The stars of our vibrant photography exhibition – which celebrates 20 years of Tampopo in Manchester – were revealed at a special anniversary dinner.

Twenty unique pictures of some well-known local faces now decorate the walls of our Albert Square restaurant, everyone capturing a ‘Tampopo Champion’ tucking into their all-time favourite dish.

The Champions, family, friends, and Tampopo customers packed the restaurant for the unveiling; followed by a feast of food chosen by the exhibition’s stars.  

Each wonderful portrait by acclaimed Manchester photographer, Paul Wolfgang Webster, celebrates something special about that person, and why they love Tampopo.

The display will remain for customers to enjoy over the next 3 months, while hopefully raising lots of money for great causes: when a dish chosen by a champion is sold 20p will be donated to one of our named charities.*

Check out the photos to see which famous face shares your favoured Tampopo eat.

Broadchurch – and former Corrie – star Julie Hesmondhalgh has been caught clasping her National Television Award while about to enjoy a vegetable ramen.

Lord Mayor of Manchester, Carl Austin-Behan, risks chilli sauce over his robes to indulge in coconut prawns.

There’s a novel way of devouring a Pad Krapow for I Am Kloot’s Andy Hargreaves, who opts for drumsticks rather than chopsticks.

Former Happy Mondays singer, and X Factor contestant, Rowetta, holds a microphone up close to her Pad Thai.

So the next time you fancy dining among fantastic company, simply pull up a stool at one of our Albert Square long benches, and tuck in surrounded by Manchester’s finest!

Andy Barker & Graham Massey – 808 State
Favourite dish – Gyosa
“We have always done loads of DJing in Japan and absolutely loved the food there, Tampopo was the first time we could experience that sort of cuisine in Manchester. We’ve been coming here ever since.”

Jackie Kearney – Masterchef Finalist
Favourite dish – Summer Rolls
“I love Tampopo because they make consistently good food from lots of my favourite places. I love the varied menu that offers something to suit everyone; whether you’re vegan, veggie or omni, and whether it’s a quick lunch or banqueting with friends, there’s always something good to eat.”

John Robb –Louder Than War Editor
Favourite dish – Tempura Vegetables
“I’ve been coming to Tampopo since the day it opened 20 years ago. Then it seemed like a real novelty – noodles in Manchester! As a vegan/veggie type, I love Tampopo because you can get noodles, soup and vegan tempura, which is my favourite dish.”

Carl Austin-Behan – Former Lord Mayor of Mcr
Favourite dish – Coconut Prawns
“I love Tampopo because of the ease of service, you can come in and get a quick dish or you can make it last an hour or two. Either way it’s one of my favourite dining experiences.” 

Clint Boon – Inspiral Carpets Frontman, DJ and Radio Presenter
Favourite dish –  Prawn Tempura
“When myself and Charlie decided to get married back in 2005, one of the main things on our wish list was to see if we could have our ‘wedding breakfast’ at our favourite Manchester eatery, Tampopo. We contacted them, they happily obliged and there started a lovely relationship.  Twelve years on, and now with three little boys in tow, we still love Tampopo as much as we did back then.  The service, the vibe and the food (obviously) are always second to none.  Thanks for being part of our story Tampopo, and thanks for letting us be part of yours.  Love and Ramen, The Boon Family xxx”

Justin Moorhouse, Comedian
Favourite dish – Sweet Potato Katsu
“I like coming to Tampopo because the food is fresh, and it’s the kind of place you can come on your own – it doesn’t matter whether you’re dining solo, or if there’s a big gang of you. My favourite dish is Sweet Potato Katsu Curry – I love it!”

Graeme Park – DJ
Favourite dish – Thai Rare Beef Salad
“Thai Rare Beef Salad is the dish I always order in Tampopo.  Always have, always will. I love it.”

Rowetta – Singer
Favourite dish – Pad Thai Chicken
“Tampopo is a real family favourite for me. I love how it’s proper, vibrant, tasty food with loads of fresh ingredients – you can enjoy gorgeous food knowing it’s healthy too”

Mary-Ellen McTague – Chef

Favourite dish – Pad Thai Prawn
“Great flavours, great innovators – great Manchester food institution!”

