This month’s blow the budget is brought to you via 4 things that could make any 40 something year old beam - a birthday, a day off, a soft launch with 50% off and £100 to spend on whatever I like. So, with free cash in the wallet, an unquenchable thirst and a grumbly belly I headed off to the (now completely launched) hottest new restaurant in town, Tattu.
Tattu, situated at The Now Building Rooftop, where Centre Point once stood, is a brand spanking new, super high end, overtly stylised & swanky (silent ‘s’), Asian fusion restaurant. With a concept built around four Chinese spirits; the dragon, phoenix, koi, and tiger, it can only describe it as ‘ridiculously’ overly themed. It is beautiful. Each area effortlessly brought to life with finesse but a big sprinkle of ‘fake’. The huge 180 cover interior felt immediately like a film set.
Now, as a balding, middle aged, slightly pretentious man with Japanese tattooed sleeves on both arms and a penchant for buying expensive objects, I obviously felt totally and instantly at home. Keeping in mind I visited during a ‘soft launch’, (which meant that they only had a third of the covers and we in return got 50% off the food)… the place was pristine, perfect for the influencer set that they were no doubt trying to appeal to.
Before I continue, I should probably caveat here that food was purchased as a gift from my significant other with the cabinet very kindly picking up the bar tab. I had scanned, downloaded and highlighted the entire menu prior to arrival so I didn’t have to waste time on ‘choosing’. The last vital bit of information I need to insert is that my window of opportunity for this foray into over-priced indulgence was a short 2.5 hours. The restaurant opened at 12 and even though this was my birthday, I had to collect a no doubt, tired and grumpy 3.5year old from nursery at 1530. Minus travel time = 2.5 hours to eat my fill and get as drunk as I could.
So, back to the days task at hand, consume as much of the menu as possible.
I’ll start with the non-cabinet budget items. The food.
The restaurant does the small plate, big plate thing. Designed to share and delivered to the table in no particular order I set the plan in action and requested the following Dim Sum & Small Plates to get things started:
- CHICKEN TRUFFLE SHUMAI with freshly shaved truffle and soy
- IBERICO PULLED PORK WOR TIP with Slaw, chilli oil and five-spice black vinegar
- WAGYU RIBEYE DUMPLING with Kimchi and spring onion
- YELLOWTAIL AND KIWI SASHIMI with Lotus root, dragon fruit and chilli salsa
- STICKY BEEF SHORT RIB with Soy, chilli and crispy shallots
- SUGAR SALT CRISPY SQUID with Green chilli, pomegranate and mint
- BLACK COD CROQUETTES Ginger and garlic aiol
You’d probably be thinking that this was a fair bit of food … and you’d be right but, as stated above it was half price. The waiter (who was still in training) kind of looked at me with a ‘you taking the piss’ bemusement so at that point I order the rest;
- SZECHUAN RED BELLY PORK with Baby leek and smoked crackling
- CHAR SIU HONEY GLAZED MONKFISH with Morning glory, caramel orange and pickled cucumber
- SWEET SOUR WOK BLACK ANGUS RIBEYE with Winter melon, potato crisp and pineapple.
… oh, and some rice … x2!
With the formalities of what I was going to gorge myself on completed, it’s time to move onto the real reason why I’m writing this in the first place… the cocktail menu. 13 signatures serves and 2hrs 06mins left to imbibe… Let’s go.
The pre-food order drink of choice.
For my first beverage of the day I wanted something light, not too strong on flavour and refreshing, (I had sat on the tube for the last hour afterall) BUT seeing this, that went straight out of the window. Makers Mark, Campari and banana - the expectation was ‘this will be like a whiskey negroni’ and luckily for me that’s exactly the box it ticked. Super punchy with savoury notes. The bourbon brought a little heat with a dry edge whilst the Banana offered a sweet fruity finish. Plus points for the garnish as the sugared twill was bangin!
A strong 7.5/10 Wyatts to start… more of that to come or did I peak early?
The ‘what I should have had first’ cocktail...
Now, as a cocktail ordering pro I had already tee’d up my second drink of the day as the waiter palmed off the first. ‘Garden Zen’ was smashed within a well-paced 10mins and the next was handed to me 3 mins after.
Arriving in a bubbling glass skull decanter, this had Crystal Head Vodka, candy and lemon. It was sweet, refreshing and light, everything your first drink should be. Like a liquid sherbert Dib-Dab. The first half did the trick but as I got towards the bottom that candy flavour started to compete with the food that had just arrived..
