Starting on New Year’s Eve, Eater Charleston’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year will change things up. “I’ve started to get more obsessed with Indian food lately,” said Tu co-owner Josh Walker, who has used his other restaurant, Xiao Bao Biscuit, as a platform to test out some of the new Indian dishes he’s planning to roll out at Tu moving forward. “The cool thing about Indian food is that it’s so flavorful — salty, sweet, sour, spicy — and there’s so much tradition because it’s such a huge country,” said Walker. He explained the impact of colliding cultures on the cuisine in India and his vision to tell a story with their new menu. Walker, along with his wife/co-owner Duolan Walker-Li, and co-owner Joey Ryan, has explored different dishes in a research and development phase over the past few months.
When asked if he was willing to call this new version of Tu an Indian restaurant, Walker explained that the country’s size and global influences make it hard to classify exactly what Indian food really is. They plan to show varied takes on the types of food they’ve experienced in the genre and are heading to Trinidad in January to explore further.
The menu has not yet been finalized, but it will include Delhi-inspired street snacks, Indian curries, and a bread program. “What’s an Indian restaurant without bread,” said Walker. One street snack to look for is vada pav, a fried potato sandwich with three different chutneys and a soft white milk bread. This dish will epitomize the selection at the new Tu, as the Mumbai-staple is relatable to all palates.
Tu will keep its menu unchanged until the first Indian dinner on New Year’s Eve. Diners looking to get their fill of the current offerings can head to Meeting Street for dinner Monday through Saturday (closed Tuesdays for private parties).