Luxury Chinese restaurant Tattu’s stunning new festive menu fit for an Emperor

The Great Snow menu at Tattu is a truly memorable experience
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In case you didn’t know, Tattu is a cool and contemporary Chinese restaurant and bar in Spinningfields.

Opening back in 2015, it has quickly established itself as one of the best luxury Chinese restaurants in the city and still keeps things fresh with different menus and propositions every season. 

Dinner here is a real treat and full of theatre. 

Titled ‘The Great Snow’, their new winter menu was launched earlier this month and is delivered with a well-timed pithy saying from a Chinese proverb as we come toward the end of another challenging year: ‘A fall of seasonable snow gives promise to a fruitful year.’

This isn’t just a new hardback menu. It’s a live experience. The accompanying art installation projected across the dining room is something even the curators of Van Gough Alive would be proud of. 

The restaurant opens with a magical ascent upstairs showcasing a journey into the night, chronicling a beautiful winter scene in the Orient. 

The first thing you notice is a cherry tree, its usual pink flowers turned an icy blue for Winter. The scene shimmers across contemporary wall art projected from above the kitchen pass. 

Dining booths are divided with geometric oriental screens. 

The ceiling is crosshatched with thick rope and the tables are a mature dark wood. It is like a scene from a James Bond movie. But instead of tuxedos and silk gowns – like most trendy places these days – Tattu attracts a more relaxed couture and athleisure footballers’ fashion.

By the time you are shown to your table, you are fully immersed in the theme. The lighting is what you might call nightclub subdued and it has a high tempo buzz as staff pass and repass in silhouette like ninjas, suddenly emerging into the third dimension when they top up your wine and bring your food. 

The showstopping new festive menu features two banquet-style options plus steamed and fried Dim Sum, small plates, raw fish and seafood, meat, food cooked in a wok, veg and rice, and of course puddings.

The Modern Sharing (£72.50 per person) and the Emperor’s Choice (£97.50 per person) options give you a taste of everything and are ideal for sharing. 

Modern Sharing starts with a limited-edition Hulk-green Aurora Borealis cocktail which, although might not be everybody’s cup of tea, the sourness serves as one of five taste modalities that the menu attempts to offer and acts as a perfect palette cleanser ahead of the feast that lies ahead.

Wave one sees a Szechuan rock shrimp with carrot, sancho pepper and pickle which is unanimously agreed to be the most outstanding dish.

This is accompanied by a half aromatic crispy duck with pancakes. On reflection, we were overly polite about sharing with a side of Szechuan sauce with the cucumber and spring onion going begging.

I’m told we keep the same chopsticks throughout the banquet to savour the taste modes: sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and umami (savoury).

Round two includes a 7oz caramel soy beef fillet which is premium aged beef from the UK lacquered with a sweet soy sauce, served with shiitake, ginger and asparagus. This is followed up by a Thai style crispy monkfish with lime, shallots and lemongrass: another winner. Next is tender stem broccoli burnished with black sesame and truffle and to round things off is a hearty size bowl of duck egg and sausage fried rice.

Desserts include banana fritter; a deep fried banana and caramel shortbread and a white chocolate ‘dragon’ egg dressed with coconut, passion fruit and mango.

Emperor’s Choice is the slightly more premium sharing option.

Wave one sees seven-spiced seared tuna with truffle aioli, caviar and citrus ponzu; black cod croquettes with ginger and garlic aioli; and spicy red belly pork with baby leek and smoked crackling. 

Round two includes 7oz Japanese wagyu served with green beans burnished with truffle sesame soy; Shanghai black cod with hoisin, ginger and lime; XO fried rice tossed with pieces of shrimp, chicken and pancetta; and a side of asparagus that’s been grilled with sweet soy.

The last round is a sweet mix of Asian pear sticky toffee pudding baked with cinnamon, vanilla and almond; and Cherry Blossom is white chocolate, cherry and candy floss.

The meal was celebrated with a couple of Tattu signature cocktails, Lucky Number 8, which is an old fashioned-style concoction of Maker’s Mark stirred with chilli rum and chocolate served with a big cube of ice and a lucky playing card. 

There’s no doubt that Tattu has managed to tackle the challenge of how to make Chinese food look elegant on table.

Needless to say, just as Tattu isn’t your average smash and grab, quick, in-and-out Chinese restaurant, so the cost isn’t your cheap Chinatown buffet, either. Dinner was £202.50, including a bottle of nicely judged Chardonnay (£30) and a couple of after dinner cocktails (£13.75 each), which accounted for £57.50 of it.

The Great Snow menu at Tattu is a truly memorable experience and will leave you swooning with a little hope into the new year.

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