Tampopo Trafford Centre – Thai Taste Tour

I’ve never been to Thailand but it’s definitely on my bucket list. 

Having only just started getting myself acquainted with the food of the country in the last year, it’s safe to say that I have a lot to learn. So when I was invited to Tampopo Trafford Centre to try out their Thai Taste Tour Supper Club, I couldn’t say no.

Tampopo has 4 branches and a kiosk in Manchester. The Trafford Centre is their largest. The chain is inspired by East Asian cuisines from Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

Tampopo Trafford Centre - decor

Topher and I arrived just after 8 in the evening and it’s quite obvious that one of us was pretty tired!

Tampopo Trafford Centre - diane

Tampopo Trafford Centre - Topher

However he soon perked up when we were served some prawn crackers to munch on while we decided what to drink. Tasty!

Tampopo Trafford Centre - prawn crackers

Thai Taste Tour Supper Club

We both went with mocktails – Pink Lemonade for me and a Virgin Mojito for Topher. We tasted both and recommend them if you’re looking for something refreshing to go with your meal!

Tampopo Trafford Centre - mocktails

Our server began by taking us through the main ingredients that you tend to find in a lot of Thai dishes. Her knowledge was incredible and she seemed super passionate about what she was sharing with us.

Tampopo Trafford Centre - ingredients

Our first course was the Corn fritters and Thai salad. I really like corn fritters so was pleased with the dish. Both were delicious and came with a kick!

Tampopo Trafford Centre - corn fritters & thai salad

Next was the Tom Yam Soup. We both had mixed feelings on this. I loved the taste but it was a bit too spicy for me, while Topher loved the spice but wasn’t a fan of the taste. So I guess it just depends on personal preference.

Tampopo Trafford Centre - tom yam soup

The Pad Thai was next. This was by far my favourite dish of the night. I could have eaten an entire bowl of this stuff. Really craving it right now actually! It was mild and full of flavour and just incredibly moreish. Both of us hoovered these down!

Tampopo Trafford Centre - pad thai

The final savoury dish was Hot and Sour Stir Fry & Red Curry Veg served with rice. Both of us loved the taste of this but due to my wimpy taste buds, it completely blew my head off. Topher was perfectly happy though. If you’re a fan of spicy dishes, I definitely recommend this.

Tampopo Trafford Centre - hot and sour stri fry & red curry veg

The final dish was a mango sorbet which was a welcome end to the meal. My tongue needed cooling down! It was perfect.

Tampopo Trafford Centre - mango sorbet

Overall I’m so glad we tried this Taste Tour, it was a great insight into Thai food and I’m so happy to have discovered Pad Thai.

In between courses, Topher and I perused the menu and we will definitely be back to one of the Tampopo restaurants. I lost count of the amount of amazing dishes I want to try. Plus, the atmosphere was so nice and the staff were incredibly friendly and knowledgable.

Tampopo Trafford Centre - mural

Thanks for having us Tampopo! We’ll be back!

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Colour Walk Manchester

I’ve always been a fan of colour. A small pleasure I had as a teen was wearing as many colours at once as possible to upset my parents who prefer things to “match”. So earlier this year when I found out about a Facebook group called In Colourful Company, I had to join it.

It’s a group of colour hunters who share their love of anything bright and lovely. One of the best bits of the community is their organised meets around the country to go on “colour walks” which is essentially pretty street art hunting. It’s right up my street so when they came to Manchester I had to go!

It wasn’t hard for everyone to meet at Piccadilly station – we just had to look for the rainbow balloons and the hoards of people dressed brightly.

Colour Walk Manchester - piccadilly

Once everyone arrived, we were off!

Colour Walk Manchester - stage and radio

Colour Walk Manchester - ethnic

Colour Walk Manchester - fox

Colour Walk Manchester - old couple

Did anyone else used to watch Danger Mouse as kids? I bloody loved it!

Colour Walk Manchester - danger mouse

We went past a communal garden project so I had to get a couple of snaps of these beauties!

Colour Walk Manchester - dahlia

Colour Walk Manchester - flower

Colour Walk Manchester - miserable bastards

Colour Walk Manchester - mary berry

Colour Walk Manchester - skulls

Colour Walk Manchester - twitter twat

Colour Walk Manchester - bee

Colour Walk Manchester - hope

I loved that there was a nice mix of sprayed art and stencilled posters dotted about. Lots that made me chuckle!

Colour Walk Manchester - shutters

Colour Walk Manchester - yellow

Does anyone else get annoyed when people tag on top of pretty street art? Tagging just ruins it.

Colour Walk Manchester - bear hat

Colour Walk Manchester - colour hunters

I’ve already instagrammed this one below as I thought my freelancer and artist friends would find it amusing!

