Restaurant review: Rofuto, Broad Street, Birmingham. 


   
 

‘As the wind does blow

Across the trees, I see the

Buds blooming in May’ 

Japanese. Haiku example (modern) author unknown.

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! 

Going Up.

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. 

Arrived.

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.

   Lovely View from our table. 

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. 

    
  Perfect Sake Martini at Rofuto. 

  
   
  Sake Martini, soy, view.  

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. 

  Aubergine Kushiyaki, Nasu Dengaku

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. 

  

    
    
  Soy and Sake (Left) Interior

  
    
   

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. 

    Matcha Green Tea Tiramisu.

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. 

    White chocolate Martini with marshmallows.

 
 Espresso 

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.

Going Up!

  
    
 Rofuto interior. Courtesy of Rofuto. X4 photos.

  

  Kurabu bar (Skybar) AH

  
  View from Kurabu bar AH

  
  The whisky challenge.

 

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

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.

http://www.rofuto.co.uk/

Rofuto Restaurant

https://m.facebook.com/Rofuto-1693857547503031/

https://twitter.com/rofutotweets

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Rofuto brings Birmingham Dining to new heights this April.


   

  

I’ve been walking past the new Park Regis Hotel at Five Ways in Birmingham quite frequently and have seen it develop and fill the vacant space that sits next to the shops on the roundabout. It looks impressive, offering another landmark on the city skyline. At a cost of £50 Million, the development is due to open on the 29th March. 

With 253 bedrooms, two Junior Suites and the largest Presidential suite in the city, it’s set to become a destination for leasure and business. 

  
Inside as well as as the hotel a bar and two restaurants and ‘Shakina’ Urban Dry Spa will be on offer to hotel visitors and the public. 

Renowned restaurateur, Des McDonald is set to shake up the Birmingham dining scene with his latest venture Rofuto, ( opening on the 22nd April) a restaurant set high in the City skyline at over 141 feet in the sky with incredible 360 degree views. Opening on 26th April with a £3 million investment, Rofuto will offer an izakaya-style restaurant, serving a high quality modern Japanese menu of world class dishes. The restaurant will sit alongside the stunning cocktail lounge and sake bar, Kurabu, from its unique rooftop position at the new Park Regis Hotel.

Located high above the City centre, the restaurant and cocktail lounge sits on the 16th floor of Park Regis, the new 4 four star modern luxury hotel located in the heart of Birmingham, Rofuto is a direct translation of the word ‘loft’ in Japanese and the interiors reflect this inspiration. With a large central bar, an open Japanese style kitchen and an eclectic mix of furnishings, unique hand painted murals and design, Rofuto is a truly theatrical dining space. Kurabu, with its panoramic views of the city skyline, world class DJs and a backlit bar is perfect for more intimate drinking and dining.

The vision for the restaurant and cocktail lounge has been created by one of the UK’s most respected restaurateurs, Des McDonald. With over 20 years’ experience running some of the world’s most high profile establishments including Le Caprice, Scott’s, Soho House and Annabel’s. Early in his career, Des was Head Chef at the world famous Ivy restaurant, before moving from the kitchen into the boardroom to become CEO of Caprice Holdings. Des was inspired to open Rofuto following visits to Tokyo and Singapore; he has developed every aspect of the concept, design and menu to bring a new izakaya-style restaurant to Birmingham’s thriving dining scene.

Des McDonald says: “I am delighted to be opening my first modern Japanese restaurant Rofuto, with my partners at Park Regis Birmingham. I love rooftop spaces, having opened four successful restaurants on the roof of Selfridges in London. I fell in love with the unparalleled dramatic views from the 16th floor, Birmingham is a great, vibrant city and I’m excited to become part of it’s dynamic and diverse dining scene.”

Rofuto will be open for lunch and dinner on Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday for lunch. The restaurant will serve modern Japanese cuisine, made using world-class fresh ingredients, from traditional sushi to yakitori from the grill. The menu is divided into six sections: Sushi and Sashimi, Tempura, Robata Grill, Mains, Sides and Desserts. 

Rofuto also cater well for Vegetarians. 

