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Tattu Manchester
Tattu Manchester Reviews
Address3 Hardman Square, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3BE
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Tattu Manchester Review Tattu Manchester Review
Downstairs dining Upstairs restaurant
   
Tattu Manchester Review
Restaurants Of Manchester (Tuesday 9th October 2018)

Anybody who has been out in Manchester over the past year will testify to how quiet the city centre has become. You don't need to read the newspapers to know how badly local businesses are struggling. You can blame the “will of the people", our “strong and stable" government, over saturation of the market or even the discreetly marked bus lanes which have seen half a million drivers, already trying to navigate around the myriad of roadworks, hit with costly fines for inadvertently taking the wrong route to their restaurant of choice. Yet, despite all this, people keep on ignoring the more obviously placed warning signs and opening new establishments, many predicatably failing in their first few months.

The venues located in expensive units, or boasting expensive kit outs, obviously suffer the worst; their business plans thrown out of the window with even a minor dip in footfall. Brothers Drew and Adam Jones reportedly spent £2 million on creating one of the most beautifully lavish interiors anywhere in Europe, over three years ago, so thoughts instantly wonder how Tattu is fairing in these suddenly choppy seas. Sure, our online booking reports show it remains one of the most popular destinations on Restaurants of Manchester, and they've since opened in Leeds and Birmingham, however that only tells part of the story.

Heading to the backstreet Spinningfields restaurant on a quiet Tuesday evening in September, we took a walk around town to gauge its competition. Alongside graffiti of the Manchester worker bee, proudly surrounded by the stars of the EU flag, and seemingly as many people still accidentally driving down the “buses only" roads as there are homeless people sleeping in the city’s doorways, we passed empty restaurant after empty bar; big name chains, small independents, multi-million pound establishments, last year’s fashionable hangouts and other one-time favourites, all worryingly living on borrowed time. The entire city was dead, as it had been on most other midweek nights we had ventured out.

Therefore, you can imagine our surprise as we entered Tattu; it was like Alice going down the rabbit hole, an oasis in a vast desert, an Eyes Wide Shut secret world, albeit with clothes and no masks. In fact, it was so busy that the friendly girl on reception was having to turn people away; the downstairs bar area recently redesigned to fit in even more diners, yet still comfortable enough for us to sample the fantastic experimental cocktails, delivered with all the magical theatre of the Mad Hatter.

 
Tattu Manchester Review Tattu Manchester Review
Spicy Iberico Pork Wonton (£8) Chilli & Sesame Roasted Scallops (£15)
   

Upstairs, the large restaurant was also teeming with life; exuberant birthday parties, serious business groups and nervous first dates, each sat underneath the beautiful 13 foot pink blossom tree. All ages, fashions, creeds and sexualities were represented amongst our fellow diners, including, rather tellingly, a table of Chinese girls within earshot, who seemed more than pleased with the dim sum options they had ordered. Although, admittedly, my Cantonese is as bad as my Mandarin so I could only judge their approval from their facial expressions and body language.

A new cocktail bar, in the corner of the room, speeds up the drinks service, and the good looking waiting staff - all seemingly hand picked from a modelling agency - remained friendly, efficient and knowledgeable throughout the entire visit - which, given it was the first night of the new Winter Menu, was an impressive touch.

We allowed our affable waiter to guide us on which dishes to order. To be fair, judging by the quality of what he recommended and the look of other plates, being delivered to surrounding tables, you can’t go far wrong, and many signature dishes from their old menu are still available, including the excellent Cherry Blossom dessert (£9), an absolute must-try.

Opting for four “Small Plates", the Sticky Beef Short Rib (£10), described to us as “the best dish on the menu", was in fact so good we were tempted to order another two portions - apparently a common occurrence. Delightfully tender, the four generous chunks of meat, without wanting to sound too cliché, almost melted in the mouth. Possibly our favourite dish we’ve had in Manchester this year.

The Chilli & Sesame Roasted Scallops (£15 for three medium sized molluscs), served on an oyster shell with Chinese sausage, and a delightful crushed edamame and mint, whilst excellent, highlighted how much the cost of quality ingredients has risen in the past two years (NB, they are a similar price in most Manchester restaurants). That said, these were amongst the most costly of the 24 starter options, with the bright red Spicy Iberico Pork Wonton (£8) equally delicious alongside other steamed, fried and baked Dim Sum options for half the price (Chicken Truffle Shumai, with fresh truffle, only £7.50).

 
Tattu Manchester Review Tattu Manchester Review
Sticky Beef Short Rib (£10) Cherry Blossom (£9)
   

Each dish is artistically presented, and the Modern Chinese menu offers something for every taste and every budget. With six vegetarian plates, gluten free options and a number of set menus, you can see why it was the chosen venue for so many groups and first dates.

As for the main courses, the Wild Mushroom and Truffle Baby Chicken (£16.50), served with Lotus root, teriyaki and crispy skin was equally marvelous, even if its name was a little too graphic, whilst the Saffron Black Cod (£30.50), from the extensive seafood menu, was absolutely delicious. Served with Miso, razor clam and more Chinese sausage, it was perfectly cooked and another stand out dish, although it did raise the question of how best to experience Tattu’s new Winter Menu.

Do you go for a selection of Dim Sums, and small plates - we’d be happy just ordering four Sticky Beef Short Ribs for ourselves - or do you take one as a starter followed by a main course? To be honest, it's quite an easy dilemma to answer. You simply visit twice and do both. Just make sure you book ahead (far ahead for weekends). It really is that good.

In fact, if all restaurants in Manchester were this good, Brexit, austerity and bus lane fines would be slightly more palatable. In times of trouble, the cream still rises to the top. And Tattu really is the cream of Manchester.

 
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