Tattu London Terrace Review

Tottenham Court Road has changed immensely in the last few years with the arrival of the underground’s Elizabeth line and the regeneration that came with it. On the East side of Charing Cross Road, the no-man’s land of administrative tower blocks has been replaced by a clean, open plaza and what is known as the Outernet. It doesn’t quite feel like London, could be New York. But then again, the little labyrinth of backstreets punctuated by bouncers, defined by distant, pumping music, coloured, occasionally, with lysergic patterns from video tunnels, could be Tokyo.

Tattu is located on the 6th floor of one of these anonymous backstreets and is Chinese rather than Japanese in inspiration. It’s split into three neat sections: an intimate bar as you exit the lifts on the left, a very designed restaurant area which reminds of the bottom floor from the infamous fight scene in Kill Bill, kind of straight on, and to the left a charming, semi-outdoors terrace which is seasonal in theme. Bathed in a heady, arguably hedonistic red nightlight, this could also be a favourite of John Wick’s. We sit on a table which overlooks the impressive South London skyline; bright pinpricks from closed offices, a soft, glowing moon, the Shard’s Christmas lights all pierce the darkness and impress. Above us hangs a large curve of winter wonderland foliage and to our left, a row of Lapland-esque small, snow covered trunks and branches. Half the seats are covered in reindeer fur and heaters keep the space toasty. Unassuming dance music seeps in half the time when the terrace entrance is open but is kept out the other half when it’s closed.

The Great Snow is one of a handful of Tattu’s bespoke seasonal cocktails. Described as ‘effervescent’ it comes with its own mug of dry ice, not to be sipped, of course, but to be marveled at. It feels Halloween rather than Christmas but its extravagance, its bounty of swirling smoke, a mini cloudscape in front of our very eyes, must surely tickle the fancy of the most hardened Humbug (or, indeed, Batfiend). The cocktails are delivered in elegant belljars and emit a blue glow with nuclear ferocity. Our kind and friendly waiter, Miguel from Tenerife, showily lifts the belljars off and enjoys the spectacle with us, as even more dry ice clears. It turns out The Great Snow has its own underlighting, too, and ressembles a space age elixir which must, surely, promise eternal life. On top of the bulk of blue liquid is a pink foam. In the middle of the foam floats a small dried elderflower. Mixing vodka, elderflower cordial, lemon and a dash of Prosecco, this is sweet and heady, to be supped slowly and savoured.

We’re snacking rather than feasting tonight and our novelty Dim Sum is a great and visually entertaining way to start. The blue eyeball is actually Shiitake mushroom, is surprisingly viscous and comes with a hint of ginger. The orange creature which could be a slug and has edamame for eyes is full of finely ground pork. The other orange creature is a goldfish and, no surprise, also tastes very fishy (Black Cod and Prawn), even has a black dot for its eyes. At a stretch, the Beef Wagyu resembles a bull’s head neatly conceived of by a graphic designer.

Next up are four small scallops, served in one shell. Sauteed and decorated with smidgeons of sausage and a green, crispy leaf, maybe seaweed, they sit in a healthy portion of pea purée and cucumber salsa. They’re delicate and succulent and the purée/salsa is an intriguing and moreish addition.

We can’t resist another round of cocktails and opt for an Oolong Old Fashioned and a Sesame Sour. Neither are as showy as The Great Snow but both are more complex, slower drinks with deeper set flavours. Signal Hill Whisky mixes with brown butter Takamak and Oolong tea to render an Asian twist on a classic. With cinnamon, aniseed and dark cherry flavours, it has a pleasant smokiness to it and is practically addictive. The Sesame Sour mixes Toasted Sesame Patron with lemon and maple for a pleasingly unique concoction which is rich, earthy, velvety and just a little bit nutty. It’s an homage to an oil which is a staple of Chinese cooking and much like the Old Fashioned, demands to be savoured slowly.

We can’t resist another plate and opt for half a crispy duck which comes with a generous amount of pancakes and, unusually, a helping of crispy onion to accompany the strips of spring onion. The crispy duck pancake just became even crispier! You can practically hear the crunch as you chew, as all the flavours coalesce for a mouth-watering finale. The terrace is a quicker, slicker, cheaper option than the main restaurant and with no idea as to how this special space will adapt for Spring, we’ll be looking forward to returning and finding out. For now, however, The Great Snow has to be London’s cocktail du jour and justifies a visit to Tattu in and of itself.

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