Now, first things first. While I would like to think I have a pretty strong handle on local restaurants, I was accompanied down to Tattu by an old friend, Ray. Ray is a big guy and for good reason, he absolutely loves to eat! Having just returned back up north from a stint living in London trying out all our southern friends finest restaurants, he was the perfect dinner companion for the night. He has damn good taste and is hard to please!

Did I mention the door?

We arrived at Tattu being well aware of the front door. It is not where you expect it to be, but luckily we had a tip off so avoided eating a starter of glass. The first thing that struck me about the interior was the vibe. I would describe it as a mash-up of the Korean movie, Oldboy and a Triad bar in Hong Kong a friend once treated me too. The main difference is this place has style, in absolute abundance! The staff have an awesome, tattooed, edgy look and the lighting and previously mentioned thudding minimal music top it off to create a totally unique and much-needed vibe on the Leeds restaurant scene.

Tattu’s own lager

We settled into the bar for a quick pint before eating (we like to do that) and checked out their own brand lager, unsurprisingly named, Tattu. It’s a nice crisp pint and it was refreshing to see they didn’t jump on the craft beer bandwagon as lager goes down WAY better with Chinese food. After about three-quarters of the pint, I literally caught the guys eye on the front desk and we were quickly whisked to our table, the attentiveness we were super impressed with. The waiter was so sharp, it was as if he read my mind which is handy when you are hungry!

We are in you, Tattu, we are in you

By this time, our mouths were starting to water. We had been eyeing other tables food and the clear look of delight on diners faces so we were pleased to be quickly presented with the menu. We spent a couple of minutes browsing picking out some clear favourites before a waiter headed to our table and talked us through Tattu’s signature dishes. They were similar to our own choices so we pretty much went with the recommendation. After ordering we went for some nibbles to keep us going. Being starving, we went for all three options, the Sweet and Sour Lotus Crisps, Soy and Ginger Shishito Peppers and Spiced Edamame.

tattu sweet and sour lotus crips

Being honest, just one was probably enough as the peppers especially are a large portion. All were spectacular and despite the fact the Edamame carried an awesome zing, I think my favourites were the Lotus Crips. The sweet and sour tastes really come out well and the Lotus shapes are a really nice creative touch.

I don’t say it about restaurants a lot, but Tattu really has got the ‘experience’ vibe down to a tee. Their food is creative and bold, as represented by the Lotus Crips, like the decor and no doubt like the team behind the project. By this time we could tell we were in for a real treat.

Dim Sum

tattu dim sum

The ‘Tattu experience’ is best enjoyed over three main courses. Dim Sum, Small Plates and Mains were the food is presented to be shared, in true Asian style!

First out was the Dim Sum of which there are plenty of menu options falling under the fried or baked categories. These guys are serious about Dim Sum! We went for the Mixed Dim Sum Basket which contains Wagyu, Thai chicken, black cod and also the Shanghai Dumpling made of Prawn, coriander and black vinegar. While it was a hard choice, I think my favourites were the Thai Chicken from the mixed basket, which has a Red Thai curry vibe. I have eaten a heck of a lot of Thai Red Curry during my time in Asia and I know it can sometimes be very sickly sweet, if not prepared right. I am pleased to say Tattu gets it right, however, and Ray had to lay down the ‘even amounts of each dish’ rule right at the start!

Ray’s favourites were the Shanghai Dumplings, where the crispy outer beautifully complimented the prawn inner.

tattu crispy shanghai dumplings

Small Plates

It was around this time I noticed that there is actually a real or very real looking Cherry Blossom Tree growing from near the front door over a large part of the roof of the restaurant! For some reason, it didn’t twig (HA!) what this was when we came in but this is a totally unique feature that further enhances that cool and eclectic vibe Tattu expertly captures.

The attentive waiter made a timely check on our drinks, which we topped up with more Tattu larger and then we were onto the small plates.

We chose the Teriyaki Scallops with pork crackling and sake and the Crispy Pork Belly with black vinegar, sweet soy and ginger. Scallops, I get everywhere. I love them, but as most of us know they are really hard to get right! Tattu did a fantastic job, getting the consistency and complimentary flavourings just right. Being honest, I dont like Pork Belly. I mentioned this to Ray, but he loves it so we went for it anyway. Tattu managed to change my mind by basically cooking this for a very long time, so the fat around the edge turns to crackling. I loved it and literally had to wrestle Ray to ensure the ‘even splits on each dish’ rule remained intact. Nice work Tattu.

tattu leeds crispy pork belly


By now we were starting to slow down a little. The wait, however, was perfect. I had time to head outside to make a phone call and blow massive fumes of doughnut flavoured vape juice into the night and Ray had plenty of time to massage his expanding belly to help with digestion (picture that!)

I headed back in, to the table, and pretty much the second I say down the ever attentive waiter was back to check on our drinks.

tattu leeds beef fillet

For the mains, we ordered the Beef Fillet and Caramel Soy with shitake and asparagus and the Thai Style Crispy Monkfish with Lime, shallots and lemongrass. As with the small plates, there was a clear divide here between me and Ray as I am not a big fan of Monkfish, however, my love of Thai food enabled me to give the thumbs up when ordering. I was pleasantly surprised, however, as the crispy costing and lemongrass and lime flavour really complimented the fish. It was exceptional. If there was one dish we ate during the night, however, which would sum up the quality of Tattu, it was the Beef Fillet and Caramel Soy. The beef literally melted in the mouth and was served in abundance. There was a serious amount of beef on our plate to the extent we worried we may not finish it. After a little groaning and agreeing to sacrifice some of our X.O Fried Rice (with shrimp, scallop and pancetta) side order, we managed to crawl over the finish line.

tattu thai style crispy monkfish

A big thumbs up

We had to decline dessert as we really were finished and settled for coffees to ease the food and lager combo before our trip home.

As a recommendation, if you are to come and try 3 or 4 courses I would likey either come with serious hunger or hold back on the nibbles (or just go for one). The portions are a great size and it would be easy to save the appetite by leaving some, but the quality really is out of this world so it is very hard to do!.

I really can’t say enough good about Tattu. Both myself and the equally well seasoned, Ray, commented it has the perfect vibe which is echoed through their creative and varied menu. Since going down, I have recommended it to friends without hesitation and will most certainly be back!

If you would like to view the full Tattu winter menu, you can do so, here

Disclaimer – while the food and drink provided by Tattu was complimentary, if it was crap, we would say so! Our opinions are our own and we cannot be influenced by free food if it plain sucks.

By mark, Restaurants of Leeds Share this story