Tattu, Gartside Street, 3 Hardman Square, Manchester, M3 3EB – Visit Now
A cook-at-home box from Tattu, arguably our favourite Spinningfields’ restaurant is certainly something to get excited about, and at first glance, this kit meal looks well up to their usual high standards. There are four boxes currently on sale for April, including a vegetarian option, ‘By The Sea’ which focuses on seafood and the caramel soy fillet steak box. However, the one that immediately caught my eye was the spring lamb cooking box, containing two courses for two people, plus a good-quality bottle of wine (red, white or rosé) at £65 including delivery direct to your door.
The star attraction is the spring lamb main, consisting of lamb chops and a special fried sweet potato side. But there’s a lot more to it than that. The instructions are clear, meaning it takes a little kitchen dexterity but not too much, and it’s a much more satisfying experience than simply bunging some trays in an oven and waiting 30 minutes. Rather, the lamb needs marinading with a delicious deep dark red pepper sauce, before pan-frying then smothering with the accompanying Chinese five-spice butter.
Desserts at Tattu are always stunning and this is no exception
The sweet potato cubes also need pan-frying, but use a combination of Szechuan cooking oil, black vinegar glaze and a sprinkle of spicy Ichimi pepper (there’s quite a bit more than you’ll need so don’t be tempted to pour the lot on). It’s all simple enough but it’s hardly something you’d be able to knock together using the contents of your cupboards. Together the combination is inspired. There’s a lot of lamb to go round, four hefty plump chops per person, and it more than matches up to a typical dish at Tattu – albeit minus the locally-famed cherry blossom tree.
Desserts at Tattu are always stunning and this is no exception. A multi-layered sticky toffee pudding, taking in slithers of poached pear, a rich butterscotch sauce and a cinnamon stick to infuse the lot with a subtle fragrance. It’s up there with the best.
Many of the cook-at-home box meals to emerge over the past year have tended to lean towards overkill, with many multiple courses to keep track on, somewhat detracting from the experience of a leisurely dining experience as you need to keep leaping up to check on dishes, reduce temperatures and follow complicated instructions. Tattu manage these issues effortlessly, meaning you end up with a spectacular meal without feeling like you should be tipped 20% at the end. The whole process did what only the very best kit meals manage – teaching some valuable cooking skills while putting the focus on enjoying a wonderful meal.