The established Spinnigfields spot has introduced 17 new dishes to an already exciting menu.
As the nights grow cold and dark, the menus of many of the city’s eating establishments transform – reflecting a desire for more homely, comfort food that makes us all feel so much better as the wind and rain lashes down onto the window outside.
This doesn’t mean that Winter menus can’t be daring and different though, an approach that Executive Head Chef Andrew Lassetter has taken with the 17 new dishes on Tattu’s new winter menu, dishes that seem to exude confidence, theatre and above all – flavour.
I think it’s safe to say that after nearly 5 years in Spinningfields, the team at Tattu must constantly be upping their game, re-inventing their menu and ensuring that people return time and time again.
Once you’ve taken a couple of pictures underneath the Cherry Blossom Tree what’s left to entice you back? Of course, this is where the food and cocktails come in – and with regular updates to the menus, taking some out, adding some in – over time you’re left with a highly refined menu that showcases exactly what you’re good at while also allowing you to experiment a little bit.
People go to Tattu to expect a bit of theatre and to be ‘WOW’ed’ and I can assure you right now – that’s still there with these new additions. But what is also there is the bits behind the theatre – a more mature approach to balance, textures and flavours which have uncovered some of their best dishes yet.
We started on a dish that is probably so far removed from a cold winter in Manchester that I initially thought we had been looking at the wrong menu. But alas – we ordered the Tuna Yuzu Ceviche (£11) which came adorned with healthy chunks of raw tuna, alongside avocado and cherry tomatoes.
As with all ceviche dishes, you’re provided with a bit of citrus on the side, where the intention is to pour it over the raw meat which then ‘cooks’ it. In this case you get a little pot of popular Japanese citrus Yuzu which adds a welcome tangy element to the meaty fish – creating a very fresh palate cleanser ready for what’s to come.
As well as the ceviche, we also ordered the Asian Style Beef Carpaccio (£15) which I knew instantly would be my stand-out dish. The meat is truly sublime, literally falling apart as you pick it up. It’s silky smooth and comes drenched in a truffle and wasabi oil and sprinkled with fried lotus chips. I couldn’t stop and you won’t be able to either.
We finished the starters with the Soft Shell Crab XO (£16) which was as tender, sweet and crispy as you’d come to expect from a team as experienced as the one at Tattu. Where this dish really comes into its own though, and takes a giant leap from similar dishes elsewhere in the city, is the XO sauce.
Slightly sweet and with a serious kick to it – the XO couldn’t be any more perfectly paired with the soft-shell crab – elevating this dish from ‘pretty good’ to ‘outstanding’.
On to the mains and Tattu’s larger plate offering has always been an eclectic affair, with a range of classics that you’d expect from any modern Chinese restaurant alongside some more unique and interesting creations. The new Winter menu is no different and thus we were presented firstly with a true classic – Singapore Noodles (£11).
A huge mound of freshly cooked noodles, crammed with a healthy dose of prawns, chicken and pork – this dish is the perfect sharer to go alongside some of the more exotic dishes elsewhere on the menu. Perfectly balanced, the noodles were rather moorish and kept me coming back with my chopsticks over and over again.
For the mains we opted for the Balsamic Teriyaki Salmon (£18) which comes alongside fried crispy skin (which was AMAZING) and a cucumber salad. What may seem like a simple dish is taken to a whole new level with the sticky Teriyaki seasoning, taking what could be considered a bit ‘safe’ and giving it a welcome kick in flavour.
Then came some of that characteristic Tattu theatre as our Ribeye Steak Bulgogi (£24) arrived surrounded by what can only be described as a ‘cage’ of deep fried vermicelli noodles.
This was by a long-shot my most favourite main course, and indeed was up there with the Carpaccio for the best thing I’d eaten that week. The meat was tender, perfectly charred and juicy – and it just oozed quality. It had been cooked in a sweet sesame soy sauce alongside Eryngli mushrooms and baby leeks. It was wonderful.
Finally, it was time for dessert, and this was where Tattu truly excelled in both the spectacle and the flavours as we tucked into their brand-new Chocolate Brownie Pagoda (£11) – a creation that’s as exciting as it is indulgent.
Atop a pile of warm double chocolate brownies lies a chocolate pagoda – all surrounded by ample dry ice for that perfect Instagram moment. The first thing to do? Give that pagoda a WHACK! with your spoon to uncover the creamy-smooth mascarpone underneath.
It’s fair to say that the whole pagoda was pretty much demolished and all traces of it were devoured within minutes – a fantastic end to a wonderful meal.
Once again Tattu have used their expertise and experience to bring a whole host of exciting new dishes to the table – keeping things exciting and new but also keeping in line with what people would expect from an evening out under the Cherry Blossom Tree.
Tattu, Gartside Street, 3 Hardman Square, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3EB
0161 819 2060