Manchester is awash with new bar and restaurant openings, every week bringing a new kid on the block. One of the most recent, Tattu, is a meeting of the art of the tattoo and oriental style.
Upstairs is dominated by a huge cherry blossom tree with wooden carved slats on the walls and the ceiling is covered with thick woven rope. It’s all hi-spec and lacquered and, if it were not for the aromas of fit food wafting from the kitchen, you could probably smell the Pledge. Although the décor is well imagined, this curious blend of body art and the Orient, with lanterns dangling from ropes, also has a shanty town feel, as though you’d disembarked from a pirate ship in Shanghai. On the upper level, lamp shades are like gobos of skyscrapers, giving the place a futuristic Blade Runner feel too.
Choosing from Tattu’s current menu, we were spoilt for choice. We kicked off proceedings with the substantial dim sum and then the black cod with razor clams, and my plus one had the chilli-glazed smoked aubergine. But be prepared! These dishes have simple menu descriptions and yet they are full of flavours and ingredients and design. The desserts are so complex and pretty!
Targeting the super-rich rarely works in Manchester. Spinningfields was MADE for the early evening after work crowd. It would be much better for a new business wanting to thrive to offer a reasonably-priced early evening three courses, something like the temporary opening menu, suitable for people going out on the town and for people leaving work. Why not appreciate the clientèle who can only afford a £20-odd bottle of vino – and a little higher up the price range on special occasions. This way, you’ll have loyal customers and loyal staff (the staff at Tattu are absolutely lovely by the way). That’s my two penneth anyway…
Don’t do it Tattu. Get rid of those exorbitantly-priced bottles of wine and you’ll be all the better for it.
By Cathy Crabb
Where: Spinningfields, Manchester
When: Open from 12pm daily
More info: www.tattu.co.uk