Taking Leeds in a quiet storm, Tattu has become one of the place’s to eat

We’ve reviewed Tattu twice, and on both occasions the experience of dining there has been as impressive as the food. This in your face, new age Chinese feels like its part of a huge company with teams who work on the attention to detail on every aspect of the experience. Actually its one of two venues with the original in Manchester started by Adam and Drew along with a carefully selected team.

Their obsession with ensuring everything that comes out of the kitchen is 100% is echoed throughout the restaurant, and to be totally honest, we absolutely LOVE it so when we had the chance to speak with the executive chef, Clifton Muil, we jumped at the chance.



Here’s what he had to say…


Meet Clifton – Executive Chef, Tattu Restaurants


Q – Where are you originally from?

A – I was born and raised in South Africa. I left when I was 21 to move to London and since then have worked in several Asian restaurants before moving to Manchester for Tattu and I’m now based in Leeds.

Q – When did you first become interested in cooking?

A – My love for food started at home cooking for my family. I decided to pursue a career as a chef in my teens and trained under one of South Africa’s most acclaimed chefs – Richard Carstens.

Q – Who was your biggest inspiration?

A – I would have to say my mentor Richard Carstens, he really showed me what food was all about. His passion came across in everything he did and he taught me the fundamentals of being a chef, both in cooking and in business.

Q – What changes have you seen, if any, in the way the restaurant world has changed? ie have peoples tastes changed, do people expect more nowadays etc..?

A – I think absolutely people’s tastes and expectations have changed, we have a far more knowledgeable clientele, with people starting to take more risks in their own kitchens and experimenting when it comes to dining out. People eat out a lot more and so want it to be an exciting experience when they dine – which keeps us chefs on our toes, but also means we can really push the boundaries with our cooking.



Q – What has been your biggest success to date?

A – The success of Tattu restaurants is absolutely the biggest success in my career to date. It’s been an incredible journey so far with the team involved, coming to Leeds has been fantastic for us too and we’ve been overwhelmed by the reception we’ve had from the community. It feels like we’ve opened in the city at just the right time, the food and drink scene has exploded over the past 12 months and being part of that culinary journey is really exciting. It also means there’s lots of great places to try on your days off!

Q – What’s the must try dish on your menu?

A -That’s a tough one. We’ve just launched our new winter menu and so naturally we’re all excited about the new dishes –  I think the yuzu black cod is a real standout, personally. Firm favourites we have seen for guests in Leeds so far are the crispy pork belly with black vinegar, sweet soy and ginger, and the sticky beef short rib with soy, chili and crispy shallots.

Q – What would be your tip for upcoming chefs?

A – I think it would be not to rush your career progression. Take your time to learn every aspect of the kitchen before you make the step up; show dedication to your trade, be humble and be smart with your approach. Most importantly don’t forget you’re part of a team – there’s no place for big egos in the kitchen!

Q – What are the 3 main components to running a successful restaurant?

A – It’s got to be great food, great service and plenty of passion.

Q – What do you hope people think when they’ve dined with you?

A – I hope they can taste the love, the time and the effort put into each plate in one bite!

Q – Finally, If you could summarise, what do you believe good cooking is all about?

A – I believe great cooking is about taking the wonderful produce our lands have to offer, treating them with respect and making sure the dishes you create bring out the best of those ingredients. Each element should have a purpose –  if it doesn’t then it shouldn’t be on the plate.

 If you want to see what we thought when we reviewed the new Tattu winter menu click HERE

By Tom, Restaurants of Leeds Share this story