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

Veggie Dish of the Day: Chinese Green Gai Lan at Henry Wong, Harborne, Birmingham. 


   
For Vegetarians seeking a sophisticated but different kind of meal, with an extensive vegetarian menu Henry Wong in Harborne in South Birmingham is just the ticket. Specialising in Cantonese food Henry Wong presents exquisitely flavoured and classically presented dishes with a golden service. 

Set in a stylish dining room, with a rich woodwork and leather seating lounge bar area (serving cocktails) Henry Wong is a place for all occasions, but is becoming a place for Ruth and I to visit for celebrations as on this occasion to celebrate Ruth’s birthday late last year. 

We had visited Henry Wong before last year and had a fantastic evening. 

See my review:

https://vegiefoodie.com/2015/06/08/review-henry-wong-harborne/ 

    

One of the Vegetarian main courses on the menu is Chinese Green Gai Lan with Ginger and Shaoshing Wine. A dish so simple looking but packing a huge flavour of tongue and senses twisting exoticness that with that taste you begin to believe in the afterlife. 

The thick stemmed tender and crisp Chinese vegetable Gai Lan (also known as Kai Lan) is a bit like broccoli, served simply with the light touch of ginger and Shaoshing wine, it’s a delightfully shiny, and glossy dish, tossed simply with the ginger and Shaoshing wine, the warmth of the ginger balances the pronounced taste of the Gai Lan with an intensified cooling flavour kick lingering long on the palette. 

It’s an aromatic dish of substance and a vegetarian essential not to be missed at luxurious Henry Wong. 

 Chinese Green Gai Lan with Ginger and Shaoshing wine. £9.50.   A beautiful glossy dish eaten best with a couple of shared dishes (or another vegetarian dish) and some sticky rice. 

   Cocktails at Henry Wong.

   

 Last two photos courtesy of Henry Wong.

With thanks to owner Parm Rai, chef Ricky Wu and a special thanks to restaurant manager Marianne Ho and her team for helping us celebrate Ruth’s Birthday with their exemplary service.

We paid for our food and drinks at Henry Wong, but received a 25% discount from Parm as it was a special occasion. My review is honest as always and I was not required to review or write about my experience.

Henry Wong, 283 High Street, Harborne, Birmingham, B17 9QH.

http://henrywongharborne.co.uk/

http://henrywongharborne.co.uk/menus/food-menu/

Bar Opus Christmas cocktail making videos. 


  

  
Bar Opus is one of the best places to drink cocktails in Birmingham. Classic cocktails are served along side some innovative concoctions using the freshest ingredients. 

To countdown to Christmas, and to celebrate the unique Christmas cocktails that Bar Opus will be serving over the festive season, the team have made a series of videos showing how people can make their very own Bar Opus cocktail at home!  Or at the very least enjoy them in the bar over the Christmas period. 

  Sam Cross Photo courtesy of Bar Opus.

To see the videos, please click on this link underneath the cocktail. 

The five cocktails that bar manager Sam Cross, makes in the series of videos, are:

Smoking Monkey Sharer: £25, serves four: Monkey shoulder, smoked ice tea, cherry, citrus fruits.

Half Dozen of Egg Sharer: – £12, serves two: Six warm eggnogs with nutmeg dust

Frozen Candy Cane  Kallipo – £6 for two: Peppermint, Burgal blanco, strawberry, Cranberry.

  Frozen Kallipo Photo courtesy of Bar Opus.

Candy Cane Cocktail – £5, serves one: Brugal blanco, peppermint, strawberry, cranberry

Spiced toffee Apple cocktail – £5, serves one : Stoli salted karamel, gingerbread syrup, apple juice.

The countdown to Christmas begins. 

Have fun. 

Thanks for reading and hopefully I’ll get the chance to try them myself.

Andy 😊

http://baropus.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/BAR-LIST-WINTER-2015-NEW-WINES1.pdf

  

You can purchase cocktail making classes gift cards via the Opus Website. 

http://baropus.co.uk/

Bar Opus is at one SnowHill, Queensway, Birmingham, B4.

Bar Opus: Snow Hill, Birmingham.


    Bar Opus is the youngest sister in the Opus family that includes Opus on Cornwall Street and Cafe Opus at the Ikon Gallery. 

The other week Ruth and I were invited by Anne Tonks of Opus along to try out some of their vegetarian options. 

