Tattu, Gartside Street, 3 Hardman Square, Manchester, M3 3EB – Visit Now
A new menu at Tattu, Spinningfields’ leading restaurant (sorry 20 Stories, maybe next year), is always a cause for celebration. They’ve been reliably putting out some of the most elaborate and intricate – but above all delicious – dishes for years and this winter sees some of their chefs’ most inventive creations yet.
The drunken chicken wings aren’t a reference to constantly sozzled farm birds
First up, we keep things simple with some ‘drunken’ chicken wings. Not a reference to constantly sozzled farm birds, the drunken part refers to the use of Shaoxing wine that delivers a deeply satisfying edge to the batter. Drunk or not, these birds should be proud to become part of this excellent starter. Thick crunchy batter surrounds high-quality chicken drumsticks and wings, with a sticky sweet soy dip on the side, plus a lightly sour yuzu aioli dip.
The beef and foie gras gyoza are pleasant enough, crisp on two sides and soft on the others, with a smart pairing of a dark soy-style sauce and shelled edamame beans. The chilli and sesame roasted scallops are show-stoppers though, top quality fat scallops, charred at the edges, topped with thin slivers of Chinese sausage – just enough to match well with the mollusc but not enough to overpower, plus crushed edamame (posh mushy peas, in other words) with the barest hint of mint. It’s a great twist on the well-worn scallop and pea dish found up and down the country, and a total must-try.
The ‘giant’ in the Giant King Prawn is no lie. The thing is huge, complete with eyes, tendrils and whatever else goes in there still attached. The flesh is as good as it gets, tender but meaty, with a top-class yuzu pepper and smoked garlic dip on the side.
You won’t find a better serving of steak in Manchester this winter, Hawksmoor et al be damned
For the full Tattu experience though, there’s only one choice – providing you’re a meat-eater with deep pockets. The sirloin of Wagyu beef comes with foie gras marinated with Japanese Nikka whisky, on a bed of properly-cooked green beans and a truffle sesame soy glaze. As a serving of meat, it’s next-level and you won’t find a better serving of steak in Manchester this winter, Hawksmoor et al be damned. Each mouthful is beef heaven, but I’ll leave it up to you to discover the price.
Desserts are as pretty and delicate as ever. White chocolate igloos are a fine choice, scoops of blood orange flavoured ice cream, wafers of vanilla biscuit and topped with coconut snow.
But the Asian pear crumble is proof, if it was ever needed, that the Tattu chefs aren’t resting on their laurels. It’s a circle of crumb, fruit, almond and edible flowers, with a pot of pink custard to pour in the middle, creating a kind of Sergeant Pepper’s multi-coloured, multi-textured dessert 2.0. A sublime end to an outstanding meal.