Tony Husband – Private Eye Cartoonist
Favourite dish – Pad Thai Vegetable
“Fabulous Tampopo… it’s so relaxing, I’ve always enjoyed coming in here, just because it’s so… chilled, but the food is always hot!”

Jon Drape – MD of Ground Control
Favourite dish – Yaki Udon
“I’ve been coming to Tampopo since it opened.  It’s been fantastic to entice them out to the various festivals I produce too.  They’re a real part of the fabric of this city.  Bravo Tampopo on the Big 2-0!”

Justin & Luke “Unabomber” – DJ Duo, The Unabombers
Favourite dish – Nasi Goreng Prawn (and Yaki Udon)
“We’ve been coming here 20 years – a long time in food!  We love it here, it’s always consistent, always on point, always fresh. It’s stayed solid!” 

Elizabeth Alker – 6 Music Reporter
Favourite dish – Vegetable Rebus Soup
“Tampopo has been a big part of my life, as I used to actually work for the restaurant when I was at Uni. I can remember revising for my ‘Tampopo exams’ at the same time as my course finals! I’ve been visiting ever since for big bowls of flavoursome, noodle-y goodness – they got me through uni and they get me through busy days now too!

Jonathan Schofield – Manchester Historian and Journalist
Favourite dish – Seafood Ramen
“I first started coming to Tampopo, when it opened – 20 years ago!  They have always done really good value noodle dishes, and the one I liked was the Seafood Ramen.  Absolutely fantastic. So I’ve repeatedly come back, and eaten that and many other dishes, and so have my children now they’ve grown up.”

Dianne Bourne – Manchester Evening News Diary Editor
Favourite dish – Nasi Goreng Chicken
“Tampopo has become something of a Manchester institution, keeping the city’s diners happy for 20 noodle-filled years. The chicken Nasi Goreng is one of those dishes that never lets you down.  Well, it’s never failed in putting a smile on my face anyway!

Julie Hesmondhalgh – Actress
Favourite dish – Vegetable Ramen
“I’ve been coming to Tampopo for years, my favourite dish is the vegetarian ramen soup (I’m a veggie) – it’s absolutely delicious.”

Kazuo Sonoda – Tampopo Waiter of 20 Years
Favourite dish – Laksa
“Tampopo has been a big part of my life as I used to actually work for the restaurant when I was at Uni. I can remember revising for my ‘Tampopo exams’ at the same time as my course finals! I’ve been visiting ever since for big bowls of flavoursome, noodle-y goodness – they got me through uni and they get me through busy days now too!” 

Andy Hargreaves – I Am Kloot Drummer 
Favourite dish – Chicken Pad Krapow
“ I love Tampopo. My family and I have travelled quite a bit in South East Asia so we love how authentic the food is, especially given that my wife has an allergy to MSG – none of that at Tampopo! The casual atmosphere, great staff, quick service & beautiful food always make the experience fantastic

Ruth Allan – Food Writer & Editor Manchester Wire
Favourite dish – Beef Rendang
“I have been a massive fan of Tampopo since I moved to Manchester, which was exactly 20 years ago.  Tampopo is a restaurant that epitomises the casual, globally embracing vibe of Manchester. It’s urban, it’s relaxed, it’s cool and it’s where I discovered the delights of tempura!”

Phil Jones – Founder of MFDF
Favourite dish – Banana Fritters
“David and his team at Tampopo were amongst the first we spoke to about setting up the inaugural Manchester Food and Drink Festival.  Now 20 festivals on, we are both still doing what we do best – celebrating fabulous food!”

Book now to celebrate with us at our Albert Square restaurant!

All images copyright Paul Wolfgang Webster

*The charities we supported through this initiative are:

The Tim Bacon Foundation – a charitable trust set up in the name of Living Ventures Founder, Tim Bacon, who passed away from cancer in 2016. The Foundation supports charities in their fight against cancer, including the Christie Hospital and University College London, who are raising funds for Proton Beam Therapy centres in Manchester and London, and also for Maggie’s Centres.

Project Sumatra – an educational documentary that aims to highlight the issues which are driving the Sumatran orangutan towards extinction.