Rofuto — Birmingham, UK
Birmingham has long harboured a somewhat unheralded dining scene – this, despite its enviable haul of 3-star Michelin restaurants. But if the recent opening of Des McDonald’s new Japanese restaurant doesn’t set the record straight, we don’t know what will.
Located on the 16th floor of the city’s new Park Regis, Rofuto – the name is the Japanese word for ‘loft’ – eschews specialisation in favour of a Jack-of-all-trades approach with a light European touch.
McDonald, the driving force behind Caprice Holdings, is banking that locals will take to his eclectic offerings of sushi, yakitori, tempura and robata grill. This explains the pairing of Miyazaki wagyu with avocado puree, garlic ponzu and truffle salt, alongside foie gras, nashi pear and Chinese truffle, and macha tiramisu and wasabi macarons.
And there is every reason they will, especially since the food is staged against the dramatic skyline views, and designer Tibbatts Abel’s quirky mix of chandeliers inspired by flat woven baskets, trapeze bar-like lamps, bamboo motifs behind the bar, and fishing basket lamps. Meanwhile, the adjoining Kurabu Cocktail Lounge will keep tipplers happy with sake from the Takashimizu and Shiraki breweries, and a crazily OTT cocktail list that includes a shochu, tequila, cranberry and lychee sorbet combo called Red Lotus.