PUBLISHED January 1st, 2021 05:00 am
From its name alone, it would be easy to mistake alittle tashi for a Japanese restaurant, but the name actually means meaning ‘blessings’ and ‘welcome’ in Tibetan. One of Jalan Besar‘s lesser-known dining gems, this restaurant specialises in making modern Asian comfort food with less expensive ingredients.
Expect an unusual medley of sweetbreads, offals, and parfaits with eclectic Asian flavours here, dished up in their brightly decorated dining room. Take the Chicken Liver Parfait (S$18), one of their signature dishes and a striking example of their creative use of cheaper ingredients. This traditional parfait is served with almond sugee cake and sits in a small pool of mulled wine. The strong flavours of the cold parfait meld well with the slightly sweet sugee and the grated black sesame that tops it, with the mulled wine adding heady complexity.
Sweetbreads – aka the throats or pancreas of calves – tend to induce squeamish thoughts, but it’s worth stepping out of your comfort zone for the Spice Glazed Veal Sweetbread (S$20). alittle tashi serves their sweetbread dipped in flour and fried, then glazed with a veal spice jus and heaped on organic aged toast. The result is a tender, chewy meat pleasantly reminiscent of sweet and sour pork. Topped with kailan dehydrated to a crisp and fried in chaat masala, this dish is a fun play of textures.
For a more veggie-forward dish, opt for the Grilled Bamboo Shoots (S$14). Forget the fermented, dried bamboo shoots that you find in your ramen bowl – served fresh, these bamboo shoots pack a crunch and slight sweetness. They come bathed in a tangy, light pink sauce made with lime, red onion, and coconut milk, then topped with crunchy legumes sprouted in-house. It’s a light dish that pairs well with sake, of which alittle tashi has a small selection as well.
Looking for more exotic flavours? How about the Adobo Glazed Pork Belly (S$32) with yellow lentil curry? Drawing from the head chef’s own Filipino roots, this dish features pork glazed with a garlicky soy sauce with sweet ginger overtones. Meanwhile, the lentil curry borrows from Indian cuisine with a strong emphasis on spices that fill the nose deliciously. Creamy and smooth, the mashed lentils are serious comfort food.
The fluffy, Crispy Potato (S$6) wedges are a reliable classic, but for a more unusual side, we recommend the Golden Turmeric Mushrooms (S$15). These fried mushrooms are delightfully meaty and juicy, and come packing a punch with Szechuan pepper, turmeric powder, and mustard seeds. You can dip these in the sauce from the Grilled Bamboo Shoots – it’s a great combination.
Once you’re done feasting, head to the back of the restaurant to find an intimately lit alcove – perfect for chilling out with drinks and bar bites. alittle tashi’s cocktail menu is small for now, but their signature Just Chillin’ (S$15) creation is worth a try. Made with lime, basil seeds, soda, and rum, this is a tangy, refreshing drink, with a spicy kick from green chilli. We love how the basil seeds add texture to the tipple, similarly to chia seeds.
We ended our meal with alittle tashi’s signature popovers. These fried pastries are generally served with cream and fresh fruits, but here, they’re served with salted caramel and whipped cream. Eggy on the inside with a thin, crunchy crust, this dessert intriguingly recalls French toast. These popovers are a staple of their weekend brunch, which they’re holding all of December – you’ll be able to get unlimited popovers with orange custard, lemongrass custard, and butter with smoked salt, as well as a la carte brunch items.
alittle tashi is located at 39 Tyrwhitt Road, Singapore 207538, p. +65 9757 3680. Open Tues-Fri 5pm – 11pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-3pm and 5pm-11pm. Closed Mon. Weekend Popover Ala Carte Brunch Buffet available on Sat & Sun from 12pm to 3.30pm.