n Cabot Circuit is a challenging decision for a democratic family! With so many choices of cuisines available, we decided to try something different from our usual places and so we went for Tampopo; a Pan Asia restaurant specialising in noodles and rice delicacies.
With a refreshing and simplistic canteen style setting, the restaurant well lit and divided into several rows of communal tables with benches and an open kitchen. The ambience is informal and cosy resembling a street market with a hint of Asia flavour but yet it has th
e comforts as you would expect from a good high street restaurant. One of the interesting notes of this venue is the menu which is creatively laid out resembling a map of Asia. When you are choosing your starter and main course in a restaurant where the majority of dishes sounds unfamiliar can feel be a bit daunting. The atlas-like menu is really great in describing what the exotic dishes are; how hot and spicy it is and where it originated from. The experience of choosing your food here is actually a bit exciting as it feels like planning a holiday destination at the whim of pointing at the map.
The food selection is well covered to suit most appetites with a range of salads, rice, noodles and there is a kids menu. It is clearly popular with young families as there was a long queue waiting outside upon opening for lunch on the day my visit.
To help my food selection process, our waitress was really helpful in recommending which dish we should go for and to make sure it is not too spicy for our group’s tastes. Of course, our waitress was super helpful in letting know what some of the attractive dishes were from the neighbouring tables. I eventually decided on having the Chicken Pad Thai, a traditional Thai stir fried rice noodles which was a favourite of mine. The presentation of the Pads Thai upon arrival was quite really authentic and although the taste can’t really compare with what I have had when I visited Thailand, it was indeed delicious.
My friend ordered the Khao Soi, a northern Thai dish with yellow noodles with chicken breast in red curry sauce, which I was told that it was one of their most popular dishes. The blend of spices was perfectly balanced with lime and a hint of curry flavour. This was the first time we had curry with noodles and it was pleasant experience which is worth recommending to any curry lover. The chicken was so tender and the rice noodles were well stir fried with lots of vegetables, but I felt the portion more could have been a bit more as a main course.
We also ordered a Junior Explorer dish for the little one and the chicken noodles with vegetable and soy sauce turned out to be a good balanced meal which helps to introduce kids to enjoy new foods. The taste seems a little too light as an introduction to kids but this is greatly complimented by the restaurant’s own tailor made chopsticks which is very easy to handle and use and is good entertainment the kids to learn how to use chopsticks. There are also drawing mats and colour crayons provided by the restaurant to keep the kids happy. Overall, although Tampopo’s dishes are a bit small across the board, it is still well worth visiting if you want to have something different from the usual. It is a very kids friendly place and unique amongst high street restaurants available today.
Glasshouse (level 3)
Cabot Circus Shopping Centre
Bristol. BS1 3BX
Phone: 0117 927 7008