Colour Walk Manchester - artist wanted

Colour Walk Manchester - girls

I hadn’t been able to get a close look at these murals since they were done in Stevenson Square so it was great to finally get the opportunity – and some photos!

Colour Walk Manchester - stevenson sq

Colour Walk Manchester - peace

Thanks to Nicola for taking this pic of me! I rarely get to take photos of myself these days since I’m always the one behind the camera. How awesome is my red coat btw? It was only £35 at New Look and is proper coat material. It comes in different colours too.

Colour Walk Manchester - i heart mcr

Colour Walk Manchester - stevenson square

It wouldn’t be a Manchester walk without a visit to the Vimto statue!

Colour Walk Manchester - vimto

Colour Walk Manchester - magnet

Colour Walk Manchester - mural

Colour Walk Manchester - afflecks

After all that walking, loads of us were starving so we finally headed to our final stop, Font just off of Oxford Road.

Colour Walk Manchester - outside font

Font

It’s been years since I went to Font which is funny as I practically lived there as a student. Who could say no to £2 cocktails? And I can’t believe it but you still can get £2 cocktails! Nice to see that inflation hasn’t reached everything.

I had a unicorn juice which was very instagrammable though maybe not the tastiest thing on the menu. The stuff at the bottom was delicious though.

Colour Walk Manchester - unicorn juice

And for food I had short rib poutine fries. Delicious and just what I needed after all the walking

Colour Walk Manchester - font poutine

Overall it was an amazing day and I can’t wait to do another one. Highly recommended!

If you want to see more street art, check out my Manchester Street Art Post and my Nottingham one.

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Manchester Ideal Home Show and Eat & Drink Festival 2017

It’s that time of year again! Topher and I had a great time at the Ideal Home Show last year so when I was offered a free ticket to go again this year I said yes straight away. Since Topher works during the week at a school now, I brought along Emma.

Eat & Drink Festival - chair

There was an eat and drink section of the show last year but now they’ve gone all out and given it an official festival right alongside the home show. Being a foodie, this was definitely the bit I was looking forward to the most!

Eat & Drink Festival - entrance

There were so many amazing stalls and we had such a good time trying samples and storing away cards for a later date. I may have also purchased some flavoured tequila! It was too much to resist. Otherwise I was very well behaved with my purse. I do have a honeymoon to save for after all.

Eat & Drink Festival - decor

It wasn’t too hard to find the rum…

Eat & Drink Festival - rum ship

Eat & Drink Festival - macaron

How cool is this little drinks van? I wish we could have had something like this for our wedding!

Eat & Drink Festival - prosecco van

Eat & Drink Festival - fudge

How awesome is this fudge? So pretty!

Eat & Drink Festival - fudge closeup

And this Pimm’s teapot was amazing. I wish I had one of these in my garden.

eat & drink festival - pimms teapot

There was loads going on from workshops, to live demonstrations and we walked away with so many ideas.

Eat & Drink Festival - stage

Eat & Drink Festival - stalls

Then it was over to the Ideal Home Show section.

Eat & Drink Festival - ideal home show

My favourite bit definitely had to be the little room set ups they had. I don’t even have kids but I want this room below. The wallpaper is gorgeous.

Eat & Drink Festival - kids room

This room really makes me happy but I now want to go on holiday!

Eat & Drink Festival - dining room

I really like the wallpaper in both the room above and below though I don’t think I’d use it in such a large room. I have an idea to use it in our downstairs bathroom to give it a bit of personality. At the moment it just looks like more of a store cupboard than a guest bath.

Eat & Drink Festival - living room

Eat & Drink Festival - giant table and chairs

We had a great day and will definitely be back next year – especially for the Eat & Drink festival. 

Thanks to the Ideal Home Show for my ticket!

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My Week #55 – For the many, not the few

*Wedding times *Mezze!

*National Freelancer’s Day *Women who vote

What a week!

First things first, I can’t go without mentioning the election. For the first time in a while I’m actually full of hope. I voted Labour and I have zero regrets. It’s so great to see that so many young people came out and voted – my soon to be sister in law Emma included. She’s 26 and it was her first time voting. So proud! Whoever you voted for, I’m just happy people are coming out to vote. Here’s to the future and let’s hope it’s for the many, not the few.

So, in other news.

I’m off to Blogtacular this weekend!

So excited. Getting the train in a few hours and I need to pack asap. What will I wear? I’ve been wanting to go to Blogtacular for years and I finally bit the bullet and got myself a ticket. I’m looking forward to meeting like minded women, learning loads and getting super inspired. Plus, due to a silly mistake on my behalf, I have all of Sunday to spend in London. I’m going to do a marathon day like I did in 2013 and see loads of stuff.

