Little Soi in Anna Nagar puts the spotlight on comfort Chinese. Also, look out for their satay bar and ramen bowls!

We recommend you try the Sichuan Mala Noodles, which was a table favourite on our visit

Sonali Shenoy Published :  26th November 2021 07:00 AM   |   Published :   |  26th November 2021 07:00 AM

Interiors at Little Soi

Chinese restaurants in Anna Nagar that have been a mainstay for years now, like The Cascade and Kim Ling — just got some competition. Little Soi, which opened its doors on Second Avenue, promises an elaborate menu, replete with comfort Chinese, a satay bar and ramen bowls. And its striking interiors, starting with an art installation of dim sum baskets at the entrance, and inside, a flamboyant statement wall of a merlion which appears to be driving a tuk-tuk — claim our attention with equal gusto. 


This handpainted Merlion is driving a tuk-tuk followed by a trail of what appears to be fresh ingredients all set to stir fry!


Bokchoy and burnt garlic dumpling


Then and now
This 60-seater restaurant comes two years after the first Little Soi was opened by Pricol Gourmet in Kochi, back in 2019. Over chilled glasses of thick Milo, partner Nikesh Lamba says that following its success there, “The plan is to establish a presence in Chennai now and then move on to tier 2 and 3 cities.” Although, if you’re wondering why the name sounds familiar, even though it just opened, it’s likely that you’re confusing Little Soi with its more upmarket cousin, Soy Soi in Kotturpuram (also under Pricol).


Xinjiang crispy lamb


Sichuan mala noodles


Sichuan stories 
Brand chef Peter Tseng tells us that regulars will see some similarities on the menus, as steaming dumplings of braised Baby Bokchoy with Burnt Garlic and later, a delicate flavour pairing of Chicken and Basil make their way to our table. “But here, the focus is on  ‘Chinese’ fare,” he says, which is not the focus in the largely pan-Asian Soy Soi. We dive into platters of crisp Xinjiang Lamb strips, tossed with cumin, sesame and dried red chilli and cubes of Chongqing Chicken, popping with flavour from imported Schezwan peppercorns and Sichuan oil. The real knock-your-socks-off dish, however, is a bowl of Sichuan Mala Noodles. Expect wheat noodles, topped with minced chicken and a spicy mala chilli oil, with elements like bokchoy, scallions and toasted peanuts to finish. Warm and hearty — we can’t wait to go back and order this one all over again. 


Milo panna cotta

Dessert brings us full circle with another Milo creation; this time a silken chocolate-y Milo Panna Cotta, served with a tart berry compote and sweet pandan milk. 

Meal for two: INR 1,200.