Tampopo supper club is a great way to spend the evening with a good friend. The food is authentic, with good quality ingredients that for me, take me back to parts of Asia that hold some beautiful memories. Tonight was Thai supper club!
The supper club works in a simple way. Get online (book through Eventbrite.co.uk) and book yourself a place at any of the Tampopo restaurants. I have two to choose from in central Manchester, and tonight’s destination was the lovely Albert Square.
At a cost of £22 per person, the evening includes a 5-course meal with 1 drink included, which is a fair price to pay for the amount that arrives on your table. The courses aren’t large, but certainly a good enough size for 5 to fill you up nicely, or in my case tonight, it has left me feeling like a Christmas turkey…stuffed!
There’s 2 different time slots for each restaurant, the earlier being around 6pm and the latter at 8pm. This differs slightly at each branch.
Accompanied by legendary friend Jack (mate since being little nippers), booked in for the 8pm slot. This led me to eat far more than I needed to prior to leaving work. Greedy bastard.
Being a crazy runner with a marathon coming up this weekend and next, I am eating far too regularly for a human, but Tampopo’s 5-course supper club does not require a warm-up snack, let me tell you! I did slightly regret the falafel wrap I ate at 5.15 and the oat bar I had on my way to Manchester! Never the less, I’m a trooper and a food lover. The mountain of food would not be left unconquered!
Tampopo restaurants are always a cosy affair. The Albert Square branch has long tables so groups will sit together rather than on individual tables. This is something I love as it encourages strangers to talk and creates a more casual, positive vibe in any eatery. It also fits well for an Asian restaurant because this is exactly how many food joints are in the Far East, due to both their food-sharing culture and the fact that everywhere is so jam packed with people.
The fritters themselves were decent, nothing unbelievable, but quite tasty, with a nice crunch, but the start of the site here was the Thai salad and the accompanying dipping sauce. Beautifully fresh green leaves with juicy cherry tomatoes and delicately thin slices of red onion. The dip tasted like a mixture of honey, lime, crushed peanuts, chilli and I’m sure 1 or 2 other bits. It had what I would describe as a perfect amount of heat and ‘zing’. That’s right…zing! That delightful after tingle OK your lips after spice that leaves your mouth doing a little dance.
If the Thai salad got my lips tingling, this soup got them up on their feet doing a Mexican wave! As it says on the tin (not literally), Tom Yum is a hot and Sour soup and is very much both of those things in abundance. I added some palm sugar for a little sweetness to balance it out but it was all too much for the couple sat to my right, pushing their chilli boundaries a little too far. Personally, I found it to be very refreshing. Certainly, a dish that clears the lungs!
“I feel like it’s cured me of a cold that I didn’t even have.”
Pad Thai, the good old faithful. Thailand’s national dish and one that I have consumed on many a street in that gorgeous country. This is one of the reasons why I never actually order it in England, I find it never quite lives up to my expectations. The pad thai at Tampopo was good. Still, there is something I can’t put my finger on that is needed in that recipe to take me back to my travels there. But never the less, a tasty dish to tuck into.
Red Thai curry never fails for me. The creaminess of the coconut, the beautiful aubergine along with a whole host of other veg…if you ever see me eating Thai curry of any variety, I will be smiling. I absolutely love Thai curry!
By the time my duck turned up, I was well and truly feeling the effects of eating too much earlier in the day. My fault, certainly not the fault of Tampopo as they brought me another tasty dish to tuck into, and tuck in I did! Tamarind duck is not something I would ever pick off a menu but it was a nice tasting dish. Nothing too overpowering or spicy, just a pleasant subtle taste that I think was one to cater for a broad set of taste buds.
“Ah Mr Sorbet, you have been sent to sooth my very full tum. You little legend!”
Everybody knows that no matter how full you may be, there’s always room for some nice soothing sorbet! Especially when it is mango flavoured. I absolutely love mango and the sorbet was a delicious end to a really good evening.
I would recommend the supper club without a second thought. It is a great atmosphere and an awesome sharing experience. I find it is the perfect midweek break to meet up with a good friend and have a good old catch up without having to think about what food you want that evening. Just sit back and have 5 dishes placed in front of you, then quite simply…tuck in!
Supper clubs are a great idea not only for restaurants to encourage a full house on an otherwise less busy time of the week, but they are also great for the customer as you get to try many different foods in one sitting that you may otherwise never order from the menu. Everyone’s a winner!
Anybody else enjoying a supper club somewhere in the UK? It would be great to hear your comments and I am always looking out for more to add to my list of places to try!