Rofuto Birmingham Restaurant Review

rofutoAs the regeneration of Birmingham continues, we’re getting some absolute gems of restaurants right on our doorstep.  My next stop on the Birmingham restaurant train was Rofuto, the sky-high restaurant at one of Birmingham’s newest hotels.  Located on the 16th floor of the newly developed Park Regis, Rofuto offers guests “world class dishes based on a unique combination of traditional Japanese techniques, such as Sushi, Yakitori and Tempura, served in a creative modern Japanese style”.  Sounds good to me…

I was recently invited to try out their new menu and I have to say, for a fussy eater, I really enjoyed it.  Side note before we begin, my only taste of Japanese food up until this point had been trusty Wagamamas – Yaki Soba for the win – so I was excited to try something a little more contemporary.

With six courses to work through, we started with Tom Yum Soup which contained shitake mushroom, galangal, chilli, tofu and Thai Basil.  While it was nice, it wasn’t really my thing and I really didn’t like the texture of the tofu.  Then we moved on to the Sea Bass Tiradito; raw sea bass with a passion fruit and tiger milk dressing.   I have to admit, raw sea bass is not my favourite, cooked – I love it (more of that later) but I didn’t enjoy it raw.

Course three was an interesting one – Japanese Woods which included eel.  Even though this one looked impressive with it’s dry ice show when it’s served, I was hesitant about it as I’ve had a bad experience in the past which I suspect was eel related but nonetheless I gave it a go.  It was much nicer than I expected and all the flavours worked really well with the textures.  But the fussy eater in my was having a bit of a hissy fit inside as I still hadn’t eaten a dish that had wowed me – that all changed in the final three courses.

My favourite dish of the evening was the fourth – the Dim Sum Platter which came three ways – Prawn Shuami, Beef & Foie gras Gyoza and a mushroom spring roll.  It’s hard for me to choose which one I loved more.  I think I ended up having two of the beef as I was sat with a vegetarian who didn’t want theirs.  When they offered it out to the group my hand shot straight up.  It was delicious.  The gyoza was soft and delicate and the mushroom spring roll was full of flavour.  I’m obsessed with prawns and will eat them whatever way they come and was pleasantly surprised with my first shuami experience. More of that please!

Onto the mains, Chilean Sea Bass with mandarin, ginger flower and rice crisp, Red Roast Baby Chicken in water chestnut, kumquat and master stock, Sesame Tuna Tataki with a sesame and pine nut crust and textures of apple and the Korean Spiced Red Pepper Lamb Chops with kohlrabi, butternut squash and physalis salad. I mentioned earlier that I love sea bass when it’s cooked so it was no surprise that my favourite dish was the sea bass; it was so tender and cooked so well.  The chicken was also juicy and full of flavour.  I’m not a lamb fan but I thought I’d give it a try, and guess what, I still don’t like lamb.  I actually don’t think anything will change that. but the sesame crust was nice.

The final course was Miracle Berry which actually has the ability to change how your taste buds taste food.  About 30 seconds after eating the powder, which in this case was served with popcorn on a parfait, your taste buds begin to recognise food that are slightly sour to be more on the sweet side.  It worked well with the rest of the dessert and interestingly, with my Riesling which by the end of the dish, tasted more like a very sweet dessert wine.

Overall, I really enjoyed Rofuto and actually recommended it to a girl at work for a date she had coming up.  With its fantastic views of Birmingham and excellent cocktail and wine list to accompany the food, it makes a great date location and I can’t wait to go back and try it out with Adam.

**I was invited to a blogger tasting of the new menu at Rofuto. As always, all opinion are my own.