted to translate his heritage into a quick-service restaurant with a menu of dumplings (try the egg-and-veggie Tiger Mom with trendy avocado oil); noodles, including a traditional tonkotsu ramen and dan dan noodles with Impossible plant protein; and build-your-own bowls, featuring bright, umami-bomb toppings like house-made Thai red curry sauce, green papaya slaw, crispy shallots, and plenty of fresh herbs.
“People want to have control over what they eat,” says Anthony. “It’s so easy to do an Asian concept without gluten and dairy. In Asia, these are very expensive products, so they don’t incorporate them in the food. They use spices, fish sauce, and shrimp paste to create the foundation of cooking.” And while the prices are reasonable, don’t you dare call it cheap. “I do [a lot of] it from scratch,” promises Anthony. “I don’t understand why people perceive Asian foods as cheap. That’s a lot of work.”
Open Mon–Wed, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Thurs–Sat, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sun, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.