Stepping out of the lift into Tattu at London’s new ‘Outernet’, it’s hard not to feel like a celebrity. The lavish, pseudo-Chinese decor features marble, burnt ash and velvet, with a giant steel blossom sculpture taking centre stage in the ‘dragon courtyard’. Sipping on cherry blossom negronis (which come complete with a mini tree sticking out of the ice cube), we soaked in the view of the city at sunset.
Having seen some koi fish-shaped gau online, we felt obliged to try them. The seabass filling was undeniably tasty, but for £14.50, you’d probably feel cheered by the sight of more than just three dumplings. Things improved significantly with the arrival of the Szechuan pork belly. While the signature Szechuan spice levels were quelled somewhat, the deliciously melty pork and sticky sweet sauce combined for a pleasing plate. The wagyu beef carpaccio was better still, laced with truffle and a kick of ichimi pepper.
Black cod seemed the fitting large plate to order, given the setting. Tattu smartly switched out the traditional miso for a more delicate hoisin, ginger and lime glaze, allowing more stage time for the delicate fish itself. Jasmine rice and black truffle broccoli were ideal accoutrements but had to be ordered separately, adding to the bill.
The meal ended as it began, with cherry blossom. This time, the tree was rooted in chocolate soil, a pleasantly tart cherry sorbet resting in the shade under its candy floss foliage. Given the mixed service (we were recommended a lovely Pinot Gris which matched the food perfectly, but subsequently advised not to order a certain dessert because it wasn’t to the server’s liking), £165 a head does feel like a lot to pay for dry ice and a selfie. That being said, it’s a pretty stunning selfie.