So there will be more on that next week.

I’m in full on panic mode for wedding DIYs

Completely on it with the flower making now. It’s 35 days to go. Managed to make a whole vase of paper flowers in a week so let’s hope I can keep up the pace. I’m enlisting help and I’m considering taking some tissue paper with me this weekend. Let’s do this!

I went to the Ideal Home Show yesterday with Emma

After voting and popping to Slimming World (half a pound on #dealwithit) Emma and I went to the Ideal Home Show and the Eat & Drink festival. So fun! The Eat & Drink festival especially. I may have come home with 2 bottles of flavoured tequila (honey and coffee in case you were wondering). I smell hen party cocktails! I’ll be doing a full post on the show soon.

Otherwise, it’s just been plate spinning

I’ve been doing a lot of work, a lot of wedding stuff and just trying to stay afloat. So here’s to staying afloat!

How was your week?

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Foodie Adventures: Bakchich, Dough and Black Milk

Food glorious food! Topher and I have been super lucky recently and have had the opportunity to visit Bakchich, Dough and Black Milk in Manchester. All delicious and all highly recommended. Here’s what we ate.

Bakchich

Bakchich bar

I may be biased being Arab but Middle Eastern food is in my top 5 favourite food regions. So when I heard there was a new Lebanese restaurant in town I knew I had to visit. Especially since they have Diane’s holy grail. Labaneh. I always find explaining labaneh to British people difficult as it’s kinda hard to make strained goats yoghurt sound good but believe me it is. It’s not out of this world but it’s definitely a dip I can’t live without and until now had to get my yearly quota in my 2 week trips to Jordan every year. Not anymore!

So firstly the decor is awesome. I love the bright colours and the Arabic food packaging everywhere. They were even playing Arabic pop music. Love it.

Bakchich interior

Bakchich wall

Bakchich tables

The main feature was definitely the tiles! An Instagrammer’s dream.

Bakchich tiles

So onto the food. We opted for Limon Nana drinks (Lemonade with lime and mint) and a bit of mezze followed by shawarma wraps (chicken for him, lamb for me). The mezze consisted of labaneh (of course!), falafel, halloumi and salad with plenty of arabic bread. First of all the labaneh tasted EXACTLY the same as it does in Jordan. So happy! The falafel was green on the inside as it should be and the halloumi was to die for.

Bakchich mezze

I have to remember though how much I get filled up with mezze so when it came to the shawarma wrap I was so full I had to take it to go. When I did eventually eat it later that day it was delicious. We’ve already been back since and it won’t be the last time.

Bakchich shawarma

Dough

Dough

I’ve only been to Dough once and it was over five years ago so that had to be rectified. I still dream about the lamb and mango pizza I had. Topher and I walk past there all the time and keep saying we should go sometime. So the other weekend we finally went with Claire and Steve before heading to Lucardo.

I love unusual pizza toppings so when I saw they had a falafel pizza, I was intrigued. It definitely lived up to my dreams.  All of the noms.

Dough Falafel Pizza

Topher had the chicken and pesto pizza which I had a taste of and it was very nice. Not as nice as my falafel pizza but still very nice. Topher enjoyed it and it was gone quickly!

Dough pesto pizza

Claire had the red pepper and pesto linguine which she said was tasty but kinda wished there was more of it. Steve had a pepperoni pizza. I’ll leave it up to your imagination what that looked like.

Dough pasta

Dessert was difficult to choose (too many noms!) but Topher and I settled on sharing a cookies and ice cream type dessert, Steve had the same and Claire had a sundae of some kind. I can’t remember the names and the dessert menu is not on the website so sorry about that.

Dough dessert

Dough Sundae

Black Milk

Black Milk interior

After finishing Lucardo and stumbling across Black Milk on Oldham street, we decided to drop in and have what turned out to be a super sweet snack. I’ve seen Black Milk in Affleck’s but didn’t know they had a branch on Oldham Street.

Black Milk bottle

The boys went all out and got freakshakes while Claire and I chose the more sensible option of just a shake for me and a frozen latte for her. I know my limits. For me personally, freakshakes are for photos only – they’re too much for me to finish.

Topher’s was called the Marshmallow Rodeo:

Black Milk rocky road freakshake

And Steve had the Triple Oreo Cheesecake:

Black Milk oreo freakshake

This was my Biscoff & Salted Caramel shake. It was delicious! I couldn’t finish the whole thing but I would definitely be back for another attempt.

Black Milk lotus shake

And now I’m hungry. How about you?

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