The Japanese restaurant Rofuto, at the top of the Broad Street Park Regis hotel, has been in Birmingham for almost a year now. It has certainly impressed during this time, resulting in one of my most positive reviews to date, so when I heard that they were refreshing their menu I was excited to see what they would do next. Myself and some other local food bloggers and press were invited down (or up rather, to floor 16) to sample some of the new dishes, so read on to find out how we got on.
Aside from the food, the Rofuto experience is one very few restaurants in the city can match. The decor is classy and tasteful, with low lighting and a modern dining area. The view from the restaurant across the city is stunning, so even though I enjoyed sitting at the chef’s table this time, I would still highly recommend reserving a spot by the window and watching the sun set. Walking down Broad Street, you might not expect to find somewhere so sophisticated waiting at the end, but trust me, it is worth the journey!
The first course we tried was the tom yum soup. I’m not normally a fan of watery broth such as ramen etc., but this really surprised me. The soup was somehow delicate and powerful at the same time, with aromatic Thai basil and chilli flavours with shiitake mushrooms and tofu. I would certainly order this light starter again – I couldn’t get enough! The next dish was a sharing platter of sea bass tiradito with passion fruit and ‘tiger’s milk’, a citrus based marinade. The raw sea bass was a really intense flavour, and went beautifully with the fruity accompaniments, although I wouldn’t want too much at once as it created a very rich combination.
The third course was ‘Japanese Woods’; textures of salsify, charcoal grilled eel and black garlic. The presentation of this course really stood out, served in a wooden basket with theatrical dry ice. The grilled eel was crispy and salty, which was delicious, and a real talking point. We were then served a dim sum platter, two of which I could sample, the mushroom spring roll and the scallop shumai. Both were gorgeous, and came with a selection of dipping sauces that added another layer of interest.
The main courses were then brought over to us. The mains at Rofuto will set you back a fair bit, so I expected the selection to be no less than stunning. I tried the sesame tuna tataki (£19): lightly seared tuna steak with a sesame and pine nut crust, and served with variations of apple. This was my favourite dish of the night, and reminded me of the way pork and apple works but in a much lighter, more delicate way. We also had a second sea bass dish (£23) – cooked, this time, and served with mandarin, ginger flower and a giant rice crisp. This was really beautiful melt-in-the-mouth fish, and the presentation was a show stopper.
Finally, we were served miracle berry dessert. Miracle berry, which was dusted over the creamy mouse, apparently makes everything taste sweeter, even the sour and tangy sorbet on the side. This did work on the sorbet, but was more noticeable when my red wine began to taste like port! Overall, a really fun talking point, and a delicious dessert regardless. It is worth mentioning, however, that the vegan diner at the table was merely served a fruit platter, which is a little disappointing!
Overall, out of all seven dishes, every mouthful went down a treat. Though you certainly pay for it, the experience at Rofuto is just perfect, and these new additions to the menu are an extension of this. It’s also worth mentioning that you can expect to find a well crafted cocktail menu and beautiful reisling and sake wines to wash down your food with. If you’re yet to visit Rofuto, then put it on your list this very minute, as it offers an evening like no other in the city. Thank you to everyone at Rofuto for having us!