Steaming, spicy, seductive plates of food in a homely, inviting environment - Chorlton's budding dinner option gets almost everything right.
With rave reviews arriving from all angles you could forgive sibling team Nanny and Neti for being a whole lot less humble, but the likeable chef and front of house duo are nothing but bubbling with enthusiasm and seem almost a little surprised by their success.
Our midweek, early evening visit finds the cosy one-room restaurant alive with expectant mouths to feed. Consider the concept nailed with a selection of enticing, shareable South Asian delicacies served alongside rotating craft beers in a neat, casual setting. Most though are here for the Momos.
To the uninitiated, Nepal’s most famous export – save perhaps for the Yeti himself – are the addictive filled dumplings which have helped put The Little Yeti on the map.
A couple of years honing his momo game in Nepalese capital Kathmandu appears time well spent for chef Nanny, but he admits perfecting the dipping sauce was “a bit of a journey.” Well however it was arrived upon, the deep smoky almost harissa-like result, with heat drawn from Szechuan pepper, provides the perfect drench for those indulgent, addictive parcels. They are, of course, the standout on a reassuringly concise menu which has enough to tempt you back for further visits but doesn’t require too much deliberation either.
The world loves a dumpling, there are iterations in lands all over the globe. Fried or steamed, meat or veg, there’s something about gobbling bite-size doughy parcels which we all seem to have in common. After opting for buffalo and pork I can confirm we will be back to try the rest (wouldn’t want to get momo fomo).
Soon Paneer Shashlik lands dramatically in all it’s seething glory, a special which surely must find a regular spot in the tandoor section of the menu. Prodigious, fleshy chunks of homemade cheese portioned out amongst silky stir fried vegetables – it’s about as irresistible as meat-free food can be.
From the rotis we choose the Lamb Chili Wrap which for me is somewhat middle of the road. Bread gets full marks, we plough through a separate basket of the stuff, but the meat could be more tender and its sauce feels over salted – a little more work required here.
The Alu Chop makes for another winner though, crisp mashed potato fritters fried in a chickpea batter are lightly spiced with earthy fragrance and served with cooling yoghurt dip, pleasingly simple but brilliantly executed. It’s another dish that could easily see you order seconds, undoubtedly the tapas-style servings suit group dining, or at the very least greedy diners.
Arrival with an appetite is advisable. Dessert promises more momos filled with chocolate, it would be inexcusable to miss them. Overall there is perhaps slight room for improvement, but even less room for more diners. Chorlton clearly loves its Little Yeti and I reckon you will too.
The Little Yeti
495 Barlow Moor Rd, Chorlton, Manchester M21 8AG
0161 478 4946