After two years of serving up some of Cruz Bay’s most inventive cuisine, Walter Hinds is throwing in his apron and heading back to Gotham.
The chef closed the doors to his popular Hinds Restaurant in September after enjoying two busy seasons as a hot spot on the island’s dining and dancing scene.
Hinds is heading back to New York where he will launch a project in Harlem, according to the chef.
“I have a project I’m working on in Harlem now and I’m moving stateside,” he said, declining to divulge any additional information about his next foray into the kitchen.
With Hinds out, a Malaysian-inspired seafood joint is taking over his former restaurant space, the chef added.
“I sold the restaurant to Fatty Crab,” said Hinds.
Fatty Crab currently has two locations in New York City, one on the Upper West Side and another in the West Village, according to the website www.fattycrab.com.
The Upper West Side outpost menu ranges from pork or vegetable steam buns for $13 to braised short ribs for $25 and also includes a variety of soups and noodle dishes including wontons and coconut rice.
While Fatty’s St. John menu was not available last week, the food will likely be shellfish-centric and patrons can expect to get their hands dirty.
“Fatty Crab is a restaurant that serves Malaysian inspired cuisine,” according to the website. “The Malaysians use a wide variety of spices, fermented condiments, chilies, and a ton of coconut milk in their cuisine. Over the years there have been distinct Chinese, Portuguese, Indian and Indonesian influences integrated into the cuisine, especially in the urban centers and port cities.”
“Abundant with curries, spicy and sour fish soups, satay, varied noodle dishes and the ubiquitous nasi lemak, Malaysian cuisine is complex, spicy and really hard to categorize…and the coolest thing is they love to eat with their hands,” according to www.fattycrab.com. “A practice we at Fatty Crab fully embrace.”
The Fatty website is also careful to point out that the restaurants’ food is more “fusion” than “traditional.”
“We refer to our restaurant as ‘inspired by’ because while the cuisine stays very true to the Malaysian palate, we also pull from the cuisines of other Southeast Asian countries and employ many western techniques in the execution of the food,” according to the website. “You will find that we rotate some of our menu items seasonally and run market-inspired specials. And, a number of classic dishes stay on the menu all the time: beef short rib rendang, pork and watermelon salad, fatty duck and, of course, chili crab, to name a few.”
One thing for sure is that St. John diners can expect an exciting new restaurant option this season in the old Hind’s, formerly Tage, formerly that Mardi Gras-inspired place, formerly Zozo’s location.
As for Hinds, he’s going back to New York with fond memories of Love City and good friends.
“I love St. John,” said Hinds. “The people are amazing and I made some beautiful, life-long friends. It’s a beautiful island and I had a great time living here.”