Tattu, Gartside Street, 3 Hardman Square, Manchester, M3 3EB – Visit Now
When Tattu announce their new seasonal menus, Manchester’s food-lovers sit up and listen. The winter menu is another series of genius-flecked cuisine, featuring half a dozen new dishes, all unique to this raved-about Spinningfields venue.
Case in point, the chicken satay lollipops. These aren’t remotely like those sad little skewers of anemic chicken cubes you’ve suffered through at lesser establishments. Tattu’s satay chicken come on the bone, four chicken legs standing aloft, deep-fried and coated in a nutty, honey sauce, designed so that the meat should be gently pulled off the bone to mix with the juices below. In case you’re in any doubt, they’re incredible.
The Peking duck bon-bons are superb too, tight bundles of soft duck, coated in fried panko breadcrumbs, and with a bracing hoisin, cherry and sesame side dip that brings tears to the eyes with its tart and tangy punch.
The Szechuan lobster is a hotter-than-the-sun new main dish featuring traditional Szechuan seasoning coating every bit of the gleaming white lobster meat, transforming it into something much more fiery and eye-watering than you’d expect from lobster. And don’t worry about the pesky rigmarole of cracking, picking and gouging, Tattu have done all that for you – the meat is there to be scooped and eaten, no messing around.
The desserts are good, but struggle to match up to the other new dishes. The Dragon’s egg with chilli and passionfruit is exciting to the eye but lacks a killer edge – and those crispy noodles sat around the chocolate egg are simply unecessary.
But don’t let that put you off, it’s impressive in itself that the Tattu kitchen are constantly trying out new ideas rather than rehashing the same old popular (and excellent dishes). As with everything they do, practically every new item on the menu ticks the same three boxes: beautiful, delicious and laugh-out-loud unique.
Tattu has nailed modern dining in Manchester. The food is dazzling, sometimes even weird, but always first-class. This new menu does everything it set out to do: making the Manchester winter a much better place.
Images by Lennox Paul-David