Tuesday, 8 April 2014


Took a little trip up to Manchester yesterday to see Justin Timberlake in concert yesterday (who was a-maz-ing by the way!) and took the opportunity to visit one of our favourite restaurants in the area, Tampopo.

We visited the branch situated in the Corn Exchange, Manchester. Being a stones throw away from the arena and ideal for concert goers, Tampopo offers fresh East Asian dishes which in their own word's are served "free from gimmickary"

Heading down the stairs to be greeted by our server we are taken past the open kitchen area to our table and were greeted with the menu. On your table, a map of East Asian which points out the country of origin of each of the menus starters and mains and a brief description of the kind of flavors the region offers. A nice touch to help you decide which countries cuisine would be best suited for you especially as, like myself, you may of not tried the likes of Vietnam, Malaysia or Korea food. 

Whilst I enjoyed a large bottle of lager, Jon ordered some green tea which as you can see if made from fresh mint leaves so you know your getting the real deal. To continue the Eastern Asian adventure you can also order a range of cocktails or hot drinks from around the region, the "Lemongrass Mule" sounding particularly delightful.


Being a veggie, Jon ordered the Thai "Tod Man Khao Pod" or corn fritters to the non Thai speaking amongst us which came with a lovely peanut dipping sauce. The fritters were nice and crisp and complemented the sauce delightfully.

I enjoyed the Korean Bulgogi - delicious sesame seed coated strips of beef which were cooked perfectly and melted in the mouth along with some sweet Kimchi all wrapped up it a gem lettuce leaf. I could of eaten a big plate of this as a main it was that tasty.

All the starters sounded delish - the Thai Coconut Prawns especially. A party next too us took advantage of the sharing platter which gave a taster of many of the starters and it looked massive! Would defiantly suggest it as a choice if you come with bunch of indecisive friends.

 For your mains there are a wide range of dishes to choose from ranging from stir fried noodles,stews,curries or large soup dishes. For a lover of Asian food it was hard for me to decide but I finally settled on the Thai Pad Krapow - a stir fry chicken dish served with nice big pieces of chili and red pepper. There was just enough sauce to nicely coat all the vegetables and chicken (there is nothing worse than a stir fry swimming in sauce!). The jasmine rice was nice and sticky and soaked up all the flavours of the dish allowing for easy chopstick action to occur.
Jon was unsure what to choose too but settled on his initial choice of vegetarian Japanese Raman. The huge bowl of noodles in a deep and flavoursome soy broth was defiantly the right choice and if bellies would of permitted it we both would of had no problem in devouring the lot.

Time and our full bellies meant we didn't sample the desserts however they all looked appetising - in particular the Vietnamese "Caramen Chuoi Ran" - fried banana with a caramel sauce and cinnamon ice cream. Sounds divine but unfortunately this time we had to pass!

I'm so glad that we discovered this place - it has such a relaxed atmosphere compared to the hussle and bustle of the nearby printworks and with an offer on at the time of writing of £9.95 for a main and accompaniment - fabulous value for money.

If your lucky enough to be going to see one of your idols in the arena or just so happen to find yourself in Manchester - give Tampopo a look if your looking for a different take on classic East Asian classics!

Check out their website for more information and for other locations around the UK.
Square Meal

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