Next-level char siu as Tattu unveils Blossom Season menu

Char siu two ways was wild...

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 5 June 2024

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Char siu pork is probably around 3000 years old, its first appearance stretching all the way back to the royal recipe books of the Zhou Dynasty. 

The name translates to ‘fork roast’, a hunk of meat cooked slowly for hours over open fire. If a recipe just isn’t really much cop, it generally won’t find its way transcending generations, let alone thousands of years. Or into royal recipe books, for that matter.

Originally, it would likely have been made using wild boar, and according to the South China Morning Post, in the 1950s ‘floor scraping’ char sui was deemed the best iteration of the dish.

While that doesn’t sound overtly appetising, it was so called because the preferred pigs were the ones whose bellies dragged along the ground, a barometer for a creature with the right amount of fat content.

So for these reasons, and many others, when char sui is done right, it’s among the very greatest dishes there is.

Tattu’s new take on this delicacy is perhaps the stand-out dish from its new Blossom Season menu, unveiled recently.

Tattu Char Siu

Their char siu is served up two ways – one is classic, the outer layer of ultra-soft pork shoulder stained red and as soft as it can be, basted in that characteristic sweet, shiny veneer of sauce.

The other has more than a nod to takeaway-style crispy chilli beef, with the pieces of char sui sliced into ribbons and fried in a crunchy batter, before being tossed in sweet-sticky sauce and served with crackling and crunchy nashi pear.

It’s not the only takeaway-inspired dish in this new collection. The humble ‘salt & pepper’ is elevated, with hunks of firm monkfish fried in a light batter, tossed in that familiar mix of spices known in every takeaway in the land and served with a compulsive dipping sauce.


See also the King Oyster Chinese Curry – criss-cross scored slices of meaty king oyster mushroom with sweet and spicy, cumin-heavy curry sauce, lifted texturally with some crispy leeks and pak choi.

Even the black pepper beef fillet feels like a nod to the classic beef in black bean sauce.

But it’s not all cute takes on the takeaway. The sticky short rib arrives in slices, draped over a half bone. How it stays together is a mystery – it melts like butter in the mouth.

Meanwhile, the meaty scallop skewers come with a powerful XO sauce, crispy pancetta and pork floss for that extra slap of sea-saltiness, and the kataifi prawns, wrapped in ultra-thin shredded filo pastry are served with a zingy mango and chilli dipping sauce.

It’s a menu befitting the changing blossom.

 Tattu, Hardman Square, Gartside St, Manchester M3 3EB