Food and Drink January 6, 2011
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The Atrium and Brasserie Restaurants
Location: University College Birmingham, Birmingham, B3 1JB [map]
Phone: 0845 201 6805
Open: Please call for details

A real gem', 'a jewel in the crown of Birmingham' and 'the best place to meet a future star chef' ' just three customer comments which help to perfectly set the scene for the Atrium and Brasserie Restaurants. Based in Birmingham city centre, both are within University College Birmingham and form the excellent, industry-standard training grounds for hundreds of hospitality, catering, bakery and food service students. The Atrium is the flagship fine-dining restaurant, open weekday evenings to offer an exciting, contemporary menu. Examples of the innovative dishes served include poached blue lobster with dressed crab, roast fillet of beef cooked on the bone, loin of roe deer, steamed sea bass, seared scallops and Gressingham duck. Vegetarian dishes are by no means overshadowed, as exemplified by carefully thoughtout creations like white onion and creme fraiche tart with truffle sabayon. In addition, a fabulous wine list is on offer, with the mark up kept low to encourage customers to match better quality wines with the dishes offered, so as to enhance the students' knowledge of fine wines. For a weekday lunch, diners can enjoy the Brasserie Restaurant, which offers a modern European menu, again at excellent value. The menu is changed regularly and examples of the students' experimental dishes include millefeuille of cream cheese with leek and asparagus, mussels and clams mariniere, Moroccan chick pea and vegetable tagine with orange cous cous, and chargrilled rump of lamb with white beans, chorizo and black pudding. If time is of the essence, an express dish of the day is offered in the Brasserie bar area, with a meat-free option always available. Before leaving, lunchtime guests have the opportunity to look around the Cakes and Bakes shop, which sells an excellent range of fresh bread and cakes made by the bakery students. The restaurants are open during college term times only, so hurry and book a table now for a dining experience which will not only wow you, but help to build the futures of the next generation's top chefs and restaurateurs.

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