Since opening in Manchester in May 2015, contemporary Chinese restaurant Tattu has become one of the city’s most popular culinary destinations. With a bold and distinctive design, the Manchester site has rapidly cemented the Tattu brand as one of the best places to eat in the north of England.
Despite a relatively short time in business, owners Adam and Drew Jones are already building on the success and popularity of Tattu Manchester. Tattu Leeds opened to the public on the 9th June, evolving the brand’s concept and offering diners a new and unique experience.
The split-level restaurant delivers 180-covers, serving individual dishes created specifically for Leeds as well as its signature plates, perfected in Manchester. Located in Minerva, Tattu Leeds is the latest exciting culinary opening to hit the city which has seen major hospitality investment and growth in recent years.
Ahead of the Tattu Leeds launch, Adam Jones spoke to Premier Hospitality about the new restaurant, its location and the importance of its individuality. He started by explaining why the expansion of the brand was happening now:
“We felt that now was the right time to expand the business. We’ve developed the concept over the past two years and opening Tattu Leeds feels like the natural progression. We’ve got a small expansion plan for Tattu as a brand with only a small number of sites in the UK. Every Tattu location will be completely unique, with its own identity and elements that represent the cities they’re based in.
“It’s taken two years for us to feel like the brand was established, to understand what we wanted the brand to say and what we wanted the brand to deliver, from food and drink through to service and staff presentation. We started working on Leeds a year ago so we’ve had some time to develop the concept; because it’s such a unique brand there are a lot of elements that need to be carefully considered. Now Leeds is complete, I will begin to work on our next design concept should the opportunity to open a third Tattu present itself in the future.”
Tattu is a brand that takes visual inspiration from body art and its self-expression, in particular its individualism. Tattu Manchester told the story of body art and its progression from being introduced as a commercial entity in Asia many years ago, to travelling over to the West when sailors and the merchant navy traded with Asia. They saw these beautiful pieces of art on people and brought the art form to the western world.
The design of Tattu Leeds takes this concept and progresses it, taking greater influence from modern day body art as Adam explained:
“Leeds is a new take on the concept and is more of a celebration of the capability of artists nowadays in terms of the detail they’re able to deliver in each piece of work. If you look at body art now compared to ten years ago, it’s almost photographic. The things that artists can do with new inks and new styles are really pushing boundaries, creating new elements and concepts for their customers, which is exactly what we want to do.
“Tattu Leeds is really about intricacy. We looked for extremely detailed natural materials for the restaurant including stunning Bardiglio marble, which contains real depth and veinage. We also imported basalt rock from Hong Kong, which was probably the hardest material we had to source but it’s so beautiful it looks like it’s laced with gems. In different lights, you get a different feel and texture from it – it really is stunning.
“We stripped back the colour palate and went for more greys, browns, whites to add a monochrome tone to the background of the restaurant. All the materials we’ve used are naturally detailed items. Tattu Manchester feels young and fresh, while Leeds feels a bit more refined and polished.”
“We also opted for a white cherry blossom installation as a nod to the Yorkshire white rose emblem, with three huge cherry trunks, kiln dried and preserved for the restaurant interior. The blossom has become a signature design piece of ours and will continue to play a role in all of our designs. It represents a celebration of life and acts as a symbol of luck for our operations.”
For this first expansion it was important that Adam and Drew chose the right location. Leeds has seen significant hospitality investment in recent years and is now home to a rapidly expanding culinary portfolio. Situated in the newly developed Bond Court, Tattu is ideally placed to benefit from a large investment into the area and neighbouring properties. Adam added:
“Leeds for us was the most sensible second city. I went to university here and loved the rich culture and identity of the city, although it’s changed a great deal in the last ten years. We have a strong corporate following in Manchester and host a lot of business diners so we wanted to look for a site within a similar business hub and a large commercial investment – which Leeds has.
“The growth of the city centre in particular is astronomical at the moment and we wanted to be a part of that development. Leeds has a huge catchment and an artistic, social community. The demand is definitely there and what we offer is intended to be unique and exciting, so hopefully people will warm to our product and style.
“The produce available in Yorkshire is celebrated across the country and the world. There are some fantastic ingredients available right here in Yorkshire and we wanted to celebrate that. We’re introducing a crab cake that utilises Whitby Crab, which is widely recognised as some of the best crab available. We’ve added a Yorkshire Beef Puff – a traditional Chinese beef puff but using Yorkshire beef with a buttery, rich curried flavour. We’re also developing a dish using Yorkshire pig – a really succulent Yorkshire pig ribeye, served on the bone with a teriyaki apple sauce, it is a delicious dish.”
The rapid success of Tattu since opening just two years has greatly exceeded expectations. The unique concept has found a strong audience and, while not without its challenges, Tattu Leeds is already well placed to take the brand to a new level. Reflecting on this Adam concluded:
“The challenges were the same as with opening our first restaurant. It’s a new city, new untapped territory. We’ve had to recruit a big team of 80 staff which is never easy but we feel that the location we’ve got is just perfect for what we do. The welcoming from the people of Leeds and the local press has been amazing and we feel honoured that people are excited for us to come to their city. The reaction has been unbelievable.