Bar Opus is at No’ 1 Snowhill in Birmingham City Centre, a new complex behind Snow Hill Station that is next to the new Midland Metro team line which should be complete shortly. It has a nice terrace that is primed for Summer and its reincarnation into something more uber cool in the forthcoming months, imagine those long cocktails, bar snacks and lazy afternoons. It’s a sun trap in the day and a lunch time favourite. 

In fact Bar Opus is very continental with its open kitchen and smart decor. Inside its modern, stylish, and has slick lines, in its simple design. It has cosmopolitan floor to ceiling windows, and is filled with thoughtful touches like its internal Parisian like clock face, and it’s well lit interior. With a mix of bar stool seating and low bearing tables it lends itself equally to drinking and eating. 

The menu a mixture of bar snacks/plates  to eat with those delicious handcrafted cocktails or quality wines or as a starter. 

Bar Opus has an extensive Breakfast and all day menu and more substantial dishes for lunch time indulgence. The sharing bar plates are varied and with good vegetarian options is one of the best places for informal veggie dining in the city. 

   

     
The Opus family of restaurants have a real skill in making simple ingredients and dishes taste well above the average, and it’s in their ingredient led principles where the flavours begin. The produce though is only half the story, it still has to be cooked and created into an irresistible dish which Bar Opus do well, simplicity in itself. 

For example our Asparagus, and Hollandaise from their specials menu was cooked perfectly, the dish sang and I feel may not be beaten this Asparagus season, it had a beauty of flavour, creamy, every element cooked perfectly, a real delight. Simple but hard to do in the wrong hands.

   
 

To follow I tried the homemade flatbread with daily vegetarian special. The flatbread, again perfectly indulgent, not over cooked, light, fluffy, with a delicious red onion jam which gave a punch to the dish and combined with feta worked perfectly. Plus, in its generous size makes a good starter alone or generous sharing plate to tear between friends.

To finish our meal I ate the Shashouka Hash, a very popular dish on their all day menu, and one that makes a lovely brunch or lunch dish too. Wilted Greens, rich vine tomato compote, potato cake, and fried egg. The fresh ingredients again shine through, the egg perfectly runny, the tomatoes full of flavour, lifted the dish from heaven to the space that surely must be above that in the veggie foodie world. Warming potatoes and the wilted buttery greens, completed the dish, which I think is a vegetarian must when visiting Bar Opus to eat. Again a simple dish brought to ex halted heights due to the quality of ingredients and the quality of the cooking. 

   
   

The Shashouka Hash

  
 

The vegetarian Flatbread. 

Yet, Bar Opus isn’t just about the food, but also the cocktails and a fantastic wine list. 

I tried on the night a beautiful Smoked Negroni. Now a negroni always reminds me of Italy. Lazy evenings in Florence, Rome or Venice. Though I’d never had a smoked variety which came to the table theatrically smoking and yes winking at me. It was delicious, part gin, part vermouth, and then Campari. I think Bar Opus make the best Negroni in the city and if like me you love this drink, then try it here. It’s an aperitif, and a classic. 

Ruth and I also loved the glasses of Pinot Gris we had with our food. From New Zealand, Dr Renwick, it was light, and complimented the informality of the food perfectly. Lovely. 

Bar Opus also have a good selection of beers, craft ales and real ale. 

The service throughout was excellent, and was warm, attentive and consistent throughout. 

   
     

Bar Opus is a smartly appointed bar with trendy background music and at times an office like clientele, but don’t let that put you off. 

It’s sophistication is in doing the simple things well. A mixologist that knows a cocktail from, well, a cocktail. A chef that knows how to get the best out of well sourced seasonal ingredients and creates delicious simple dishes that  make you feel hungry even though you may not be. So be tempted. 

Though the cocktails are the pull, the ace on top the pack of cards is the food, a thoughtful concept, and a gentle buzz, a European bar after work, but please don’t tell David Cameron because he may close it down, European Moir…for vegetarians its up their with the best Birmingham can offer, good dishes made well, decent choice, well made, sound drinks. 

And with the Summer approaching a place to chill outside and take in the sun, hopefully. 

Bar Opus is an all day venue that you may not leave, I like it, so do others, it’s the city bar redefined. 

Now where are my Euros. 

Bar Opus, One SnowHill, Birmingham, B4 6GH. 

