In a Word:
Oriental fine dining
Foodies who see good food as entertainment in itself.
Set in the exclusive area of Spinningfields, the hype surrounding Tattu’s soft launch had been building up for weeks; we were lucky enough to be invited to their official launch party to sample the menu, wine and a few of their fantastic cocktails.
Arriving at the restaurant, it was clear that no expense had been spared to get the ambience just right; walking through the dimly lit entrance, the smell of incense and the buzz of diners from the floor above instantly set the tone.
Wood panelling lined the walls, and over 3000 metres of rope weaved its way around the ceiling above. Completed with stunning oriental flowers and artwork, you got the impression that you’d stepped back in time onto a Chinese pirate ship.
Cocktails – £8
But priorities first – it was time for a drink. Nowadays, any self-respecting restaurant has a good cocktail menu, so we thought we’d check out what Tattu had to offer. Overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice, we simply opted for the ones with the best names (doesn’t everyone?), and we weren’t disappointed.
Kiss from a Rose was, as the name suggests, a floral drink with a delicate flavour that cleverly masked the large amount of gin within. Topped with an edible flower it slid down a little too well… My partner ordered the Boo to Betty, a fruity concoction that tasted so deliciously fresh you’d be forgiven for thinking they’d hand-pressed the fruit.
Guided upstairs to the main restaurant, the surprises had only just begun. Overhanging the bar, the focal point of the open plan restaurant is a huge great tree towering over the dining area. That’s right, a magnificent cherry blossom tree, with urban lightbulbs stretching from the branches illuminating the details, to create a really stunning setting for a meal.
Booths span their way along the side, each with lightboxes featuring incredible inked bodies – ours featured a naked lady with rather stunning body art. Giving you a little privacy from the hustle and bustle without shutting you off from the buzz of fellow diners, we were big fans of our little booth.
Thankfully, we were given a little less choice for the meal itself, as a set menu gave us the opportunity to sample some of the specialities of the house…
Lobster and Prawn Toast – £9
Now, when you think prawn toast you probably conjure up an image of your Saturday night hungover Chinese takeaway, with a few deep-fried slithers of sesame-scattered toast that taste vaguely of prawn. So forget everything you think you know about prawn toast when you order at Tattu.
The chunkiest, most flavoursome balls of lobster and prawn, perfectly round and carefully coated in crunchy sesame seeds, these meaty starters were divine dipped in sweet and sour chilli sauce.
Beef and Foie Gras Gyoza – £8
Beef and foie gras might not seem like the most natural of combinations, but these delicious dumplings were anything but your average finger food – this was substantial dim sum. The soy-soaked beef had just a hint of foie gras, wrapped in a neat little parcel and topped with edamame beans to add a nice freshness to the dish.
Red Pepper Lamb Chops – £22
Lamb chops can be the most impressive or disappointing dish depending on your culinary prowess, and the chef clearly knows his way around a good cut of meat. Aligned neatly in a row, these sticky chops were caramelised on the outside, but bright pink and juicy on the inside.
Served with a hot and sour pumpkin salsa, this lively dish went perfectly with the steamed vegetables that we ordered on the side.
Saffron Miso Black Cod – £24
Receiving top marks once again for presentation, the miso black cod was a tribute to oriental food at its finest. A razor clam carrying sea foam, sweet wine jelly and lap cheong (translation – Chinese sausage, yum!) topped the fillet of cod, for a dish that looked (almost) too good to eat.
Tucking into the fish, and thick flakes melted away for a dish that had a powerful mix of distinct flavours. If you’re someone who shies away from fish in favour of more filling options on the menu, the fried rice we ordered on the side was a great combo. And not just any fried rice – duck egg and sausage fried rice. Need we say more?
The Desserts – £8 each
With two options up for grabs for dessert – The Silk Road and Cherry Blossom – we decided to have one of each. Feeling that we couldn’t possibly be any more excited about Tattu, the waitress warned us that we’d seen nothing yet. The desserts really DID look too good to eat, more like something that you’d receive a distinction for in an art exam.
With just a few features including chocolate bark, chocolate soil, mini marshmallows, candy floss, edible flowers, miso chocolate mousse and strawberry ganache, the chefs clearly know how to please a woman. In fact, if you come to Tattu for nothing else, come here for dessert. Seeing is believing on this one folks.
Needless to say, we were full of (edamame) beans about the launch night, as was everyone else judging from the reaction on Twitter. Tattu has pulled out all of the stops to put on a show from the minute you walk through the door to the sweet treats that round off the meal. A top spot for a special occasion, prepare to redefine your perception of oriental food.
Tattu Restaurant and Bar
3 Hardman Square
0161 819 2060