Dishes which are beautifully presented and feature meticulous attention to detail are key to enticing your diner. However, taste and texture are extremely important too. The Atrium Bar & Restaurant nestled in the Pavilion on Northbourne Hotel incorporates all these elements of presentation and quality flavours in its dishes to offer its hotel guests and beyond a diverse experience in the heart of the city.

The Atrium not only boasts a fresh, creative and quality menu, it also contains a beautiful, lush environment surrounded by luscious greenery and natural light-filled sunny ambience, creating a unique atmosphere that leaves diners in absolute awe.

The menu is changed seasonally with influences from the head chef and his staff. With staff from all over the world, the menu has become very diverse and incorporates different flavours and cultures with innovative cooking styles. The colourful, distinct and textured dishes will have your mouth watering before your belly is even satisfied. These textures and flavours are trialled and matched until perfect – a standard which echoes across Atrium’s whole philosophy.

Our food adventure at the Atrium began on a sunny afternoon, where we were treated to six delicious dishes. First up, the Pan Fried Scallops paired with rhubarb compote, salted celery, pickled ginger and grilled halloumi. This dish did not disappoint. The scallops in the scrumptious entrée were cooked to perfection and melted in our mouths. The contrast of the fruit, salty vegetables and cheese incorporated with the scallops was interesting, to say the least, but definitely one of the stand-outs – flavour and presentation wise.

Our next entrée was the Barbeque Duck Salad with crispy noodles, snow peas, baby corn and blood orange dressing. This Asian influenced dish combined the sweetness of the dressing, crispiness of the noodles, a tang of assorted mushrooms and delicate, textured shredded duck to create a delightful fusion on our palate.

My personal favourite from the menu was the first main we received from the kitchen, the Pistachio Crusted Atlantic Salmon. The salmon was cooked flawlessly and accompanied by beetroot dumplings, roasted peppers, Persian feta and baby spinach. Although the salmon was the star of the dish, the dumplings came a close second – smooth, tasty and innovative. The different textures in this dish are what make it – the crunch of the crumb and caramelised pistachios, the softness of the dumplings and the texture of the fish made for a great autumnal, hearty meal.

If filling, substantial dishes are your thing, the Atrium has plenty more of those, including the Roast Pork Loin and Fillet of Beef. The pork loin is made with adobo seasoning, crispy pork belly, apple compote and roasted vegetables. The chili-spiced mixture incorporated with sweet potato, pumpkin, sesame and a maple style dressing created a flavour sensation for us and showed a different dimension to the traditional roast with a Filipino twist.

Similarly, the Fillet of Beef was another cracking dish, which was sided with prawn and lobster ravioli, a nutmeg cream reduction and tossed in with Lebanese cress leaves. The pastry of the ravioli is made in-house and pan-fried giving it a crisp consistency, which the chef describes his, ‘original take on surf and turf’. This dish, we couldn’t get enough of!

Finally, we had eaten our way to dessert, even with our tummies full we couldn’t turn away from the Apple-Cherry Crumble. Combined with caramelised fig ice-cream and cherry Anglaise. All elements were lovingly made and prepared in-house, which makes for a quality, satisfying dessert.

Not only was the food an experience in itself, the environment of the cascading atrium and stunning natural light was refreshing, to say the least, being surrounded by nature and eating delish food equals absolute bliss.

Canberrans, if you’re looking for a new, exciting go-to for a romantic sit-down meal, at an affordable price, in a unique atmosphere and with local, quality food, the Atrium Restaurant and Bar in the Pavilion on Northbourne hotel is the place you need to visit and experience for yourself.

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