Michelin chef set for mailbox

City venue to welcome twice Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochar.

The Mailbox – Birmingham’s premier lifestyle and shopping destination – has confirmed the arrival of twice Michelin starred chef from Benares London, Atul Kochhar.

The Mailbox is the UK’s largest mixed use property outside London and is home to exclusive stores, waterside restaurants, cafes and bars, a luxury independent cinema, hotels, and 200,000 sq ft of office space home to the BBC, Advanced and Associated Architects.

Atul Kochhar, renowned for his ability to combine his Indian heritage with his love of British ingredients, will open his new restaurant concept – NRI by Atul Kochhar. Located in a high profile position at the front of the Mailbox, NRI by Atul Kochhar will span over 5,000 sq ft and will showcase high-quality but affordable spiced dishes that draw inspiration from everywhere Atul has ventured, from Malaysia and Japan to South Africa and beyond.

Born out of his passion for discovery and travel, and his extensive knowledge of the evolution of Indian dishes throughout history, NRI by Atul Kochhar will serve a selection of the star dishes that were originally brought over by migrants to the far corners of the British Empire.

Cooked fresh on-site from one of the restaurant’s two kitchens, the tempting menu will offer a number of hot and cold small plates, grilled dishes, sides and desserts, all served within a rustic and welcoming environment reminiscent of colonial India, complete with high ceilings, hanging lanterns and copper and dark stone. The restaurant will also be open for breakfast every day.

As well as the food, NRI by Atul Kochhar will have its own bar serving a variety of lagers, craft ales, wines and culinary inspired cocktails – including the Passion Fruit Chutney Martini with no less than seven different types of chilli.

Sitting within NRI by Atul Kochhar will be Atul’s exclusive dining room called The Chef’s Table by Benares – a 24 cover standalone sophisticated and contemporary space overlooking a private kitchen where Atul and his team will be working and serving Michelin-quality prix fixe menus. The exclusive dining room will also be used for private dining events and masterclasses, hosted by Atul himself.

Atul Kochhar comments: “I’m very excited to be opening my new concept in Birmingham, a city which I have long admired for its diversity and food culture.

“There is a complex plethora of Indian cuisine that has developed outside of India and each of my dishes tells a beautiful story – stories that I am keen to share with Birmingham. The Mailbox is a modern, sophisticated development in the heart of Birmingham, and one that boasts premium quality space, occupiers and customer base. It’s the perfect location for my new restaurant and we can’t wait to open later this year.”

Simon Samuels, partner at Brockton Capital LLP, says: “As well as luxury fashion, home and lifestyle, the Mailbox is fast becoming a foodie destination in its own right. Birmingham’s culinary scene has a deservedly growing reputation, and we’re delighted that Michelin starred chefs are recognising the Mailbox as the destination to showcase their food to the city.”

The announcement of NRI by Atul Kochhar follows the opening of Tom’s Kitchen, the restaurant and bar by acclaimed chef Tom Aikens, in December last year. As well as a restaurant, Tom’s Kitchen operates a deli within the Urban Room mall offering affordable and express options for breakfast, lunch and afternoon treats.