Cauliflower Tempura at Fathom, you’re quite the dish. How do you feel about your wildly popular transformation from plain, old veggie to fried side perfection?
Can I be honest with you? I was feeling a little past my prime when Fathom Chef Mike Stollenwerk (of Little Fish and Fish) decided to revive me before I hit the compost heap. All it took was a quick batter dip and deep fry to serve me as a snack to his hungry troops. The next thing I knew, I was a regular feature on their happy hour menu.
Extraordinary. What’s particularly special about your tempura batter?
Well, for starters, we’re completely vegan and gluten-free. Stollenwerk’s precise ratio of rice flour and club soda gives me an airy breading. It’s the carbonation that keeps me light and crispy! I mean can you believe it? Me, a vitamin-packed veggie, rolling around with soda pop! But seriously, I’m delish.
Speaking of rolling around, we’re told you’re also seeing someone new these days? Is there truth to the rumor?
Stop it, you’re making me blush. Yes, I have been seen taking a dip with Stollenwerk’s Chile Mayo—a spicy concoction made with lime juice and sambal, an Asian chili-based soy sauce. He’s a wonderful, bold compliment to my more mild flavor.
As Fathom’s top selling side, what would you pair yourself with?
Fathom’s raw bar is a great, fresh start to any meal and I’d get along nicely with the Blue Bay Mussels with coconut, panang curry and lemongrass or the more traditional Peekytoe Crab Cake Sandwich with sweet pepper relish and shredded lettuce. On second thought, order a pint off Fathom’s extensive beer list and have me as your main. Ask Chile Mayo, I’m that good.
Fathom Seafood House, 200 E. Girard Ave. 267.761.9343. fathomphilly.com
Dinner with Luke Palladino