ALittle Tashi is a little pretentious
It wasn't love at first sight for me when I walked into ALittle Tashi.
The doorway into this new restaurant on Tyrwhitt Road is discreet and almost hidden (except for a gigantic balloon).
It makes you feel as if it is trying to keep people out.
Inside, it is dark and almost deliberately sparse.
Then you walk down the length of the restaurant, past the bar (called The Laundry) into an area with stadium seats that looks into an LED-light outline of hung laundry. You can sit for drinks, but skip the Mojito with Sugar Cane Sticks ($15).
The restaurant says the display is an ode to its neighbours.
Ordering your food is done canteen-style: Pick what you want from the menu and order at the service counter.
It does have its upside: You save on the 10 per cent service charge; it's interactive; and the food is good enough to warrant the effort. While I prefer substance over pretension, there were dishes that thrilled.
My best pick was the chargrilled Pork Skewers ($16), which comes with pineapple sauce.
This is a simple dish that cannot go wrong: The meat is well-seasoned and tender, and lovely with the sauce.
Also tasty was the Blood Cockles ($14). The chilli jam gave it an addictive sweetness that complimented the fish sauce caramel.
The best part, though, was its tiny bits of fried pork lard. Lard really wakes a dish up with that additional crunch and depth.
The Roasted Beets ($8) was simple yet effective.
The beets were sweet with a hit of spice from the garlic bits. It may seem like a small portion when it arrives at the table but you can fill up just eating it.
From the Laundry Room, I picked the baked Mozzarella ($10), which comes with sprinkled furikake.
For me, there is nothing new but you cannot really go wrong with melted cheese. It is also an inexpensive item to order for your Instagram feed.
I was excited to try the Hot Salty Soya Milk ($9) but it was a bit of a letdown.
This Taiwanese delicacy comes with different toppings and flavours but the common link is its full-flavoured kick.
This version comes with pickled radish, Szechuan chilli oil, and spring onion - and yet, it was so bland and lifeless.
39 Tyrwhitt Road
Opens Tuesdays to Sundays 6pm to midnight
Tel: 9757 -3680