Japan’s cherry blossom season may be grounded to a halt this year thanks to a certain virus, but there’s a restaurant in Edinburgh that’s saving you on the flight (and the flu) as it transports you to a floral-filled paradise. As gorgeous as Manchester’s Ivy Asia and raising the OTT bar that London favourites like Circolo Popolare aim to hit, Tattu is the stunner that did it all first.
Visiting Edinburgh for the first time ever (what kind of Brit am I?), I just had to tick Tattu off my edible hit-list. From Manchester to Leeds and Birmingham, this contemporary Chinese brand has been doing the rounds for a while. Attempting to swerve the horrific hail storm that was Storm Dennis, my partner and I made a beeline to the West Register Street hideaway for a Thursday night date. And it seemed that the rest of the city had the same idea.
Adorned with pink and purple foliage and dimmed light, the gorgeous room had not an empty table in sight. Our waitress recommended a bottle of easily quaffable Gavi di Gavi (£34 per bottle) – the perfect choice as we perused the menu from within our plush booth. The a la carte menu lists a wealth of dishes, divided into snacks, tempura, dim sum and raw options which lead onto small and large plates. The big question was; where to begin?
Easing in with prawn and lobster toast (£9), we were presented with a huge dome of seafood coated in sesame seeds and resting atop a tiny toast, before meaty Peking duck bon bons (£8) arrived with a gorgeously tangy plum and sesame sauce. Salmon sashizza (£9) had a nice hint of spice, though could have done with more truffle tapenade and yuzu aioli for a real kick.
Never letting our glasses run dry, our waitress was on hand to top up our glasses when an incredibly light soft shell crab (£16) took its place at the table. Giving us just enough time to get that Insta content (hello, did I mention the astonishing interior?) we had a brief pause before the large plates stole the show. My ginger miso black cod (£31) was both tender and sweet but not to the point of being sickly, while caramel soy beef fillet (£31) drenched in sauce sat across the booth. The only flaw was its topping of finely chopped and overly cooked shiitake losing all the flavour and texture that the meaty mushroom usually has.
But, dessert was on its way to sort that slight dip. Taking our waitress up on another endorsement, we ended with the cherry blossom (£9); a photo-worthy concoction that merged chocolate mousse with cherry and candyfloss while dry ice flooded the table with fog. And with a couple of cocktails – my (slightly overly fruity) From Islay With Love (£10) and his Champagne-topped Tattu Twinkle (£15) – in the mix, this was a satisfying tick off the list.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Tattu might not be serving up the most traditional Asian food and its price points may be on the steep side, but is it worth it? Absolutely. It’s not the kind of place you’d catch me at on a weekly basis (birthdays and anniversaries, I’m looking at you) but this is all kinds of special occasion-worthy. Sure, you’ve glanced on The Gram, but until you’ve seen this stunning space for yourself, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
After a tasty date night in Edinburgh? Check out our pick of romantic restaurants in the city.