0121-289-3939

http://baropus.co.uk/

http://baropus.co.uk/eating/

My previous review of Bar Opus. 

https://vegiefoodie.com/2014/11/07/bar-opus-launch-for-breakfast-lunch-and-after-5pm-fun/

@baropus: Twitter

We were invited to Bar Opus to review some of their vegetarian dishes. Our food was complimentary, but we paid for our own drinks. My review is independent of the invite and is honest and carries my own opinions as always. 

Thanks to Ann for the invite and Sam and Gail for their service and passion for their menus. 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

Twitter: @andydhare

   
 

#Tastymorsels: Veggie Foodie news: Epi Restaurant, The Edgbaston and En Place @ Six Eight Kafe. 


Bromsgrove based restaurant Epi last week announced that sadly Sunday 26th April will be its last service in Bromsgrove. Nathan and Charlie who run Epi are currently looking at various sights in Birmingham and hope to make an announcement soon on a new begining for the business.

  

Epi Restaurant served me one of the best vegetarian meals I had last year and left a lasting impression on the thoughtfulness of the menu and the fresh  taste of the seasonal ingredients that Nathan created, so for me it’s an empathy of both sadness of their closure and happiness at their impending move to my home (and theirs) city which should give me many more opportunities to enjoy fine innovative vegetable dishes. Keep an eye on their social media and Veggie Foodie for updates. 

Here is a reminder of my review last year. 

 http://t.co/dKBcXTiu5E 
   
 Two of Nathan’s vegetarian dishes from my last visit. 

Facebook: Epirestaurant 

Twitter: @restaurantepi

The Edgbaston in Edgbaston Birmingham has recently launched a Vegetarian tasting menu to go alongside its main tasting menu. Served against a backdrop of the 1920’s chef Ryan Swift has devised a vegetarian menu that showcases seasonal ingredients and harnesses innovative techniques. More ‘social’ dining than fine dining, expect timeless elegance on a plate and innovative indulgence in the dishes. 

Ryan Swift who formally was at Hampton Manor in Solihull is now running the kitchen and receiving favourable reviews thus far. 

The veggie menu will soon be able to be taken with paired cocktails (the specialism of The Edgbaston) 

See my review here on the cocktails. 

http://t.co/4aDVKaczUJ

The Edgbaston opened in May last year and now it has introduced a food menu appears to be integrating itself well with nearby Simpsons and The Highfield. It has 6 boutique rooms that makes for a nice foodie break with the added cocktails which I think are the best in Birmingham. 

The Vegetarian tasting menu will be four or six courses for £40 and £65. Served Tuesday to Saturday 

The dishes will be a combination of modern presented with a twist. The pairing concept to me seems a brilliant idea and should be a huge success when launched for vegetarians. 

Keep an eye on my blog for updates on the menu and cocktails. 

Also served is an A La Carte menu from Tuesday to Friday. 

The Edgbaston have also launched an Afternoon Tea menu (see photos below) 

   

 This is served from 2-5pm Tuesday to Saturday. Which includes their very own Moseley Serve for £30. 

So for that effortless timeless elegance  and unwavering good taste you know where to go. 

Book for both via the website (see also menus) 

http://www.theedgbaston.co.uk/

Or phone 0121-454 5212

The Edgbaston, 18 Highfield Road, Birmingham B15 3DU. 

Info@theedgbaston

@TheEdgbaston

The-Edgbaston/Facebook. 

  

En Place is a new pop up restaurant from chefs Michael Crew, Josh Porter and Chris Dance. 

On the 14-15th May they will be at Six Eight Kafe, Millenium Point from 18.30-22.30.

They have over 30 years experience in kitchens and this exciting new pop up experience should introduce thei food to a brand new audience.

Along side a meat menu will be a bespoke vegetarian menu using seasonal and local produce to create elegant but affordable food with s modern twist. Their will be a set tasting menu plus with BYOW should make for a good value evening. Priced £35 for 5 courses. 

Mention on booking that you are vegetarian. 

Book here: 

https://t.co/E1rvNC2hLg

I will keep you updated on vegetarian menus as I hear about them. Keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook for updates on En Place. 

Twitter: @_enplace 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

An introduction to The Botanist Birmingham 


  

        

When is a review not a review when it’s an introduction to, as in this case to The Botanist recently opened on Temple Street Birmingham. 

I was kindly invited to the media lunch before it opened officially to try some of the cocktails and Vegetarian dishes. 

   

 

The Botanist is very impressive to look at, it has a cool chic feel about it, almost cosy pub, but offering more depth and discoveries the further you go in. When you walk through the wrought iron gates you discover an inner conservatory area that I like a lot, a kind of posh parlour. Then through a door into the bar area. 

