Last week I popped into Tattu for a quick chat with the Manager, Jaime, to discuss their restaurant concept after my last visit in the summer. I’ve been so busy these last few months that I haven’t had the chance to return since our first meal there after the opening and it was nice to walk back through the doors and still be blown away.
I got to take a seat in the ‘Parlour,’ a private self-sufficient dining area adjacent to the downstairs bar. A room that oozes luxury and good taste: warm cherry coloured woods; plush velvet and leather chesterfield seating as well as a couple of individually designed tattooed chairs. There are two windows that look out into the public area, which are probably a design decision to tie in the whole downstairs area, but alternatively the secret windows enhance the exclusivity of this private space, which even has its own separate entrance.
I could easily have remained here languishing in utter comfort for the rest of the afternoon, but alas I had too much planned. Instead, I delved straight into interrogating Jaime with my questions:
Something I have pondered on since my last visit, where exactly does the nautical theme fit into Tattu?
Tattu aims to take you on a journey. From the moment you walk through the door and are greeted to the moment you are presented with your food, every part of the Tattu experience has a meaning, a story. The maritime elements are a reference to the sailors who themselves journeyed to the Far East in search of new treasures. An analogy Tattu has brought into its restaurant, an opulent space filled with uniquely crafted ‘treasures.’
How do you feel Tattu has changed Chinese cuisine in Manchester?
Tattu has tried to single itself out as a unique venue. It’s a true blend of what you expect from a modern restaurant infused with recognisable Chinese flavours.
Do you see Tattu expanding? Becoming a chain?
Definitely. The restaurant has been popular since day one, we’ve hardly stopped and there’s a lot more in the pipeline. We see Tattu working not only nationally in the capital, but also internationally in cities like Dubai and even across the Atlantic in the likes of LA.
How has the concept of a ‘food catwalk’ worked out?
It’s working brilliantly. It’s a big decision to sacrifice table space in a restaurant but we’re proud of what we’ve created and having a runway dedicated to service means all eyes are on the food. It is an idea that works not only aesthetically to give the food a presence but also operationally. From the kitchen window, the chefs can look out over every table. No matter how busy the restaurant is, the bridge allows servers to carry the food out undisturbed, without rushing, so the emphasis remains on the quality of food and service.
With food and fashion being a strong concept, do you feel you could end up with too much style and not enough substance?
With the social media revolution, a lot of people choose a restaurant based on where they want to be seen. So yes, Tattu has a strong concept; rich luxurious interiors and beautifully styled dishes, but there is no compromise on taste or substance here.
Each dish has been expertly created by well-known chefs and have been designed not only to tell a story, but also to introduce people to combinations of flavours that they may not have experienced.
With the restaurant scene growing and changing constantly, style was always going to be an important factor. Tattu was designed to be timeless. It may seem that no expense was spared in any part of the design process, but the emphasis has always remained firm on creating a journey for those that visit and ensuring Tattu remains a destination venue for food and ambience.
It may have been brief, but I feel like I learnt so much about this extraordinary addition to the Manchester food scene. I have no doubt that this one is here for the long run.
Many thanks to Jaime for taking the time to speak with me. I look forward to meeting you again next time we’re booked in for some dim sum!