Tattu, Gartside Street, 3 Hardman Square, Manchester, M3 3EB – Visit Now
One of Manchester’s finest restaurants, Spinningfields’ Tattu has just launched their summer menu and if their previous creations are anything to go by, this should be something very special indeed. This time around there are over a dozen brand new dishes, all unique to Tattu, all delicious.
We begin with the sweet miso Chilean sea bass dumpling. These little bundles of pleasure are a cut above the anaemic offerings you might find elsewhere – these are bright orange with a fine glaze of honey, sake and mirin, topped off with a cute blob of miso mustard. Each mouthful is a joy.
If we’re honest, you could make your way through all the Tattu small plates and not find a duff. The scallop dish is a classic – the molluscs rest on a silky homemade Teriyaki sauce, topped with edible sakura cress and dusty pork crackling. The whole plate is an ode to the quality of the ingredients used.
If you’re a meat-eater and can’t make up your mind, go for the BBQ sampler dish to share. Here you’ll find slices of honey-glazed duck breast, sticky beef short rib, spiced pork belly and tender Iberico pork fillet. The pork belly is superb, and like nothing else Tattu have done before – the thick crunchy crackling adds real bite, bringing to mind a classic British Sunday lunch before the finely-spiced pork meat shoots us straight back to the Orient. This and the sticky beef short rib, two imposingly-dark cubes of sweet sticky beef that tumbles apart to the touch, are two of the stand-out dishes in a reliably brilliant menu.
The Kung Pao chicken is one for the heat-lovers, delivering a hotter-than-the-sun punch of fiery – though not unpleasant – heat with every bite. It’s a classic dish, largely based around chili, ginger and onion, found in Chinese restaurants across the country, though rarely as elegant and layered as here.
If you try one new dish over summer, make it this
Another incredible new dish is the sweet and sour Iberico pork, which comes with pineapple, banana shallots and dragon fruit. It sounds odd, and indeed, looks even odder – particularly the cubes of dragon fruit, looking for all the world like dice nestling amongst the slabs of deep-fried pork, which comes smothered with a lurid red sweet and sour sauce. It looks frankly bonkers but tastes frankly incredible. It’s a fantastic twist on the classic Westernised dish, with a light batter and a thick not-overly-sweet sauce, and the hunks of pineapple and dragon fruit lift it to new heights. If you try one new dish over summer, make it this.
The mango and honey pudding is a new dessert, designed specifically for the summer months. This is basically Greek yoghurt, layered with pineapple and mango, plus a lime sorbet on the side and a delicious crumbly flapjack. It arrives billowing with smoke, as all good desserts should and proves impossible to leave alone, despite any concerns you may have for your waistline.
It’s hard to find fault with anything Tattu do. Over time they’ve finessed the menu, weeding out any of the more mundane dishes, leaving a roster of top-drawer dishes. The food is often unusual, using plenty of out-there ingredients, but the end result is always a success. This is event dining at its best.