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.

When: 28/04/2016

Where: RofutoPark Regis Hotel, Five Ways, Birmingham

Who:  RofutoPark Regis Hotel

Domo Arigato Park Regis Rofuto – A First Look


You may have seen previously on the blog I’ve mentioned about Rofuto opening on Tuesday 26th April (which you can read here). Before the doors open, Wifey and I got chance to pop up to the 16th floor and have a look around…

Parked at the end of Broad Street and overlooking Five Ways Island, Park Regis is a sight to behold replacing the drab featureless Auchinleck House with a fantastic looking building. Crowning the top of this achievement is the Japanese izakaya-style restaurant, Rofuto.

After a very swift lift ride to the top of the hotel, we arrived and headed in:

It’s beautifully designed with the contemporary decor having touches to the Japanese  heritage. It certainly has the wow factor and I can’t see it getting old soon.

Scattered around the restaurant area are purple highlighted cabinets, showing off some of the fine vintage wines and champagnes in stock.

The main selling point, of course, is the view. It’s stunning  with panoramic views across Birmingham. I can imagine it being even more stunning at night!

We also got chance to pop next door to Kurabu Cocktail Lounge offering alternative views over Hagley Road and Edgbaston.

A few treats we got to try from the cocktail menu included

  • Melon Fizz with Midori, Russian Standard Vodka Lemon and Lemonade
  • Lychee Martini with Russian Standard Vodka, Lychee, Fraise Des Bois and Lemon (Wifey’s Fave)

& my personal favorite

  • Ronin out of Time with Nikka Whisky straight from the barrel, Plum Sake and Bitters

All from the comprehensive menu, which includes a great selection of new and old world Red, White wines, Riesling wines, Champagne and an excellent selection of Saké:

There was a wide selection of savoury and sweet canapes also making the rounds and showing the quality of the food. Over the evening, Wifey and I tried canapes such as sushi, chicken skewers and treats from the dessert menu, a passionfruit shot, matcha tea compote and a melon and wasabi shot.



I also couldn’t leave without seeing what has been described as the most scenic loo in Birmingham, giving gents a view across the city.

I’ll be returning very soon to give the menu a work over so keep an eye out for that one!

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.

When: 18/04/2016

Where: RofutoPark Regis Hotel, Five Ways, Birmingham

Who:  RofutoPark Regis Hotel

Rofuto @ Park Regis – New Venue at Five Ways

I’m always on the lookout for something a little different in Birmingham, and have watched with interest as the Park Regis Hotel has transformed the former Auchinleck House, the most stunning change being the glass ‘sky bar’ taking over the sixteenth floor.


The main occupant of this will be Rofuto a Japanese izakaya-style restaurant, serving a range of dishes and partnered with a cocktail lounge and sake bar, Kurabu.

Des McDonald will be running things on the food side. He honed his culinary skills and built up his knowledge cooking in 5-star hotels including The Ritz in London. In 1992 he got his big break with Caprice Holdings working as head chef at the legendary Ivy Restaurant, and had a very successful 20 years with the Caprice Group. In May 2013 Des opened his first solo venture, the critically acclaimed Fish & Chip Shop on Upper Street, N1. Following its success, in February 2014 he launched Holborn Dining Room, a classic British brasserie at London‘s five star hotel, Rosewood London. A new barbeque restaurant concept: Q Grill Chalk Farm followed and Des also had the opportunity to launch many successful pop ups in combination with Selfridges.

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.”

Bar Visual new.jpg

Park Regis Birmingham will be open from 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 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.

Signature dishes 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.

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.


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. 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.

Bookings are now open and you can call on 0121 369 8888 or via e-mail at, more information on their website at