Another robust 7/10 Wyatts… would have been more if the sweetness was offset a little.
Cherry Blossom Negroni
Another not-a-negroni, negroni…
It was a picture of this cocktail that I saw on Instagram 2 months prior to visting that made me click through to the Tattu London insta page and then go on to register for the ‘soft launch. I had high, high hopes and after already sampling one negroni-esque cocktail and whilst ordering another couple of small plates, it was time to get this bad boy. Roku Gin, Cherry Blossom, Campari … oh my… so, so good. Dry, bitter, touch of cherry and chocked full of ethanol (in a good way). It had a subtle sweet finish that just evaporated – an almost creamy mouth feel, leaving you wanting more.
Bravo! Would of been 9/10 but the cherry blossom tree ornament really bugged my nose.
Note to our readers. At this point I am I’m 3x hard liquored cocktails in, the food I’ve eaten has not yet been registered by my body and I’ve realised I’ve spent half the budget already. Paired with the fact I have exactly 57mins left, it was becoming highly unlikely that I was indeed NOT going to ‘blow the budget’… but anything can happen in a restaurant where some cocktails (CELESTIAL DRAGON) costs £60. I’ll continue…
Main course time and the big plates start rolling in. Time to get something long to drink, something with a little depth that won’t ruin the big budget food about to arrive…
Like a Manhatten but no, actually nothing like a Manhatten
OK, I’m just going to say this straight - WTF – What, the actual, fidgetspinner. This was toooooooo sweet. Totally unexpected as anyone that drinks Manhattens know – there is no sweetness. It should all be about the bitterness & herbal undertones. This take on it was sugary. Where is the sugar in a Manhatten? Maybe this was a ‘soft launch’ mistake but this Is a big no from me. Was expecting herbal oolong but all I really got was honey.
Yeah avoid this one. Couldn’t finish it. Ok that’s a lie, it’s alcohol and Andy Wyatt drinks anything but I didn’t enjoy it. Honest
3/10 Wyatts because I liked the glassware and it came in a teapot. The rest was shit.
Thoroughly disappointed, I moaned at the waiter and then went off menu, ordering an Old Fashioned. Surely, they couldn’t get that wrong and luckily they didn’t. Though in my haste to drink something resembling a ‘classic cocktail’ I totally forgot to take picture… so you’ll have to believe me. It was good. Really it was. And it got better as they didn’t charge me for it based on the turd-in-a-glass they served me before… with this in mind;
Tattu Old Fashioned
It’s a classic and they didn’t screw it up
20mins before our exit, dessert arrived. I’m not a big fan of dessert, I’m one of those people that prefer a starter to a pudding if ever I have a choice but alas it was my birthday and the restaurant gifted me a BUBBLE TEA AND COTTON CHEESECAKE with Strawberry, passion fruit and lychee.
I wasn’t going to let that distract me however, so I ordered my last drink of the afternoon and the standout winner of the day…
Whats not to love about an espresso Martini…
The two tables either side of my went quiet which I thought was strange, so I looked up and there was my waiter walking over holding a bell jar with smoke in. My final cocktail had arrived, and it looked impressive. He took the bell jar off and the smoke dispersed into the room under a beautiful purple hue, leaving the glorified martini glass ready for my taking. Well, this was meant to be the idea. What actually occurred was he struggled to get the bell jar off on first attempt, then smoke kinda wafted away immediately and then you were left just seeing slightly shit purple led bulbs glaring at you. After 5 cocktails and trying not to judge them too harshly before tasting, I put this down to ‘it’ being designed for the ‘nightime’… It would look cracking at night.
On to the drinking.
Rum, coconut and espresso set off with the burnt beach smoke (which actually did a job – not just for show). Almost overpowering but then the creamy coconut infused espresso blows through and it’s a distant memory. Super creamy, not heavy and deceivingly alcoholic. I could drink this alllllll night. A real shame I had to order the bill and make a run for the tube…
Highest score of the day for the last drink
SOLID 9/10 Wyatts
So there we have it. In all honesty, id summarise my visit to Tattu as Good not Great. It was definitely style over substance.
In total our food bill, if not for the discount, amassed £373.85 prior to service… would I have paid that without that discount, hahaha absolutely not (which means probably) but Tattu is “Somewhere the Kardashians would enjoy” as Grace Dent of the Guardian puts it. Did I blow the budget… I’m ashamed to say unfortunately not! Even with the high prices, I simply ran out of time. 6 cocktails, 5 paid for and £96 spent. A shameful challenged failed however… there’s always next time!