I bet you didn’t know that Milton Keynes College had a restaurant inside it, did you? Last week, I was invited along to The Brasserie at MK College to see their brand new refurbishment and try out their new menu.
The Brasserie is part of the college and is run by the students who are studying on the food and hospitality courses. It gives the chefs of tomorrow a chance to experience what it’s like to be part of a restaurant kitchen and follow a menu set out by a head chef, as well as giving them the opportunity to develop those all-important cooking skills. They most recently partnered with Patisserie Chef, Claire Clarke, who has helped launch a new patisserie course and sponsorships with top brands that provide the equipment the students need. We got a mini tour of the new facilities and I felt like I was on The Great British Bake Off!
The restaurant itself has also undergone a snazzy refurbishment. Warm lighting, wooden furniture and rose gold accents give this a very cosy, intimate vibe, making it feel like a very modern restaurant. They pride themselves in using locally sourced, fresh ingredients and change up the menu every term depending on the season. We were sampling their autumn menu, which looked very tasty indeed.
After our wine orders had been taken, we were presented with a very cute cup of Pumpkin Veloute as an appetiser. This smooth, warming soup was topped with feta and toasted pumpkin seeds. It went down a real treat with just enough sweetness, which contrasted nicely with the slight saltiness of the feta. I wanted to eat so much more of this!
To drink I ordered a Pino Grigio blush and Dan had a Merlot. They had a good selection of wines on the menu and something to suit every taste!
For mains, Dan and I opted for one of each. Dan had the Wild Mushroom Gnocchi, served in a white sauce with sage butter. This was beautifully presented and had a very strong, rich flavour. The texture of the gnocchi was a little too similar to mash potato but it was a very pleasant dish all the same.
I had the Beef Rib which looked absolutely amazing when it came out – it was the choice for most guests! It was served with garlic mash, vegetables and a jus. The meat just fell off the bone, and had a wonderful rich flavour. It was ever so slightly dry, but this could be remedied with a little extra jus! The mash was creamy and thick, though I definitely wanted a little more garlic flavour. That being said, this was an amazing meal which left me feeling very satisfied.
Dessert was a highlight for both of us! Dan opted for the Tiramisu, which turned out to be more of a deconstructed affair. Chocolate, mascarpone and coffee were the three primary flavours that brought this dessert together. It had a strange but pleasant texture, almost chewy, almost oaty, but this went down an absolute treat.
As a lifelong fan of rice pudding, I couldn’t turn it down when I spotted it on the menu! This was served chilled – sounds weird, but was nice, I promise – and was like a creme brulee hybrid with caramelised sugar on top. It was served with raspberry sorbet, raspberries and popcorn which was a quirky touch. It was incredibly rich and there was almost a little too much for me to finish, but the flavours were amazing. Vanilla and raspberry are always a winner!
We had such a wonderful evening sampling the food at The Brasserie, and the student chefs got a well-deserved round of applause at the end of the meal. When you bear in mind that the college receives no funding from the government with the money and support coming from the sponsorship and The Brasserie, it really is worth a trip there, purely to support the work of the students. I’d always heard great things about it but never ventured there myself. It will come highly recommended should anyone be looking for a new venue to try in Milton Keynes!
View menus and book a table by visiting www.thebrasseriemk.co.uk