Return to Rofuto – Utsukushī menyū to byū
You may have seen previously on the blog Wifey and I went to the Rofuto opening a few weeks back.
I mentioned then I would be returning for a more generous sample of the menu, so buckle up and enjoy the ride! My guest and I arrived at 7.30pm so we also got to enjoy watching the sunset as we worked our way through the Izakaya style menu, divided into sushi, starters, tempura, robata grill, mains and sides.
We had the opportunity to try a good selection of what was on offer; we tried to sample a dish from each section, first up was the sushi, probably the jewel in Rofuto’s crown.
Our two choices were the Seared Black Cod, Lime Dengaku Nigiri and the Sea Bream Nigiri, served with kimchi, fresh wasabi and soy.
Rofuto source their fish daily and fresh as much as possible. This is demonstrated in the quality of what was on offer. The fish was beautiful: the sea bream was delicate in flavour and there was no ‘oily’ fishy taste, which gave the meat a chance to shine. The cod had more of a velvety texture as it had been lightly blowtorched to add firmness to the fish. My only slight quibble was that the black sesame seeds, though nice, did overpower some of the fish flavour.
Special mentions must be made for the sides. The kimchi was a perfect balance of sweet and sour on the tongue. The wasabi was a revelation in comparison to the overpowering shop bought stuff; this had a gentle low heat but punchy enough to fizzle on the tongue.
Their soy also is wonderous, no wonder they’re going through a couple of gallons a week! It’s made on-site and sweetened with mirin and a touch of water. I’m sure there’s an added ingredient too, possibly some Dashi? My fellow diner wanted to get a bottle for home, he loved it that much!
Next up was something from the Tempura and Robata selections.
The Beef Kushiyaki smelt amazing and was still bubbling away when it reached the table. I expected it to be sweet, due to the caramel soy, but instead the main taste was umami. They were delicious but a touch too well done for me, probably because I left them resting too long to enjoy the smell more!
The Tiger Prawn tempura were HUGE! The photo above doesn’t really do them justice, they were light, crunchy and had retained their internal heat well. The prawns were meaty and well flavoured. On the side, there was moolie which was stirred into the sauce, giving a nice clean and fresh kick.
To accompany the tempura, I also had a touch of Sake.
This was a Hakurakusesi Junmai Ginjo, served chilled between 6 & 8 degrees to enhance its flavour . It was beautiful with plummy notes and was very clean on the palate with no harshness. The most apt comparison is probably an exceedingly good vodka.
Next it was onto the mains and sides.
The Katsu curry is a difficult beast to get right. When it’s great, it’s one of the most comforting dishes known to mankind. The chicken was firm and crispy yet melted on the palate. The rice was nice and sticky and went well with the chicken, but perhaps the black sesame seeds were a little too liberally scattered as they overpowered the rice in flavour. The Katsu curry sauce was nice and gently spiced, though all I could taste was star anise which masked most of the other flavours. I wouldn’t hesitate to order it again, though I was slightly disappointed by the sauce as I expected more from it to live up to the chicken. Hopefully, it’s something that may taste different the next time around.
To accompany the Katsu, we chose the Asian Slaw which was made of tomato, red onion, carrot and garnished with mango. The mango countered the sharpness of the onion and it was very refreshing, actually working well as a palate cleanser. The onion content, though, could be reduced slightly.
The other main we had was a Chicken and Prawn Yakisoba. The chicken yet again melted away on the tongue (how do they do it‽). The prawns again were fleshy and huge. The noodles we perfectly cooked and had an earthy quality to them.
The side to go with the Yakisoba was the Duck Egg Rice. It was well seasoned with the nice umami egg flavour coming through. The carrot added a touch of sweetness but felt slightly out of place.
And, of course, we couldn’t leave without a quick visit through their excellent dessert menu.
The trio of sorbets above (apologies for the meltiness in the picture, that’s down to me not Rofuto!). The flavours, from left to right, are Raspberry, Sweet Potato (yes, really sweet potato) and Coconut & Cardamom.
- Raspberry: this had a really nice tang to it which really cut through any lingering flavours from the main.
- Sweet Potato: this was simply wondrous, a rich earthy taste to start with a nice rich sweetness. I’d recommend trying it if they ever have it in stock as they run out quickly!
- Coconut & Cardamom: this started off with a BIG hit of coconut flavour to start, which dissolved into a cardamom after kick on the end, very pleasant!
The final thing we had to try was the Matcha Green Tiramisu, which I’d previously had in shot glass form. It was almost a savoury dish with a generous dusting of green tea and a nice crunchy topping. The dessert itself was a soft, light, airy creamy delight and the perfect ending for any meal.
The meal overall was a great demonstration of their expertise and the menu is flexible enough to cater from a light lunch to a sushi platter, all the way through to a six course extravaganza. I’d be happy to take business colleagues, family and friends alike there and the menu certainly matched that stunning decor and view!
Disclaimer: For this event, I was a guest of Rofuto and Neil Reading PR, who provided all food and drinks; this provides no bias to the post. This blog is my own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.