Heads Up, Lucky Cats: Popular Fat Mao Noodles Opening Downtown Spot This September
Opening of Chef Angus An's second Thai noodle joint dovetails neatly with back-to-work routines
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Soon to be the perfect lunch-break or pre-movie spot in Vancouver’s downtown core, Fat Mao Noodles’ newest location will provide comforting one-bowl meals to hungry city dwellers, workers, and visitors. Renowned chef and restaurateur Angus An’s second Fat Mao restaurant is staying true to the original family-owned street-stall inspiration and choose-your-own-noodle tradition behind the original Chinatown location. Located at 983 Helmcken Street, Fat Mao Noodles will be serving up the five flavours of Thai cooking—sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy—with its sought-after snacks and noodle soups starting Tuesday, September 6, 2022.
An has immersed himself in Thai cuisine for over a decade and now has six Thai-focused eateries under his belt. His ability to keep his restaurants fresh and interesting stems from his wanderlust, which includes regular visits to Thailand.
“Fat Mao is an ode to the small storefronts handed down through several family generations that specialize in making one single dish over and over,” explains An. “I want our guests to pull up a stool and enjoy a bowl of their favourite noodle soup with a good novel for years to come.”
While the small and focused downtown menu features many fan favourites from the original Fat Mao, it will also offer a handful of tempting dishes from ceviche to rotating flavours of shaved ice (you read that correctly—shaved ice!) that are exclusive to the new location. Debut highlights include braised brisket noodles served with Asian celery and fried garlic; Nam Ngaio—a Northern-style tender pork-rib noodle dish with pork-blood cake, red cotton tree flowers and fermented soybean; Albacore tuna ceviche with aromatic herb dressing and crispy taro; and Thai-tea shaved ice for a sweet finish, served with grass jelly and condensed milk with Thai iced-tea panna cotta.
The distinctive interior of this casual 25-seat noodle joint was designed by An himself with help of his millworker Denis Lafreiere and mirrors that of the first Chinatown spot. Guests will be welcomed by an open kitchen fitted solely with induction cooktops and helmed by Fat Mao’s head chef and kitchen manager Sai Woranut Pounpakonsolely. There’s an abundance of natural light in the open, airy room, thanks to plenty of street-front windows, and the modern aesthetic is punctuated with pine-wood carpentry and splashes of smoky blue. Eye-catching elements offer playful accents throughout the space, including a pearlescent ‘noodle’ light feature designed by Bocci and charming trinkets depicting the eatery’s lucky cat mascot. A custom contemporary painting by An’s longtime friend, artist George Vergette, is slated to be installed later this September.
Fat Mao Noodles is located in the Wall Centre at Burrard and Helmcken, with the Royal Thai Consulate-General offices as its neighbours, and is walking distance to St. Paul’s Hospital as well as numerous hotels, theatres, and music venues. A liquor license and cocktail list is in the works; in the meantime, the restaurant will serve as a great hub for solo dining, quick lunch meet-ups, and pre-game eats paired with a delicious mango, guava or lychee juice.
As summer fades into fall and the city slips into the comfort of routine, Fat Mao will be ready for cooler weather with its signature warm, welcoming service and steaming bowls of noodles. Open weekdays from 11:30am to 9:00pm starting Tuesday, September 6.
About Fat Mao Noodles
Fat Mao—meaning “prosperous cat” in Cantonese—is a casual 25-seat open-kitchen eatery by Chef Angus An with a focus on Thai-style noodle soups plus southeast Asian sides and drinks. Flavourful made-from-scratch broths and locally sourced noodles are accompanied by smaller dishes of B.C. seafood, house-made tofu and seasonal vegetable salads. Chef Angus recommends customizing your noodles with your choice of spicy sauces, oils, and tangy vinegars to personalize your own fun, comforting, and interactive meal.
The original Fat Mao Noodles is located in Chinatown at 217 E. Georgia St., and open from 11:30am to 8:30pm seven days a week. Chef Angus’ newest Fat Mao Noodles is located Downtown Vancouver at 983 Helmcken St., and open from 11:30am to 9:00pm Monday through Friday.