The menu includes:

Vegetarian futomaki; cucumber and roasted sesame hosomaki; okra hosomaki.

Starters- Sesame, Spinach with Cassava crisps.

Tempura- Goma tare tempura aubergine and fig.

Robuto Grill- Asparagus yakitori with butter soy.

Mains: Japanese Wild Mushroom Congee, Crispy Tofu and Parsley Chlorophyll. 

Signature dishes on the main menu include Foie gras nashi pear gunkan Chinese truffle; Confit duck and raspberry sunomono; Saffron gindara with razor clams, Chinese sausage, kohlrabi puree and sea herbs; Sesame tuna tataki and soft shell crab with wasabi puree and black garlic crumble and Miyazaki Wagyu beef served with gobo crisps, avocado puree, garlic ponzu and truffle salt. 

Desserts feature twists on European classics such as Matcha tiramisu and wasabi macaroon and Cardamom and coconut panna cotta with passion fruit.

Rofuto opens on the 22nd April. 

Kurabu Cocktail lounge will offer an array of wines, beers and soft drinks, along with a bespoke cocktail list and unique sake offering to perfectly compliment the Japanese cuisine. Fresh Sake from Takashimizu Brewery in Northern Japan will be on offer, alongside Koshua aged Sake from Shiraki Brewery in central Japan. Rofuto will also offer ten Japanese Whisky’s which I’m very keen to try. 

The cocktail list includes highlights such as the Red Lotus which combines Shochu, Tequila, Cranberry and Lychee Sorbet and Kietsu which is an exotic combination of infused Raspberry Sake, Passionfruit liqueur, Apple and Pineapple. Rofuto’s wine showcases some more unusual varieties such as Pecorino, Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Blanc in the whites and a particular focus on low alcohol, low tannin reds.

The restaurant’s interior, designed by Tibbatts Abel (Interior Designer for Jinjuu Soho and Buddah Bar) is a fusion of urban, industrial and warehouse design inspiration alongside a fun and vibrant cocktail lounge style. Warm rustic timber is used throughout, with industrial tones and a palette of neutrals, warm taupe’s, greys and blacks.

Park Regis Birmingham opened on Tuesday 29th March 2016 and boasts 253 deluxe bedrooms, two junior suites, the largest presidential suite in the city, an executive level complete with conference and meeting space, and a business lounge with executive check-in facilities. The £50 million hotel is the brand’s first Park Regis in Europe and has created over 200 jobs for the region.

Rofuto will be running a soft opening with 50% off all food from Friday 22nd to Saturday 23rd April via advance bookings only through 

reservations@rofuto.co.uk

Rofuto Should be a super addition to Birmingham’s evolving dining scene and should offer something different, once again. I’m looking forward to giving it a try. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy😊

Rofuto, Park Regis Hotel, 158 Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1DT.

0121-369-8888.

Serving modern Japanese Cuisine from Tuesday-Saturday 12pm-late

Sunday 12-6pm

Not open Monday’s.

@Rofutotweets: Twitter.

RofutoBham: Facebook.

reservations@rofuto.co.uk

 

  
All photos and images from Rofuto.

The second restaurant is called ‘1565’ and will feature signature dishes, grills and classics. I’m unsure as yet on the veggie options. It will also house one of the largest outdoor terraces in the city.

  

Kinome Kitchen: new Japanese pop up at The Kitchen Garden Cafe, Kings Heath, and tasting evening review.


     

Japanese food is something quite rare in Birmingham, but is becoming more popular. For Vegetarians it has plenty of options, Nobu in London (Japanese and former Michelin Starred) a few years ago had a meat free cook book out, and its development into veggie friendly dishes has increased as people have become keen to eat less meat and fish. Traditionally there is a lot of vegetarian food in Japan, much of it from Buddhism. Tofu is an example as is Tempura (fried vegetables or herbaceous plants). 

In January Kinome chef Sachiko Saeki did an evening at Vegetatian The Warehouse Cafe for Guardian newspaper members, which went down well, but good Japanese food is still quite hard to find in our city. 

