The Atrium hailed one of the best restaurants to visit after lockdown
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A globally-renowned educational supplement has recommended people pay a visit to University College Birmingham’s Atrium restaurant for a mouth-watering meal when the coronavirus lockdown ends.
At a time when everything seems so uncertain, the University was over-the-moon to see its open-to-the-public training restaurant listed in an online article by the TES (formerly The Times Educational Supplement) as one of the best college restaurants to check out when the country re-opens for business.
The Atrium, based at the University’s Summer Row campus, just 10 minutes’ walk from the city centre, is one of only 29 college restaurants in the UK to be awarded a Highly Recommended AA College Rosette – equivalent to two rosettes in industry – with a ranking of #15 out of nearly 2,000 restaurants in Birmingham on TripAdvisor.
Neil Rippington, Dean of the College of Food and Hospitality Management, said: “It’s not always common knowledge that college restaurants are open to the public and that the food they serve is as stunning and as innovative as any fine dining restaurant, but at a fraction of the cost, all while training students for a career as a chef or in the wider hospitality industry.
“It’s fantastic to see the Atrium right up top on the TES’s list of places people should visit when the lockdown ends and we look forward to welcoming new diners, as well as our loyal, existing customers, through the doors.
“More than ever, the students will appreciate the support.”
As a small example of the fabulous fayre you can expect to find at the Atrium, this spring’s lunchtime menu included a starter of chicken liver parfait with candied beetroot, toasted brioche and apple and cider chutney, followed by a main of market fish of the day with white bean and tomato cassoulet chorizo, and a dessert of apple mousse with crumble and custard Beignet.
The dinner menu featured a starter of steamed lemon sole with salmon mousseline, creamed fennel, dill, and a mandarin sauce, a main of pan-seared beef fillet foie gras, onions Bordelaise, potato, caper and shallot terrine with a Madeira reduction, and a dessert of blackcurrant mousse with a spiced poached comice pear and liqueur insert, pistachio sablè Breton and apple and tarragon granita.
All menus are changed seasonally and include vegetarian and vegan options, while dishes can be adapted to suit those with specific dietary requirements.
The Atrium sits alongside the Brasserie restaurant, which offers a bistro-style menu, and if you are feeling peckish at lunchtime, you can always nip to the restaurant bar and check out the new express menu.
As a nod to the exceptionally high standard of cooking at the University’s restaurants, students have been successful at a wealth of recent national and international competitions.
Last year, they not only won the Nestle Professional Toque d’Or for the fifth time, but the English National Junior Team, made up solely of students and alumni, scooped a silver medal at the 2020 Culinary World Cup.
Students also work at and undertake placements at some of the best restaurants in the country, including the Michelin-starred Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, owned by Raymond Blanc OBE, Carters of Moseley, owned by University College Birmingham graduate Brad Carter, and Purnell’s, owned by TV chef and ‘Yummy Brummie’ Glynn Purnell.
The University has also had no less than six finalists in MasterChef: The Professionals. These include Monty Stonehewer, who studied Level 3 Professional Cookery at University College Birmingham and made the Knockout Week of the BBC Two show in 2019.
Passionate about reducing food waste, the University also runs a range of initiatives to support sustainability and the local and student community.
You can also find out what’s going on at our restaurants, including our popular theme nights, by following @ucbrestaurants on Twitter and Instagram.
Find out more about the range of college and degree courses within our College of Food and Hospitality Management.