Earlier this week, I went along to the Vegan Street Food VIP Tasting Night at Tampopo restaurant in The Corn Exchange, Manchester. I had heard brilliant things about this place from friends so I was keen to test out their food for myself. Tampopo is an authentic Pan Asian restaurant with flavours from all over this area of the world, stretching from India to Indonesia. After five months travelling around South East Asia during the summer of 2014 myself, I love indulging in this cuisine.
The restaurant was showcasing the work of Jackie Kearney who is both a Master chef 2011 finalist AND a British street food award 2012 finalist, and owner of The Hungry Gecko. We were to taste recipes from her new book ‘Vegan Street Food’. Both ‘street food’ and ‘vegan food’ are quite trendy concepts at the moment but never have I tried these together.
Welcomed to a Lychee cocktail we sat down in this cosy and very warm and welcoming restaurant. The place had a friendly buzz to it and the brightly coloured decor subtly hinted at the Pan Asian nature of the restaurant. Firstly we were presented with a palette cleanser style nibble before being served an assortment of different canapé style dishes from Jackie’s menu. I absolutely loved the rice ball that you can see below (I am sure there is a more elegant word to describe this than ‘Rice Ball’). It had a strong and deliciously fragrant coconut taste so I can only assume it was made using coconut milk – a common ingredient in Pan Asian food. It was very yummy.
Not only was the food beautifully presented but each dish we tasted had a distinct and potent flavour to it. If anyone ever needed an argument against vegan food being bland, this really would be it. I didn’t expect the dishes to contain so many flavours and textures. If I hadn’t had known that the evening was based purely on vegan food there is no way I would have guessed.