Things are begining to change though as Kinome Kitchen (aka Sachiko Saeki) is about to launch a Japanese Food culture pop up restaurant at The Kitchen Garden Cafe in Kings Heath. Begining on Saturday 2nd April and then on select dates through to June 30th, it gives an opportunity to try out something different with a chef who has worked in a Japanese Michelin Starred restaurant in Mayfair, London and with Hugh Fearnley Whitingstall where she featured in River Cottage Heroes. 

In 2011 Sachiko’s trip to Koya-San, a Buddhist Temple complex in Japan, led to Shajan Ryari- vegetarian Buddhist Monk Food. It was these experiences that created the ideas for vegetarian dishes and attracted the production team of River Cottage and Hugh Fernley Whitingstall. 

Kinome simply means spring buds. It is also a herb from the Sansho tree with a strong distinctive aroma. The Sansho tree is one of the traditional spice trees in Japan and every single part can be used for cooking in different ways. This use of the whole is typical of Japanese cooking methods.

Kinome Kitchen have a Spring Vegetarian menu for April and May that will be run alongside the meat and fish menu. 

For £40 you can get 7 Courses of vegetarian Japanese food: Shajan-Ryari. 

Shojin Starter-Smoked tofu, homa tofu and Namsu.

Chawan Mushi-Steamed savoury eggpot with gingko nuts and yam.

Tempura-Seasonal vegetable tempura with Maccha Salt.

Sea Vegetable.

Tofu Balls with Kuzu sauce and crispy vegetables.

Box pressed vegetable sushi with miso soup. 

Fruits Yose Kanten. 

£40 per person. 

For full menus including non veggie see below: 

http://www.kinomekitchen.co.uk/#!menu/fcuwz

http://www.kinomekitchen.co.uk/

For bookings contact Kinomejapanesecooking@gmail.com or 07504327840. 

For full dates see the poster below. 

Expect to see Japanese Craft Beers on the menu too.

Be introduced to Japanese Food Culture. 

  
  

Kinome tasting evening launch night review.

 

I recently attended the launch of the Kinome Pop up at The Kitchen Garden Cafe in Kings Heath. Photos below.  
  

The food was informally presented, but constituted three different dishes. The first Vegetarian dish was the Aubergine and Miso Bao. 

Served in a bao or bun (which was home made) the gently fried aubergine had the sweet and earthy flavour of the miso paste which gave it a delicious flavour. Beautiful. This came with Spicy Edamame (Soy beans in a pod) which had a contrasting salty flavour to the soy like miso.

  

This was followed by two Vegetarian skewers which like tempura were fried vegetables and came with a Tonkatsu sauce which is a vegetable and fruit based sauce often served with fried food. Both weed lively and whetted the appetite for more. 
    

The third dish was a desert. The Strawberry Daifuku. 

A traditional Springtime sweet sold by confectioners in Japan. 

A soft, sweet whole strawberry encased by a soft and sweet paste was a match made in heaven. Exquisite.

The desert was Served with Maccha Green Tea (stoneground green tea) which was handmade in front of us, and tasted refreshing and full of lovely warming and healing flavours. 

The tea ceremony centres on the prepetation, serving and drinking of Maccha. 
    
   

Maccha green tea and the tea ceremony. 

The Kinome pop up launch night was a major success and fully booked out. The food was beautifully made, presented and served with pride. The pop up is sure to be a culinary journey of Japanese food and I for one am very happy to return and continue my vegetarian Japanese food Culture journey. 

Kinome Pop up restaurant is at The Kitchen Garden Cafe, Kings Heath, 17 York Road, B14 7SA.

Opening times: 6.30pm-10.30pm

Last orders 8.30pm.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Dawn breaks/ drizzle of white rain/ on sprouting buds- Sojon Hina.

The spring arrives with the sent of moss, suspended in the drizzle of rain is a sense of anticipation. In the Japanese traditional short poem called Haiku, Konome (the same character but pronounced differently) is the seasonal word for spring time. I see the English spring in there too. 

Sachiko Saeki. 

Cookery School: 

Sushi with Sachiko Saeki at Leith’s School of food and wine, London, 16th April 

Shojin Ryori with Sachiko Saeki at Demuths Cookery School, Bath, 12 June. 

She has also Worked with the Harborne Food school in Birmingham.