Typically supper clubs are a great way to sample lots of different food and drinks, often without the fuss of choosing from a menu. It’s an opportunity for a chef to get creative and show off their skill and expertise. Whilst many supper clubs take place in a private home or a quirky space, this is not a prerequisite, with restaurants now coining the term to mean something closer to communal dining.
My lovely friend Adam, invited the girls and I (Brum and Beyond and Nosh and Breks) to try out Rofuto’s Shibui Supper Club. The Japanese term Shibui is the art of simplicity, a subtle design with unobtrusive beauty, yet with complexity and refined detail. It’s all in the aesthetics.
The Modern Japanese restaurant is located on the 16th floor of The Park Regis Hotel at the iconic Five Ways. Specialising in Izakaya style dining and drinking, the concept is similar to the tapas bars of Spain and the cicchetti bars of the Veneto region in Italy. Essentially it’s the idea of small plates of food being shared whilst enjoying drinks.
Rofuto is made up of a cocktail lounge, an expansive yet intimate dining room and an open kitchen. The 360 degree panoramic views are stunning, even on a murky evening like the one we attended.
We started off with a bottle of Waipara Hills Riesling from the *ahem* Waipara Valley in New Zealand. Very light and easy drinking, high acidity with floral and citrus notes. Generally Riesling compliments Japanese food extremely well. The Waipara Hills was a perfect aperitif and a good accompaniment to the sushi, however I would suggest something with a bit more oomph to go with richer, flavoursome dishes.
The Shibui supper club features 5 courses to share. We start of with Salted Edamame, you can’t go wrong with these unless you accidentally eat the shell.
The Chef’s Selection Sushi Platter, consists of the Rofuto Futomaki and Kinpira Hosomaki. This is no ordinary sushi, with each flavour component carefully selected to compliment each other. I particularly liked the futomaki (on the left), yellowfin tuna, salmon, tofu and avocado.
We move on to our second course, the poetically sounding Tempura Moriawase. I love tempura everything, the prawns were amazingly light and crispy on the outside, retaining their juicy, plump meat on the inside. It’s accompanied by a tentsuyu sauce made of mirin rice wine vinegar, dashi stock and soy sauce, and grated daikon white radish. It’s a sweet, fruity and sour concoction.
In addition to this course is Dim Sum. We have Pork Gyoza and Prawn Spring Rolls, with the spring rolls having actually prawn pieces, none of the weird mince stuff you find on some menus.
Feeling thirsty, we move on to a bottle of Bodega Atamisque Serbal Malbec. With no sign of oak, we have a young, fresh, fruit led malbec. Strawberries, raspberries and plum.
Back on track, we are now presented with the main course consisting of two dishes and rice. We have the Lapsang Souchong Tea Yuzu Duck, Japanese Beef Korokke and Duck Egg Fried Rice.
The duck is so moist and flavoursome and the tea smoked flavour really comes through. There’s a miso chestnut puree providing the ultimate umami flavour, crispy leeks and candied lemon.
The beef korokke is a little breadcrumbed croquette, atop a wasabi mayonnaise with sprinkles of sesame soil.
Our final course is beautiful and really represents the Japanese passion and slight obsession for the number five. The Japanese believe that food should be enjoyed with the five senses and this is something, I too, am very passionate about.
Through taste, smell, sight, touch and sound, the Hibiscus Panna Cotta and Kisetu Fruits, plays with all the senses. Served with a mandarin sauce and exotic tropical fruits, I really liked the different textures.
The bartender is feeling adventurous, he makes us 2 cocktails to bid us farewell. A Green Matcha Tiramisu, oodles of flavour and creamy. It’s made with spiced rum, chocolate liqueur, vanilla and matcha. He also makes his take on Zombie, with 3 different rums and a blend of different fruit juices, very tropical.
The supper club took place on a bank holiday Sunday and unfortunately looked a bit quieter than it should have been. The key is getting the word out as the concept is fun and hardly breaks the bank at £40; a real bargain if you really want to try Rofuto. Do pop in for a cocktail too, I’m sure the bartenders will be pleased to welcome you.
I was a guest of Adam Hayes who works with Rofuto at the Park Regis Hotel and as such this meal was complimentary. We paid for all the wine.
As always, my writing and my honest views.
Wine Press Girl x