‘As the wind does blow
Across the trees, I see the
Buds blooming in May’
Japanese. Haiku example (modern) author unknown.
I get in lifts quite a lot for work, but the joy of reaching my destination their provides no comparison or fun than getting in a lift at Rofuto.
There’s something about going up a lift to the sixteenth floor to eat food thats carries more anticipation, more hope, more adventure. I suppose when you have a view from the restaurant then that makes it even more exciting, and we’ve not even eaten yet.
Rofuto resides in the new Park Regis Hotel at Five Ways/Broad Street. An area that previously so underwhelmed me that that it was unmentionable when it came to visiting. This though has changed. With bells on in fact.
Rofuto is a Japanese restaurant. Japanese food isn’t something I know well and have only just discovered that Vegetarians can eat with gusto. Better late than never. In fact Rofuto ticks many boxes for me. It concentrates on the ethos izakaya or small sharing plates in English. Sharing plates are a revelation and for vegetarians the holy grail of cooking and eating, because it means we have choice. Yay!
Its not offered on arrival that you get greeted and are shown to the lift And sent on your way to the 16th floor. Certainly in Birmingham City Council tower blocks that doesn’t happen. A Nice touch.
Inside Rofuto is an eye catching space. The decor paired down, stylish fittings, fitted with elegance glinting in the late evening sunshine. It’s modern, clean and well lit with a fitted bar in the centre and a 360 degree view. It’s sophisticated city dining.
Initially we thought it lacked atmosphere and it’s vastness was a hinderance to our enjoyment.Eventually the restaurant filled up and the atmosphere became livlier and much more fun. Though the pop music been played over the speakers was slightly annoying and we felt unnecessary.
Ruth and I were sat at a lovely table, decorated with flowers and with a superb view over the city. Watching the sun set from our vantage we looked at the menu and had a warm relaxed feeling about our evening. Very romantic.
The menu involves a mixture of sushi (including veggie under Maki) starters, tempura, Robata, mains, and grills. With plenty of Vegetarian options to tempt a return visit.
And bar area below.
Whilst we looked at the menu we ordered two Sake Martini’s (we had to with the view) which was pitch perfect with a nice Japanese twist. Superb.
For our food I ordered a mixture of three dishes to try together. I chose the Asparagus Kushiyaki, Butter Soy, Aubergine Kushiyaki, Nesu Dengaku, and Tempura Vegetables from the Robuta and Tempura sections.
We also drank some delicious Sake (Japanese rice wine)
All three dishes together proved to be plentiful in size and complimented each other perfectly. I also chose a large glass of Malbec to have with the dishes.
The Aubergine Kushiyaki, Nasu Dengaku: A two part dish. A Miso glazed aubergine (Nasu Dengaku), perfectly meaty, fleshy aubergine providing the perfect foil for the intensely flavourful Dengaku sauce. A mixture of sweet and savoury with a potent earthy feel. Lovely.
The Aubergine Kushiyaki (skewered grilled veg) was delicious. Again well grilled aubergine, not greasy, but firm and juicy. Delicious. Together a perfect demonstration of fresh aubergines.
The Tempura Vegetables were set in perfecly fried batter, a light, crisp coating that hadn’t absorbed the oil when fried. The veg maintaining a freshness of flavour. A healthy sin of delight.
Tempura Vegetables The Asparagus Kushiyaki , Butter Soy was exceptional. As a massive English asparagus fan, the fresh vivid green indulgence were perfectly cooked morsels of delight. Perky, firm and full of flavour. The jewel been the Butter Soy which Raised the dish to new heights and gave an elegant, warm and luxurious rich savouriness to a perfect dish. As a threesome a pleasurable combination of top drawer Japanese cooking.
For dessert we chose to share the Matcha Green Tea Tiramisu.
Now this Dessert intrigued me.asca person who loves tiramisu, this Japanese version was worth trying. It was lovely. Different, but still. creamy, airy and soft. Very light and with a lovely green tea underbelly from the sponge below been soaked in the matcha green tea. A clever and delicious pud. It also looked pretty and was very distinct.
We were also given to share some White Chocolate Martini with homemade marshmallows which was the perfect after dinner drink.
A delicate and light martini. Not creamy or full of chocolate sweetness, but vodka based, and very easy drinking, but potent cocktail. Vodka heaven.
Ruth said the marshmallows were sticky with subtle indulgent flavours and well presented. A perfect end to the meal.
Afterwards we spent awhile in the comfort of the adjacent Kurabu Bar (Sy Bar) which has giant windows with a panoramic outlook. It has a relaxed vibe and worthy of been a destination for drinking and socialising in its own right. It also plans to serve bar like food.
Here we were given samples of the Japanese Whiskies on offer. We tried shot portions of in particular The Hakushu single malt, The Yamazaki single malt 12year old, Hibiki 17 years. All outstanding and worthy of further drinking. In fact Japanese whisky has a reputation now of been award winning and Rofuto are rightly proud of their whisky range.
Rofuto is a class act. Proving to be one of the best meals I’ve had in Birmingham in recent years. From the attentive and informed service which never wavered and was filled with charm and helpfulness around the menu To the delightful Vegetarian dishes, that were superbly made and presented beautifully.
Rofuto has the power to be a game changer in Birmingham, it has a special vibe about it and with its cocktails, whisky, views and varied menu it’s a quality experience.
Sometimes you pay for the view in restaurants and findcthecfood lacking somewhat. Not at Rofuto.
It ticks a lot of boxes and is one of the best places for Vegetarians in Birmingham, no mistake with food to be repeated especially keen on the veggie sushi.
Power of five to Rofuto.
Thanks for reading,
Our food and drinks were complimentary. This doesn’t affect my opinion of my experience and the honesty of my review.
Thanks to Neil Reading PR for the invite and four photos of the interior of the restaurant. All other photos are my own.
Rofuto Restaurant, 160 Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1DT.