High above the streets of Birmingham, there is a magical land of sushi and cocktails. On the 16th floor above the Park Regis hotel, is Rofuto, a sky bar and restaurant specialising in contemporary Asian cuisine.
I was invited along to help them celebrate their first birthday and hear about their plans for their second year. I’ve reviewed Rofuto before, and being a sushi fiend, I was delighted to attend.
I swooshed up in the lift with Bite Your Brum and Miss Pond, and was very pleased to be handed a welcome drink within seconds of reaching the door. Even with the rain outside, the sweeping city views from the floor to ceiling windows were still impressive and we bagged a spot by the window to gaze out at the city lights below us. Inside, Rofuto always feels modern and chic to me, like an upmarket bar in Tokyo, rather than a cheesy themed restaurant in rainy Brum! With the central bar and range of tall tables for sipping drinks and more intimate tables for dining, Rofuto is a great spot if you’ve got someone you’re trying to impress, be they a business client or a date.
A tour of the cocktail menu seemed in order. The Fiveway Sunset (£9) is a mix of Hendricks, lime juice, ginger syrup, guava syrup and ginger beer. With sharp, spicy flavours, this was a popular option on the night and I saw dozens being made. The Ringo (£10) uses one of my favourite whiskys, Nikka from the barrel, with apple juice, lemon juice, vanilla syrup and angostura bitters. Whisky and apple is a classic combination for a reason, and I really enjoyed this. The best cocktail I tried was the Eastern Medicine (£12) which is Hakashu single malt, wildflower honey, root ginger, lemon juice and angostura bitters. This was warming, and sweet with plenty of boozy punch.
One of Rofuto‘s team whose name I have now forgotten (sorry!) filled us in on their plans for their second year in business. The menu has had a little makeover, with additions of some new dishes that Rofuto hope will be more accessible, including a selection of steaks, ranging from a an Aberdeen Black Angus Beef Sirloin Steak at £22 to a Wagyu Beef Sirloin Grade 7 Steak at £45, and a Wagyu Beef Burger (£15). I tried a little sample of the Crispy Suckling Pork Belly (£16), and it was melt-in-the-mouth perfect.
Rofuto have also launched an early bird menu. This smaller menu is priced at £19 for two courses, or £24 for three courses, which is an excellent value way of trying out Rofuto‘s food.
For me though, however good the main menu is (and it is good), the real standout at Rofuto is their sushi. A huge sushi boat was laid out for the party, and I made a good dent in it, with absolute joy. Their sushi is colourful, and pretty to look at, and prepared with real pride. The flavours are delicate and well balanced, and there is a truly massive variety to try out. Personally, I’d give the early bird option a miss, and blow the budget on some top quality sushi.
Despite their aim to become more accessible, there’s no denying that Rofuto is not a budget option (unless you’re on the early bird menu), but you are paying for a wonderful experience, with excellent food in truly stunning surroundings. I’d recommend ordering the Rofuto Platter which at £55 for a mix of 40 pieces of Nigiri, Sashimi, Uramaki, Hosomaki and Futomaki actually isn’t too wallet busting between two or three of you.
I was guest of Rofuto and East Village. My food and drinks were complementary. I was not obliged to write a blog post. All opinions are honest and my own.