Richard Bath reviews Tattu restaurant in Edinburgh.

WHAT IS IT: Tattu describes itself as serving “contemporary Chinese” food, and is a chain restaurant with a rather bougie branch in central Edinburgh, just off St Andrew Square. There are also branches in London, Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds, although that needn’t be a bad thing – Fazenda, Dishoom, and Chaopraya are all part of small chains too, and they all have much to commend them.

WHAT’S ITS USP: It is all about the performative side of eating, or food as theatre. With internal trees and more cherry blossom than Edinburgh’s Botanic Gardens, there’s an undoubted opulence to a restaurant that looks more like a film set than a restaurant. Eating there certainly feels like an occasion (we even had Edinburgh royalty in two Scotland rugby players on a next door table, although everything is a downgrade after finding ourselves next to Lewis Capaldi on our last visit to Dishoom).

Tattu in Edinburgh

THE FIRST BIG DECISION: A LA CARTE OR SET MENU: We consulted with our French-Cuban-Scottish waitress Ciara, who recommended that were we to order from the a la carte we should go for a dim sum each, two small plates, a main, and pudding, which we quickly calculated would have come to approximately £85 each. The set menus, at £72.50 and £97.50, were far better value she said, so we gulped and took her advice.

THE SAVOURIES: The sharing plates took no time to come and first up was what was described as lobster and prawn toast. This consisted of four balls of compacted lobster and prawn, with a deep-fried coating covered in sesame seeds and too much pepper, which we dunked into a nice sweet-and-sour chilli dipping sauce. This was followed shortly afterwards by six pieces of marinaded raw tuna served with truffle aioli, caviar and citrus ponzu, which was sumptuous. The highlight though was four small bricks of shredded sticky beef short ribs beef in a thick, rich sauce, which just melted in the mouth and ended what was described as “The First Wave”.

“The Second Wave” started with the most memorable dish of all, half a dozen slices of beautifully pink and perfectly tender Wagyu beef topped with the thinnest smidgeon of foie gras and served with green beans and truffle sesame soy with a side helping of asparagus. Just dreamy. The other half of the second wave (or “mains”, as they are more often called) was a chunk of beautifully moist cod with a strip of batter and served with in hoisin, ginger, and lime.

SWEET STUFF: The two puddings that constituted “Wave Three” varied between good and excellent. The Cherry Blossom – a dish of white chocolate, cherry, and candyfloss – had been talked up by Ciara and she wasn’t wrong: the tartness of the cherry sorbet was the perfect foil to the chocolate and biscuit goo that made up the bulk of the dish, with a bit of candyfloss adding some unnecessary but entertaining theatrics. The Asian pear sticky toffee pudding with cinnamon, vanilla, and almond was decent, but had a hard act to follow.

THE VERDICT: Jeez, this was really decent and it’s some performance, but set against that is the fact that it’s eye-wateringly expensive. Any meal that costs way north of £250 for two people midweek when you’ve only had a couple of small beers and two small glasses of wine needs to be stellar. For that amount I want dancing girls and fire-eaters, or at the very least so much grub that I need to be carried out. There was, however, no boogie, no flames and while we didn’t quite need to go for a poke of chips, we did sashay out of there unaided…

Tattu, 18 West Register St, Edinburgh EH2 2AA; www.tattu.co.uk; 0131 558 1922