Adam Jones talks about the unique restaurant brand he co-owns with brother Drew and their plans for the future.
Tattu, is still relatively new to the dining scene in Manchester but, the restaurant which started out as a concept based around body art, has certainly made its mark on the city.
Tattu is not only one of the most incredible venues in Manchester, but, when it comes to its food, it’s also one of the most spectacular. This luxurious and sophisticated restaurant delivers a modern adaptation of Chinese cuisine, like no other. It seamlessly fuses the best of Eastern and Western flavours, skill and creativity to take diners on a unique sensory journey.
Like it’s cuisine, the name Tattu, is a fusion, deriving from the original Polynesian word ‘tatau’, meaning to make a mark and ‘U’ for unique. Which is most definitely the fundamental message this brand conveys. Adam and Drew are very much hands on, when it comes to running the business and are at the restaurant seven days a week.
Adam is quietly spoken and openly admits that he feels his skills are better used working behind the scenes, saying he finds front of house roles a little uncomfortable. I disagree, from the outset Adam’s passion and enthusiasm for the company and their team is abundantly clear; And as the ‘man with the plan’ there’s no one better placed to tell the story of Tattu. Speaking of plans, Adam originally set out to follow a career in the law. He studied Law at Leeds University where he gained his degree. But, after finishing university, his creative inner voice spoke louder and this set him on a different course. However, his combination of legal training, meticulous attention to detail and artistic flair have come together to create a business, which at the risk of repeating myself, really is unique.
Adam explains, “Our starting point for Tattu was to begin with the idea of making a mark, something with permanence and longevity. We were not looking to follow any trends.”
Tattu’s inimitable style mixes dishes with their roots in Chinese cuisine and combines them with the produce, skills and techniques used in high-end western style dining. This incomparable approach brings about a luxurious dining experience. Also, because this is an unparalleled concept, Tattu has no obvious demographic. It caters to the open minded and those looking to explore the synthesis of Tattu’s cuisine. Adam further explains, “Our brand represents a premium offering centred around quality, using the best produce we can. We spend a good deal of time searching for the right suppliers to work with and building relationships with them.” He continues, “It’s also very important to us that our menus are continually evolving, are seasonally led and complimented with unusual ingredients. We take the development process very seriously to ensure each dish has impact.”
It’s this evolution that delights and intrigues Tattu’s clientele. Tattu also regularly holds events and private dining, giving Executive Chef Clifton Muil, Head Chef Jon Green and the team added opportunity to create and develop bespoke dishes and menus. Their latest menu is described as the most progressive to date and encapsulates the best of the season whilst delivering a playful celebration of Chinese cuisine. The level of detail behind the brand is something Adam and Drew have used as their mantra and will continue to use as the company grows. They are involved in every aspect of the business and the pursuit of perfection.
Adam enjoys the creative side and can’t now imagine working in the Law but, he smiles, “My training has its advantages when it comes to the legalities of the business and the signing of new leases.” They opened their second restaurant in June 2017 and when it came to location, chose Leeds, Adam’s University home. Adam says, “It’s a city I know and love and our concept has been very well received since we opened.”
Plans are afoot for their next location and it seems there’s no stopping this dynamic team. But Adam clarifies, “We are not looking to create a large chain. Our idea was founded in individualism and it’s where our brand will remain. Our Leeds restaurant has its own identity compared to Manchester. Manchester tells the story of the concept of Tattu. This is communicated in the interior design which draws on the history of body art and its links to the Merchant Navy and trade. Leeds represents the next chapter. It’s a celebration of the detail of the art form which is reflected in the stunning artwork and animation we have painstakingly created and which ‘comes to life’ as you dine.”
The company plans to have five locations in total so as to keep the individual concept alive and well within each restaurant. As the evening diners start to arrive, our meeting draws to an end and Adam gets back to work. With plans for the next location taking shape, a special ‘Journey Through China’ event in the pipeline and Chinese New Year celebrations on the horizon, Adam, Drew and the team definitely need to get ‘on their marks!’