Tampopo Vegan Taste Tour
January has passed and with it most of our resolutions, however, Tampopo is launching their new Vegan menu and extending the January and calling it “Veguanary”
I have to admit that I am not vegan or vegetarian, but I enjoy both cuisines and I really enjoyed last year when I did Vegetarian January, nowadays I can see more and more vegetarian and vegan dishes in the menu of the restaurants and loads of cool and quirky cafés and restaurants that are totally vegan.
Tampopo is a Pan-Asian restaurant with three locations in Manchester and it brings you the authentic flavours of Asia, mixing different cuisines from Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Japan and other countries. You can identify the taste and the aromas of the food if you have been travelling around Asia, but even if you have not been you will see the difference compared with other places.
It is the second time that we have been in Tampopo and after holidaying in Thailand last year this is one of the places that took me back there with the food.
This time it was for a full Vegan Menu, 5 courses full of taste, aromas and flavors that make you feel like you are eating at an Asian delicatessen. The menu was composed by:
Malaysian Spicy Rebus Tofu
Lotus Salad & Jackfruit Rendang
Hot & Sour Stir Fry Tofu and Sweet Potatoes Katsu Curry
Banana Fritters & Mango Sorbet
The starter was light, with a nice taste to a glazed soy sauce with sesame seed, served with a cucumber salad. The tofu was well cooked, a good colour on the outside and soft in the middle, not chewy and not hard, which made this place the perfect combination to start a great menu.
MALAYSIAN SPICY REBUS TOFU
The second dish was a spicy rebus with noodles, tofu and peanuts. It was tasty and very spice but with the contrast of the peanuts. It did not have much tofu in it but I really enjoyed the contrast with the crunchy peanuts and the noodles. For me as a small dish it worked well, If I had to have a full bowl of it, probably I wouldn’t finish it because the spices get more intense the further down the bowl you eat, but highly enjoyable and full or flavor.
LOTUS SALAD & JACKFRUIT RENDANG
The salad was ok, Liam loved it, it reminded him of the Papaya Salad you get in Thailand. It had a light flavor and with fried tofu on top that I wouldn’t add next time, also I would take off the big chunks of chilli.
On the other side, the Jackfruit Rendang was the best dish of the night! I haven’t tried rendang before and it was amazing, I will order again and again. It was full of flavor, sweet and a bit spicy with tastes of garlic, onion and lemongrass. If you eat this dish blindfolded, you won’t notice that it does not have any meat, and because of the amazing flavours at no point did we crave meat in any of the dishes.
HOT & SOUR STIR FRY TOFU, AND SWEET POTATOES KATSU CURRY
Now for anyone who loves noodle dishes and katsu curry this dish is a winner. The hot and sour tofu had great colour and was soft inside, the taste was amazing, it was cooked with a mixture of vegetables that were also soft, combined to spices and sweet sauce, finished with crunchy peanuts all worked together really well.
The Sweet potato Katsu curry was incredible, the sweet potato cake was crispy and golden, but super soft inside and it just melted in your mouth. The katsu sauce combined the texture of the crispy sweet potato and the sticky rice into a mouthful or pure pleasure.
BANANA FRITTERS & MANGO SORBET
Now Liam was a bit hesitant about this as a dessert, because he hates bananas. The banana was coated in a golden, crispy/nutty coating and the mango sorbet looked like a miniature golden orb on the plate. Reluctantly Liam tried the banana fritter, accompanied with the mango sorbet and instantly he said: “it’s really crunchy and soft, and doesn’t taste like a banana”.
The banana was gorgeously warm and melted the sorbet in your mouth, it was crunchy, nutty and sweet, all the makings of a perfect dessert. I might add Liam finished all of his dessert so it must be good for someone who hates bananas. I recommend anyone try it with the sorbet as vegans can’t have dairy ice cream, but it complements the dessert so well, again the taste transports you to the tropical islands of Asia.