, named after founder Guigiao Chen's nickname, started off as a food truck in New York City before eventually becoming two physical restaurants in NYC and then expanding to three Texas locations, two in North Texas and one in Houston.
offers a variety of Chinese street food in the form of skewered meats and vegetables as well as dishes with noodles that are made in-house every morning. The Carrollton location is in the shopping center that 99 Ranch Market anchors, and anyone who’s made the trek out there can attest that the parking situation is just horrible. Fat Ni BBQ is open until 2 a.m., however, so visiting then for your skewer fix can make it easier to find a parking space as well as provide a bit of a respite from the broiling Texas heat that is just starting to dissipate around 11 p.m. Occasionally.
Skewers of meats sizzle and smoke on the open grill.
The skewers are extremely affordable, the vast majority costing under $3 each, and the options are numerous. Protein choices include lamb, beef, shrimp, scallops, pork belly, sausage and chicken, along with more interesting selections such as lamb kidney, chicken gizzard and chicken heart. These come at about 8 inches of delectable well-seasoned goodness and are cooked to order on an open grill full of hot coals that sits front and center behind a window that allows you to watch the whole grilling process play out.
The sound of the sizzles and pops coming from the grill combined with the wisps of smoke and steam rising from the skewers provide a nice diversion and time killer while one waits for the food to arrive.
Who doesn't like meat on a stick? Pork belly (left), Beef (middle) and lamb (right) provided a great meaty open-fire flavor that was fun to eat, too.
We opted for lamb, beef, shrimp, pork belly and scallops. One fills out the order form in much the same manner as at a sushi place, where you’re allowed to specify if you do not want the items to be spicy. We went with spicy and were glad to realize this was not so much a hot spiciness rather one that brought a bit more complex flavor to the meats, which were extremely good and cooked perfectly, very juicy and not at all dry as some skewered items can be.
Chinese buns, shrimp skewers and scallops.
The vegetable choices include leek, corn on the cob, broccoli, mushrooms, eggplant and others, some of which are also skewered and grilled, while others, such as the cabbage, are grilled loosely on the hibachi, allowing them to obtain a different type of grill flavor.
We tried the hibachi cabbage, enoki mushrooms and Chinese buns, all of which were wonderful and full of rich, grilled flavor with just the right level of spice. Turns out there’s a sauce bar as well, though we didn’t realize this until after we left.
Enoki mushroom skewer and hibachi cabbage imbue a delightfully smoky grilled flavor
Finally, there are various noodle dishes as well, each running about $12, such as lamb noodle soup, beef soup and wheat starch noodle, as well as a few braised items including tofu, chicken pieces and chicken feet.
Our choice here was the oil spill noodles, which arrived in a nicely sized bowl and contained obviously fresh wide noodles with a great chew, bok choy and bean sprouts, all enveloped in a garlic sauce that didn’t let you forget that it was garlic. The long noodles were hard to eat because of our chopstick skills (or lack thereof), but the effort was worth it, even if we did end up with some oil on our shirts.
Oil spill noodles: freshly made noodles, bean sprouts and bok choy in a flavorful garlic sauce. Messy, but worth it.
This is most assuredly a place we plan on returning to again and again, though we may try the Plano location next just for the easier parking, but if you’re at this location you might try to save room for some of the ice cream shops that are in this center as well. Take advantage of your parking success.
2528 Old Denton Drive, Suite 310 (Carrollton) and 111 Spring Creek Parkway, No. 130 (Plano); 11:30 a.m. - 2 a.m.; closed Tuesday