Review: It’s style AND substance at Tattu, Leeds
Tattu Leeds review written by YFG’s Lucinda Hurst
It’s style AND substance at Tattu, Leeds
Chinese restaurant and fine-dining powerhouse Tattu opened in Leeds back in 2017, just two years after the flagship Manchester site opened. Fast forward a few years and the two brothers behind the brand have recently opened their fifth venue in London. Known for its show-stopping, Instagram-able dishes and cherry blossom packed interiors, it’s got plenty of pizzazz. But is it all dry ice and no substance, or does it live up to the hype?
Heading inside, it’s a sensory experience from the start. Your eyes are drawn from boldly dark interiors to the seemingly endless cherry blossom suspended from the ceiling and accentuated by the statement lighting. We’re led to the lighter, brighter conservatory, ideal for people watching.
We order a sharing cocktail to start, named ‘All the tea in China’ and aptly served in a teapot. Its Tanqueray, peach jasmine tea, and Baijiu, a Chinese liquor with a punchy ABV. It’s dangerously sip-able.
Choose your own adventure with the menu
Browsing the menu reveals a collection of dim sum, small plates, larger plates and sides, with a balanced offering of meat, fish, and vegetarian dishes. It’s a veritable feast of flavours. It’s a choose your own adventure menu. Do you stick to small plates? Do the distinctly British approach of a starter and main? Go for the tasting menu? The choice is yours. We mix and match, with something from each section, and it works a treat.
Dishes appear at the table as and when they’re ready, which turns out to be surprisingly quick, despite many of the tables being full mid-week. Black cod croquettes, a sweet potato side dish, and Tattu’s twist on prawn toast arrive first.
Forget the bland prawn toast triangles of Chinese meals past, this take is a black and white sesame encrusted bite of prawn and lobster, served with a sweet and sour chilli dipping sauce.
The special fried sweet potato is a triumph. They take the humble sweet potato, glaze it in black vinegar, and finish it off with spring onion and Ichimi Togarashi, to create a seriously moreish dish that I keep going back to, long after I’ve announced I’m ‘too full to take another bite.
There’s one dish you absolutely have to try
The waiter’s ‘must try’ recommendation is the Chicken Sui Mai. At £9.50 for a serving of four dumplings, I’m a little hesitant, but the fresh truffle shavings are enough to convince me. One bite and they’re instantly worth the price tag. If there’s one thing you have to order at Tattu, it’s this. In fact, drop what you’re doing, book yourself a table and order these ASAP. You’ll find me there, doing exactly the same thing.
I’ve committed rather early to a favourite dish, but the seared tuna is a close second. A lightly spiced crust edges the delicate fish, soaking up the ‘smoke meets citrus’ taste of the Yuzu Ponzu. I love to see Yuzu on menus, but especially so when it breaks out of the confines of dessert. The truffle mayo and caviar finish off the dish spectacularly.
After drinking the teapot dry, we order another round of drinks. Pulling back the lid off the Junzi Bento Box cocktail, dry ice pours out, grabbing the attention of our dining neighbours. Once the smoke begins to clear, it reveals a build your own drink experience. There are two miniature bottles to mix, garnishes, and sour rocks to tailor the drink to your personal taste. With a little testing and tweaking, we’re happily sipping our custom creations and our attention is back on the food.
Whilst I’d ordinarily always pick firm tofu over silken, Tattu does a good job of convincing me otherwise, with their chilli crusted tofu dish. We finish up with one of the large plates; the char Sui honey glazed monkfish. The fish itself is wonderfully firm, with its characteristic delicate sweetness heightened by the honey glaze. Sitting on a bed of morning glory, caramel orange, and pickled cucumber, there’s a lot going on here. One for another visit, when we can truly appreciate it alongside a few less dishes.
The ultimate Instagram-worthy dessert
With limited room for dessert, we ask the waiter to choose a pudding for us to share. He doesn’t let us down, and we’re once again the centre of attention as he delivers the ‘Cherry Blossom’ to our table. The chocolate tree sculpture houses tart candy floss ‘blossom’, and digging beneath the chocolate crumb unearths a delicious white chocolate and cherry concoction.
Tattu is a success story for a reason. It’s not just about looks. This place is style AND substance. It’s not cheap eats, but it’s well worth the price tag.
Tattu Restaurant and Bar, Minerva, 29 E Parade, Leeds LS1 5PS – 0113 245 1080 – http://tattu.co.uk/leeds/
Monday – Wednesday: 5pm – late
Thursday – Sunday: 12pm – late
Tattu Leeds review written by YFG’s Lucinda Hurst
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