“It’s an incredible feeling to have a second Tattu. We had no idea what direction the brand would take or how it would be received when we first launched. To see it journey to a second location already, after only being open in Manchester for two years, is incredible. We’re really excited about the future of the brand and where it may take us.”
CTC Tiles Ltd
CTC Tiles Ltd is a tile consultancy specialist, advising and supplying porcelain and ceramic tiles for use within the construction industry. The business has now operated successfully for 25 years and within this time has been involved in a broad range of projects, from music colleges, libraries and commercial offices to restaurants, pubs and hotels, apartments and high-end residential schemes.
Most recently, CTC Tiles Ltd has been involved in Tattu Leeds. Working on this project, CTC Tiles Ltd supplied tiles for all areas of the restaurant, with each range designed to fit the very specific brief given by the client and design team.
Belinda Openshaw, CTC Tiles Ltd, said:
“We were delighted to be asked for our advice for this new Tattu restaurant by Adam Jones and Edwin Pickett designs. We have worked alongside Ed and Stephen for a number of years now, and learnt much about Adam’s vision from working with him on the first Tattu restaurant in Manchester.
“Leeds was always going to be different based on the bare bones of the building, and we quickly grasped that Adam was striving to create something even more revolutionary, taking people to another destination during their dining experience. From the outset, we established that he was keen to create a flow and synergy, though he was also determined to add juxtaposing elements to offer striking contrast.
“The scheme came together remarkably quickly based on an understanding of the impact that Adam and his team wanted to achieve, and we sincerely hope that the restaurant will see the same success as Manchester has. We thank them for allowing us to once again play a part in a fantastic project.”
“At CTC Tiles Ltd we pride ourselves on our professional service and profound knowledge of what we sell. We listen to the requirements of each client and guide them to the products that fit their brief.”
Telegraph Furniture specialise in the supply and manufacture of contract furniture to restaurants, bars, hotels and student accommodation. The company has been in operation for 25 years and within this time has worked on various prestigious projects, including: British Airways, Quo Vadis in Soho, The Arts School in Liverpool, The French in Manchester, Moor Hall Hotel in Aughton, Rangers Football Club and Royal Liverpool Golf Club, amongst others.
Telegraph Furniture also exports to restaurants and hotels all around Europe and recently in Spain, Holland, Ireland as well as the US and has worked with celebrity chefs including Simon Rogan and Mark Sergeant amongst others.
Most recently, Telegraph Furniture has been involved in Tattu Leeds. Working on Tattu Leeds, Telegraph Furniture supplied the furniture for both the bar and restaurant areas of the venue.
Telegraph Contract Furniture, Director, Kim Pinnington, said:
“We were involved with the first Tattu in Manchester, which was a fantastic project to be involved in. So, it was great to be asked to be involved in the new Leeds project. For us it’s very important to keep building solid relationships with our clients and to help be a part of their progression. Tattu are doing amazingly well and for us that is important to be a part of.”
“We’re a family business and we strongly believe in continuing the family ethos into how we work. We believe in looking after clients by working closely with them and in supplying them with a top quality product at a competitive price. We don’t see the point in doing business differently.”
Cheshire Contracting & Control EE Ltd
Cheshire Contracting & Control EE Ltd specialise in the installation of electrical and mechanical works for use within the construction industry. The company has been in operation for 35 years and within this time has worked with many important clients.
Most recently, Cheshire Contracting & Control EE Ltd has been involved with Tattu Leeds. Working on this project, Cheshire Contracting & Control EE Ltd was responsible for the complete electrical and mechanical installation across the restaurant.
Cheshire Contracting & Control EE Ltd Managing Director, Brian Valentine, said:
“Tattu is a prestigious, high-end restaurant and one we are pleased to be associated with.”
“At Cheshire Contracting & Control EE Ltd we pride ourselves in our flexible, friendly and efficient approach, as well as our ability to problem solve.”
Wilmslow Building Co Ltd
Wilmslow Building Co Ltd specialise in fit-out works for range of sectors, from retail and leisure to pharmaceutical and school projects, but with a specific focus on bar and restaurant schemes. The company has been in operation since 1998 and within this time has worked on a number of high profile projects, including Tattu Manchester, Yu Alderley Edge, Panacea and Menagerie, amongst others.
Most recently Wilmslow Building Co Ltd was appointed as the main contractor on Tattu Leeds. Building upon their experience with Tattu Manchester, Wilmslow Building Co Ltd was able to deliver another successful project.
Wilmslow Building Co Ltd Director, Ged Nolan, said:
“Tattu Leeds has been another very important project for Wilmslow Building Co Ltd to be involved with and one which showcases the highest quality of workmanship that can be achieved by a fantastic team of craftsman.”
“At Wilmslow Building Co Ltd we pride ourselves on quality, cost assurance and working to tight budgets and deadlines.”