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Albatross Death Cult, the experimental new restaurant from Alex Claridge, Chef Patron of Birmingham’s “rock and roll fine dining” restaurant The Wilderness, is now open.

The venture is, in Claridge’s words, “a raw, unedited, and decidedly stripped-back sibling to The Wilderness”.  Housed in a Grade II listed warehouse in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, Albatross seats fourteen guests around a monolithic kitchen counter, serving a singular tasting menu of twelve (or more) dishes of (mostly) seafood and coastal ingredients.

Albatross provides an experience with connection and communion at its core. The restaurant offers just one sitting per service, inviting fourteen guests to partake in a communal dining experience around an intimate central kitchen counter. Everyone has a front row seat on the action, as chefs serve a rapid-fire sequence of twelve (or more) dishes, in an omakase-style service.

The kitchen’s approach is modern and minimalist – in Claridge’s words, the food is “brutalist in style”.  An ever-changing line-up of fresh fish, seafood, and coastal ingredients plays the lead role. Many dishes are striking in their simplicity, with embellishment and manipulation intended only to amplify or clarify the inherent flavours and qualities of the lead ingredient.

Elsewhere on the menu there is more complexity, bolder intervention, and bigger flavours which “smack you in the face like ocean spray”.

The Albatross kitchen is led by Piotr Szpak, who has served as part of The Wilderness team intermittently for over six years (interspersed with time at Aktar Islam’s Opheem). Szpak serves alongside young gun Oliver Grieve who joined The Wilderness as a UCB student, following a stint at L’Enclume.

The Albatross drinks programme is overseen by wine and sake sommelier Camilla Bonnannini (formerly Upstairs by Chef Tom Shepherd), who is supported front-of-house by Kelly Barra (formerly Simpson’s). Camilla’s eclectic and adventurous drinks list features an ever-evolving selection of wines and sakes by the glass and bottle, plus a mixed drinks pairing, all of which are designed to complement the coastal menu, whilst inviting guests to try diverse and lesser-known producers and styles. A short cocktail menu has been created in collaboration with Drinks Consultant Rueben Clark (formerly The Wilderness and Artesian), offering classic cocktails with playful coastal twists.

Albatross is housed in a restored warehouse in Newhall Square on the edge of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Designed by Alex Claridge, the space was brought to life in collaboration with hospitality interior specialists, 2G Design & Build. Alex wanted a minimalist interior exposing the bones of the building, providing luxury stripped back to its essentials. The result is a soft industrial look and feel, with a focus on raw materials and minimal embellishment. The size and scale of the central stainless steel kitchen counter gives the sense of being at the heart of the kitchen, whilst the warm brick walls offset the raw steel and concrete fittings, creating a space that is at once utilitarian and inviting.

Albatross is open now. The restaurant serves lunch on Friday and Saturday at 1.30pm and dinner Wednesday to Saturday at 7pm. The tasting menu is priced at £88. For further information and to reserve a space at the Albatross kitchen counter please visit: albatrossdeathcult.co.uk