REVIEW: Rofuto at the Park Regis Hotel, Birmingham

REVIEW: Rofuto at the Park Regis Hotel, Birmingham

It is said that Rofuto serves the finest Japanese dishes in an exclusive loft lounge environment. A tall tale? As someone whose career began in restaurants, I needed to investigate. With Katana in hand I headed for the heights of Birmingham writes Guy Etchells.

From Broad Street you enter Rofuto through either Birmingham’s new Park Regis hotel or
the more direct entrance on the Five Ways Island. Here a concierge directed us to an
express lift direct to the restaurant where you form one immediate conclusion… Rofuto is a
sumptuous environment.

A 360 degree panoramic view of a skyline that very few have witnessed gives the space an incredibly exclusive feel; one can’t help imagine bumping into a few celebrities as you lean against the western style cocktail bar beneath beautiful circular Japanese fishing nets. The overall design and colour pallet here is western but dishes, bowls and bottles are Japanese.

Rofuto is an elegant fusion of Japanese and western influences. It has taken the best of each and combined them to create a contemporary experience. Rofuto though is not just a modern Japanese
restaurant it’s also Pan Asian meaning that it serves recognisable dishes from various Asian cuisines and it does this with flare and creativity. You can expect to be tempted with such dishes as Sushi, Dim Sum, Tempura, Gunkan and Maki. We visited to sample the new, redesigned menu and what you quickly realise is that every aspect of the food here is a visual and taste spectacle.

Starters range from £3 to £10 and on the advice of our knowledgeable waitress, I chose Black Cod Kushiyaki and the Sushi Chef’s Selection Platter with Wasabi and pickled ginger. Mains range from £17 to £45. I ordered the succulent Beef Sirloin with black garlic (arguably the best I have ever tasted) and a Sesame Otoro Tuna Tataki with a Pine nut crust. The crust sharply contrasted with the beautiful tuna in a way I hadn’t experienced.

Desserts are priced between £6.50 to £8.50. A new addition is Miracle Berry, described by our waitress as a taste sensation… she wasn’t lying. There’s a delightful sequence to eating it. Firstly, you sample what I affectionately referred to as the ‘Vera Wang’ of Sorbets (try it and you’ll understand) to refresh the palate. You follow this by tasting the main dessert which was a Cheesecake, Panna cotta, ambrosial combination. You then repeat the sequence. It was a surprising delight.

I tasted my first Japanese whisky, Nikka From The Barrel and two types of Sake. Akashi -Tai
Junmai Ginjo, a sparkling light cool Sake and Akashi –Tai Shiraume Umeshu, a warm rich
nectarous Sake reminiscent of cosy winter nights.

My experience at Rofuto became a psychological as well as a physiological one. I’ll tell you why. It’s the apprehension. Not only about how the food will taste but how it will be presented. I felt very comfortable asking questions and was guided well. Our waitress had a disarming manner which resulted in
a nice balance of interaction throughout the evening.
Subsequently, you delight in the fact you can’t decide where to begin, you get to share this joy with others at your table and then watch them go through a similar process. I found the conversation, laughter and excitement with my guest was centred entirely on the food experience. When you think about it, what better way is there to dine?

Look out for Shibui Supper Club, a special event on bank holiday Sundays where Rofuto conjures up a spectacular menu followed by soulful music such as Neo Soul, Funk, Hip Hop and Groove.

Rofuto is at the
Park Regis Hotel,
160 Broad St,
B15 1DT.
Tel 0121 369 8888

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