Food and Travel (UK) - - Competition -

This Ja­panese and pan-Asian-style restau­rant takes sushi to new heights – lit­er­ally. Ro­futo of­fers out­stand­ing panoramic views of the Birm­ing­ham sky­line from the 16th floor of the Park Regis Ho­tel, serv­ing a the­atri­cal dis­play of sushi prepa­ra­tion from an open kitchen. The menu is charged with in­ter­est­ing pair­ings, such as cherry-smoked salmon served with a cit­rus salt and ponzu sauce. To fol­low, try wild mush­rooms, tofu and aubergine nabe­mono, which comes with a pi­quant chilli sauce. Make sure to leave room for the light and vel­vety hi­bis­cus and man­darin panna cotta. CI. ro­

This month, we try mod­ern In­dian in a Chelsea townhouse, taste sushi across the UK, en­joy Peru­vian-Ja­panese fu­sion food in Ham­burg and cham­pion bistro clas­sics in Soho

s these pho­tos sug­gest, you’d be for­given for mis­tak­ing Vi­neet Bha­tia Lon­don for any west Lon­don townhouse. In­deed, you even have to knock to get in. Once you’re over the thresh­old, the home-from-home vibe con­tin­ues. Deep shag col­lapses be­neath your feet, a stair­well leads to a ter­race and the 12-cover main din­ing room has the feel of a con­tem­po­rary liv­ing space. But here the sim­i­lar­i­ties end. From the mo­ment lime soup and smoked prawn chaat canapés are de­liv­ered, you’re duly in­formed that you’re in the heart of a mod­ern In­dian restau­rant. Bha­tia was ar­guably the first chef to bring new In­dian food to the cap­i­tal, and with the new VBL (pre­vi­ously Ra­soi) he takes things fur­ther, with art­fully bro­ken plates in a kalei­do­scope of colours and flavours that mix Europe with In­dia. Spiced foie gras fea­tures in a beet­root mac­aron, chilli cod is del­i­cately spiced and duck ko­rma has a pleas­ing sweet­ness. The star of the show is the menu’s most un­fussy dish: pa­tiala chicken. With none of the crock­ery flair of pre­vi­ous cour­ses, it’s sim­ply a bowl of curry that’s burst­ing with ba­sic bril­liance.

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