The Fat Rice fun house is about to get a whole lot phatter, as James Beard-Award winning Chef Abe Conlon and Partner Adrienne Lo reveal a new expansion of their day-time Asian-inspired bakery The Bakery at Fat Rice, which will now become The Bakery & Café at Fat Rice. Located in Chicago’s booming Logan Square neighborhood, Fat Rice–which focuses on unique dishes inspired by global Portuguese and Asian heritage recipes from Madeira to Macau–is also pleased to introduce NEW Head Chef Ashley Robinson (Japonais by Morimoto, Spiaggia, Spinning J Bakery) to lead operations and roll out an entirely new savory side of the bakery.
The Bakery at Fat Rice, which originally opened doors in 2016 as an extension to the adjoining internationally acclaimed restaurant, has made a name for itself with its out-of-the-box sweet treats such as the Portuguese Egg Tarts, the Macau Rice Crisp, the Ceylon Snickerdoodle, the Chinese-inspired Chicago-style hot dog bun, and more. Robinson will continue to share these fan-favorites at the colorful, grab-n-go spot, and will now also offer inventive savory (and several gluten-free!) items such as The Mega Maki, an egg white frittata with sushi rice, sweet egg threads, pickled ginger, smoked shiitake mushrooms and bonito; Cashew-Carrot Sannas + Chutney, a steamed Goan coconut rice cake with seasonal fruit tamarind chutney; as well as Zigi Toast, a sweet buttered bun and soft boiled egg with chilli sambal and soy. Guests can also look out for more day-friendly drink options such as Vermouth-spiked Mango Mimosas and seasonal Sangria, as well as the option to add CBD in “chill” (.25ml) and “supes chill” (.5ml) doses to their existing coffee menu, which features Hong Kong Milk Tea, P-Nut Butter Mocha, and Double Duck coffee drinks.
“For the past seven years at Fat Rice, we have always looked for ways to bring new flavors and items to Logan Square and Chicago that were inspired by our travels. The ‘and café’ expansion of The Bakery is another fun way for us to share ‘more-of-meal’ savory and healthy-ish options with the neighborhood,” says Conlon. “We originally opened the space as a tribute to the traditional bakeries we discovered throughout Asia and Portugal. Together with Ashley, we are excited to launch this new and very tasty extension of the Fat Rice Multi-verse.”
The Bakery & Café at Fat Rice is open Wednesday — Saturday 8am-5pm and Sunday 8am-3pm. For more information, please visit eatfatrice.com, call 773.661.9544 or connect through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
ABOUT ASHLEY ROBINSON, HEAD CHEF OF THE BAKERY & CAFÉ AT FAT RICE: Growing up in Portland, Maine, Ashley Robinson was first introduced to her love for cooking and baking through the matriarchs in her family. While attending Harvard University, her interest in professional baking was sparked at the campus cooperative house where she spent much of her free time making bread. After graduating with a degree in Government, she took a summer to work as a baker on a ranch in Colorado, and soon realized her passions were taking her career in an entirely different direction. Ashley then immersed herself into hospitality at several regarded bakeries throughout Idaho, Boston and New York before moving to Chicago. Here, she worked as a Pastry Cook at Japonais by Morimoto, where she learned to treat food as a respected art form, and honed in on the virtues of fine dining. As an avid traveler, Robinson embarked on many international culinary journeys to South Korea, Morocco, India and Southeast Asia to see and taste the world. She later returned to Chicago and continued to develop both her culinary and leadership skills as the pastry sous chef at Michelin-starred modern Italian restaurant, Spiaggia, followed by a role as sous chef at beloved local café, Spinning J Bakery. Now, in her new role as Head Chef of The Bakery & Café at Fat Rice, she will help the counter-service bakery of the critically acclaimed restaurant evolve in a new way, offering clever items, both sweet and savory, to provide guests with a casual and fun, day-time dining experience.
ABOUT FAT RICE: Fat Rice is a global exploration of home-style comfort food that blends the exotic ingredients and flavors of China, India, and Southeast Asia with the colonial roots of the Portuguese travelers who were influenced by these ports over the past 500 years. Opened in 2012 in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood by partners Abe Conlon and Adrienne Lo, this casual eatery features a lively atmosphere, vibrant décor, and family-style service belie its unique food and wine menu. In addition to Abe being honored as the 2018 James Beard award winner for Best Chef: Great Lakes and named a “Rising Star” by StarChefs in 2015, Fat Rice has been recognized by Bon Appetit (Top 10 Best Restaurants in America, 2013), Jean Banchet (2013 Best New Restaurant winner/2015 Restaurant of the Year), as well as a recipient of The Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand (2014 — 2020). In July 2016, Abe and Adrienne opened two adjoining concepts, The Bakery & Cafe at Fat Rice, a Chinese bakery and cafe, as well as The Ladies’ Room, an intimate craft cocktail lounge inspired by the fan tan (Chinese gambling halls) and red light districts that proliferated around Macau in the mid 19th and 20th centuries. The duo also released a cookbook, The Adventures of Fat Rice, a compilation of recipes that explores the vibrant food culture of Macau. Located at 2957 W. Diversey Avenue, Fat Rice is open for dinner Tuesday-Saturday (5:30pm to 10pm), for lunch service Wednesday- Saturday (11am to 2pm) and Sunday (11am to 3pm). For more information, visit www.eatfatrice.com, call 773.661.9170 or connect through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.