Best use of watermelon (2008)
I've become an addict, and I dream about the watermelon salad at neo-Malaysian Fatty Crab. But here's the trick: The watermelon is not in its native state, but pickled in brine, which adds a marvelous salty edge. There are tiny cubes of crunchy rind and bigger hunks of red flesh, dripping sweet fluid. These components are tossed with crisp fried pork belly—half meat and half fat—then flung in another flavor direction by licorice-y Thai basil and other herbs, too. The combination is ever so much more than the sum of its elements. Disclaimer: Chef Zak Pelaccio is a friend of mine and frequent dining companion.