Tampopo. Image by @thehungrygecko
Manchester favourite Tampopo is still going strong in Albert Square, although may now be overshadowed by its funky sibling at the newly refurbished Corn Exchange. A passionate hardworking team making delicious and authentic food, their menu will take you on a journey through SE Asia with plenty of small plates, hearty bowls and street food classics. Try the Vietnamese rolls, pad Thai or their popular massaman with flaky rotis. More info.
Nila's Burmese Kitchen. Image by @nilasburmesekitchen
Burmese food is hard to find but you can track down Nila’s Burmese Kitchen to Levenshulme Market, a hub of artisan produce, open on the second and last Saturday of every month. Try her slow cooked tamarind pork curry or delicious vegetable and lentil with seasonal homemade pickles. For a weekday lunch, you’ll find her at Third Ave in Trafford Park. More info.
Siam Smiles. Image by @jackspiceradams
Humble and hidden on Chinatown’s George Street is Siam Smiles. More of a café and maintains the old supermarket too. Choices can be limited for veggies but carnivores go absolutely crazy for their noodle bowls and salads, including the Guardian’s Marina O’Loughlin. This is authentic Thai street food at it’s best, which means everything is spicy. If you can’t get a seat here, try Phetpailin just down the street, serving simple family-style Thai food. Don’t expect any airs and graces. It’s BYO too. More info.
Nasi Lemak. Image by @goodannettehunting
Nasi Lemak have a small takeaway at their Broughton base in Salford, with a delivery service too. Or find them with their delicious Malaysian menu at one of their many pop-ups including award-winning Altincham and Stockport markets. Try their rempah chicken and luscious laksa. Fantastic veggie and vegan options too. More info.
Australasia. Image by @georgiafoulkeshartley
Looking for refined South East Asian flavours, then Australasia is the place to go. This Spinningfields restaurant offers some of the city’s best fusion fine dining, as well as delicious cocktails in their canopied outdoor garden. Small and big plates from £7 to £25. Try the soft shell crab with ginger and lemongrass tea or the roasted baby aubergine with miso mustard. Come dressed to impress. More info.