Introducing The Botanist, think Gardeners world studying plant life and indulging in cocktails and food, and  no carrots and rhubarb in sight. (Well maybe on the menu).

The decor untreated wood floors, a mix of vintage looking furniture, quirky chandeliers, watering cans, lamps that are constructed from rope pulleys, and a glorious sky light in the bar area that lets the natural light into an already light bar.  

     

On entering I was offered the cocktail menu, which is long (and that’s not just the style of cocktail) which was like reading the what’s what of cocktails and who’s who’s who at the same time. I liked that though. It allowed me to follow my test of asking for a recommendation based on the Martini part of the menu. Ed behind the bar suggested I tried The  Botanist Pornstar, ( black cow vodka, and Passoa shaken with fresh passion fruit, strawberry purée, rose syrup, pineapple juice, and lemon, served with a shot of prosecco. 

  

   

     

It was excellent, fruity, herby, with a powerful kick and with a good amount of vodka. An interesting combination of fresh fruit, and purées, a lovely introduction. Thanks Ed😊🍸

The bar area is quite large, but feel intimate and has a really light airy feel about it. From there you can just about see the restaurant peeking out beyond, which I feel gives a feeling of temptation to move over to that part of The  Botanist to try the food, and to explore.  The Botanist has an open kitchen which is also fun. 

It was good to see fellow food bloggers there and after been seated in the restaurant, which is a mixture of table types with some benches, and very nice and light, we were able to choose the food from the menu. 

   

   

I mentioned the menu in my last post. See here http://t.co/xN8TYij74M and mentioned the Vegetarian options. 

The dishes I ate were: 

From the starters and nibbles section Pan Fried garlic Mushrooms. With crusty bread and truffle butter. A nice dish beautifully presented in a small wheelbarrow. The mushrooms were fresh, well flavoured, and with a good strong garlic flavour running through made for a lovely starter. 

   

     

Salt and Pepper onion petals: A good nibbling sharing dish, salty, with a nice sour cream to dip into. 

Flatbread: very good bread, fresh and good for breaking. 

  

For my main course I ordered the Hanging Kebab with Halloumi and couscous. With a sweet chilli, ginger and garlic butter.

   

   

A spectacular looking dish, very theatrical. The waiter poured the sauce over the kebab from above so the sauce filtered over the veg and Halloumi onto the cous cous. The sauce added a nice tasty bite to the dish (there was an option to have the kebab with chips instead of cous cous but I felt that wouldn’t work so well as the chips may become soggy and wet fom the dripping sauce). We were given a small plate that the veg and Halloumi can be eaten off with the cous cous. 

The Hanging Kebab with the cous cous worked well as the sauce gave it a coating that made for a fuller rounder flavour. The Halloumi was well cooked, but could have done with a couple more pieces in my opinion. The veg was cooked perfectly and the dish looked fun and smart. 

I also ordered The Botanist cocktail green mark vodka, Havana 3 Rum, elderflower liqueur, red amarinth, mint, jasmine syrup, and lime juice topped with lemonade. I really enjoyed this cocktail, the combinations of vodka and rum worked well and with the mint and juices added a fruity touch that was delicious. 

   

   

I didn’t order a desert on this occasion but hope to on my next visit. 

I ordered an Americano coffee that was very prettily presented in nice flowery mugs.

It was a lovely introduction to The Botanist the service was good, friendly and very informed of the menu and cocktails offering recommendations and having a good knowledge of the dishes on the menu. I would on reflection like to see maybe at least one more vegetarian dish on the main menu, maybe two as not everyone takes to the smaller plate trend and may not like the kebab. As a chain, that I’m often suspect of, The Botanist seems to have that quirky botanical difference that makes it feel special and unique in the city, fresh like the herbs. Here’s hoping it stays that way, but as a cocktail venue  its possibly the best in Birmingham, and offered the most thoughtful and eclectic menu of passionate botanist indulgences and this along with the solidly good Vegetarian food is to be applauded. 

  

   

           

I was invited as a guest to the preview media lunch at The Botanist and hence the food and drink was complimentary. Thanks to the Botanist and to WPRAgency for the invite. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

For menus see below link: 

http://thebotanist.uk.com/menus/birmingham

http://thebotanist.uk.com/location/birmingham

The Botanist, 14-16 Temple Street, Birmingham, B2 5BG

0121 6007430