by Amy Jackson
Those that come to Charleston will understand quickly that it is full of Southern classics like barbecue, brunch, and big “ole” portions.
Regional Low Country specialties are found all across Downtown, but if you’re looking for something outside the box, a spot that must fall on your can’t-miss list is Tu.
Located on the corner of Meeting and Woolfe Streets just one block over from the bustle of King Street lies Tu. Simply T-U, Tu is the second restaurant from the same trio of restauranteurs who opened Xiao Bao Biscuit on Spring St. not too long ago.
Much like its older sibling, Tu’s menu is often subject to changes from dinner to their late night menu, and even more so as seasons change.
Stepping into their quaint restyling of a classic Charleston home you are greeted with warm light and a small but bustling staff. Choose a couple of chaat (Indian snacks, like tapas or small plates) and entrees like the Tikka Plate or curry of the day and have dinner with a couple of friends under the minimalistic, far-East glow.
Most items are priced fairly for the locality and freshness of the ingredients used. But those who wish to keep the decision-making up to the chefs can opt for the ‘omakase’ style menu. For just $45 per person you will be gifted a special 7-course tasting of the dishes sampled at Tu. The chef calls the shots so you know you are in good hands, and you may even be presented with a few exclusive munchies.
Favourite dishes always include the naan (an Indian bread), both original and garlic varieties. Big plates range from butter chicken to biryani to fish curry and vegetables to authentic dosas (a sort of pancake made of rice flour) up to and even chaat with fresh tamarind.
The entrance to Tu is located on the side of an old Charleston single family home where two dining rooms are connected by an eclectic bar. The bartenders serve cocktails complementary to the spicy food, fresh naan, and exotic spices served inside and outside on their green-lit, covered patio.
Tu does not take reservations so if you find yourself looking for dinner Downtown on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, (they only open on weekends), just pop in to their spot and give Tu’s wide-ranging Indian menu a try.
For those yearning to depart from the grandeur of regional BBQ and local shrimp and grits, come down Meeting St. for the Indian fare, stay for the creative drinks, and enjoy a night that will leave you thinking Tu is for you.
Tu 430 Meeting Street
( corner of Meeting and Woolfe Streets)
Open 17.30 to 22.00 Wednesday to Saturday