I reviewed Tattu for a different publication when it first opened in Spinningfields in 2015. I had meanly called the modern Asian-inspired restaurant ‘a flashy highly manicured drinking den for people of a certain disposable income’ and suggested it was more for people who fancy preferred posing in front of dishes rather than eating them.

Thankfully, we both seem to have mellowed out since then. Tattu has not only stood the test of time, but has blossomed, opening further restaurants in Leeds, Birmingham, Edinburgh and central London. It actually attracts all sorts of folk who come to enjoy Chinese-inspired food in its glossy black and blossom-strewn setting.

During our recent visit on a rainy Tuesday evening we were among a real mix of diners; groups celebrating a special occasion, families out for dinner and couples enjoying a romantic meal. We’d been invited to try the latest dishes on the menu, and discovered it’s also the ideal setting for a girly catch up.

We blew into the place completely soaked, soon to be warmed by the welcome at reception. Our soggy coats were peeled off us and we were ushered gently into the downstairs bar to decompress with a cocktail. The new season drinks menu has been designed like a pirate treasure map, so we began our adventure with a Mariners Mai Tai with just enough rum to catch your throat, soothed by tropical pineapple and a blood red cherry shot served smoking in a skull shaped glass. Tattu loves a bit of drama.

We were then led upstairs to the restaurant and seated in a booth underneath a cherry blossom tree, by now having totally forgotten about the squall outside. Tattu’s new menu was launched at the end of March to coincide with the new season blooming into life. Expect elegant dishes with bright and innovative flavours on a menu divided into dim sum, small plates, raw, meat, seafood, from the wok, rice/noodles and desserts – which you should definitely save room for.

We started with a pretty pink display of delicate tuna sashimi blossom, featuring nori, sesame, cucumber, and wasabi mayo, topped with vibrant green tobiko (£15.50.) A treasure trove of mixed dim sum (£24.50) arrived next, opened at the table to release the steam and reveal the colourful contents. There was a beautifully twisted shitake and porcini mushroom bao, a bright red wagyu dumpling, a luxurious chicken truffle shumai and a very clever royal koi gai shaped like a little fish and stuffed with Chilean sea bass, yuzu and miso.

From the raw section of the menu came a beautifully fanned display of yellowtail sashimi dressed with sharp citrus ponzu, garlic and edamame beans (£17.50) along with a small plate of sticky beef short rib (£18.90) coated in a glossy soy sauce, garnished with sliced red chilli and crispy shallots. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly minimal portion, these perfect cubes packed in a lot of protein and flavour.

Red Snapper Tom Yum (£27.50) is one of the new seafood dishes, served on a bed of stir fried pak choi with a delicious sauce infused with lemongrass and kaffir lime, poured at the table.

The new desserts highlight Tattu’s creativity and their sense of playfulness. A marbled white chocolate dragon egg (£9.50) is there to be smashed open to reveal its exotic contents of coconut, passion fruit and mango. The Phoenix Nest (£12.50) deserves a few minutes attention before it gets inevitably destroyed. About a billion calories lie in wait inside an elaborately decorated white chocolate cup filled with peanut butter fudge, honeycomb, fluffy marshmallow, and delicate edible flowers. It never reappeared though once I’d finished it…

Although a reasonably priced set lunch menu is available, it’s has never claimed to be cheap here. Some of the prices might make Tattu seem like more of a special occasion place to most (a discretionary service charge of 12.5% is also added to each bill.) But if you do shell out on a meal at Tattu, you’ll definitely feel like you’ve treated yourself to a luxury drinking and dining experience with smoke, mirrors and more than a touch of drama.

Tattu, 3 Hardman Square, Gartside St, Manchester M3 3EB

Follow @tatturestaurant


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