If you’re from Manchester you may have heard of Tampopo, a group of restaurants that celebrates Pan-Asian cuisine and the flavours of South East Asia.
Interestingly, Tampopo is also the name of a 1985 ‘ramen western’ film about the joys of Japanese food, but for today’s blog post I am going to be focusing on the restaurant Tampopo and their new menu (although if you’re curious, you can read about the film here.)
Tampopo is one of my favourites because a) I love the name, it’s impossible to say it without smiling, b) it has an inviting atmosphere that lends itself to quick bites as well as sociable meals with groups, and c) because the menu is affordable and always evolving.
With restaurants in three locations around Manchester; Albert Square, Corn Exchange and the Trafford Centre, Tampopo has captured the hearts of the Mancunians everywhere. As the restaurant are always striving to improve their menu, they regularly change things up and a few weeks ago I was kindly invited to try out the new dishes and review the experience.
We had a sharing platter which contained Fresh Spring Rolls, Sticky Wings, Pork Dumplings, Coconut Prawns, Satay Chicken and Corn Fritters. I enjoyed the pork dumplings so much that I didn’t even realise I had eaten both mine and Liz’s…Ellie had the veggie platter which looked just as appetising so I would love to try that next time I’m there.
For our mains, I had Singaporean Curry which is described as a ‘Creamy yellow curry with coconut milk, turmeric, curry leaves, galangal, sweet potato, tamarind and cherry tomatoes’ with added chicken and Liz had the Pad Krapow which is an ‘Asian Basil in a fiery oyster sauce with fine beans, red chillies and red peppers’ with chicken.
As someone who isn’t very good with spice, the Singaporean Curry was perfect for me. It was packed full of flavour and not bland at all like some mild curries can be. Liz enjoyed her Pad Krapow but it was incredibly spicy and she struggled to eat it all due to the heat. Both dishes also came with a large side of rice or noodles.
For dessert, I had a Roti Pancake and the girls opted for a cocktail each. The pancake was a delicious and drizzled with condensed milk, cinnamon sugar and served with cinnamon ice cream. As a complete cinnamon addict, I loved this dessert!
I was stuffed and content after all the food. Before we left, we had a chat with the Manager Sarah, who told us about how the chefs came to final decisions about the new menu, including dialling down on the spice (I wondered how spicy was must have been before, were they dragons?!) and adding more unique flavours. It was clear that the whole team were passionate about getting the food absolutely right.
Overall Tampopo is a great restaurant if you’re looking for a quick and tasty meal. They do lots of vegetarian and gluten free options, as well as catering for meat lovers. You must try the cocktails or mock-tails too!
Thanks for reading my review, what are your favourite South East Asian dishes?