[Manchester, city centre] Little Yang Sing

We’ve been looking for a new Cantonese place in the city centre after falling out of love with a place just on the outskirts of the centre. Tried a couple of the well known names and came away distinctly unthrilled. I’ve been to the Little YS for lunch a couple of times and thought it worth a try for dinner. Proved to be a good bet with my companion in life (who is not the biggest fan of Chinese food) liking it and reckoning it better than the original place we used to go to.

We shared some dim sum to start. Har kau seemed to me to be a good version of the prawn dumpling – tasty filling wrapped in a not overly thick “wrapper”. What were described as Shanghai style mini buns were more dumpling than bao bun (which is what we’d expected) but had a lightly flavoured beef filling. Vegetable spring rolls provided a bit of crunch and had a decent flavour of star anise. We liked the soy and ginger dipping sauce – the ginger giving it a little background heat.

My original main course order was for pork in “Cantonese sauce” but the server advised their version was very sweet and not to everyone’s taste. That would include me. So I changed to another pork dish coming with garlic and a mildly spicy sauce. The spice came from the inclusion of dried chillis (as I’m used to in Sichuan dishes) but it was very restrained in its use. I liked this, particularly with a crunch coming from lightly cooked Chinese cabbage and water chestnuts.

My companion often becomes vegetarian in Asian restaurants and spotted what is probably an entirely untraditional dish of kungpo vegetables. There’s a good mix of veg – cabbage, water chestnuts, carrot, baby sweetcorn, cashews, etc. And a lot of chilli! We both reckoned the sauce was a good interpretation of a Sichuan gong bao – soy coming through but helped along with a little background twang from vinegar and a hint of sweetness.

Knowing that quite a number of restaurants in Chinatown can be very manky, we now check out the official food hygiene ratings on the “scores on the doors” website before going anywhere. Truth be told, that does restrict your choice a fair bit – but better a restricted choice than take a risk with your well being. Even then, if I’m thinking of coming back, I always make a point of using the toilets – I reckon if a place has manky toilets, then it’s probably even worse in the areas customers don’t get to see – like the kitchen. No worries with the Little Yang Sing, the restaurant space is modern with well spaced tables, good service – and very clean bogs.


Evening John

Loving the bogs review !
Perhaps you should do a Manchester top 10 bogs post ?
True story, I once stayed in the number 1 and number 2 ( you couldn’t make it up ) hotels voted ( as you do ) as having the best ‘rest rooms’ in the USA. By coincidence, obviously !

We’re literally just back from Sam’s Chop House which probably has the best restaurant bogs in the city centre. In keeping with the theme, all very Victorian - right down to having one of those old high level cisterns, where you have to pull the chain. Driers are the useless type where you’re better off drying on your hands on your jacket.

Unfortunately, the absolute best bogs in the centre were not originally a restaurant. They are (or used to be) in what was the Reform Club - back in the day, a gentleman’s club. Grandad Harters was a member apparently - but then Grandad Harters had a few quid and mixed with the city’s other top business people. And, no, I do not have Grandad Harters cash - the story goes that his three sons drank it. I used to go to meetings held at the Club back in the 1960/70s and the bogs were architectually things of joy. And they had a dedicated flunkey even then who kept them clean and, probably, could sort you out with everything that a gentleman might need for an evening in the city. When it closed as a club, it was a restaurant for a briefish period. Apparently now reopened as a bar and restaurant, almost inevitably run by the Living Ventures Group.

surely a visit and bogs update is in order ?!