In one of those it’s-a-tough-job-but-someone’s-gotta-do-it moments, I was recently asked to interview Moshik Roth (of two Michelin-star famed &moshik restaurant) for the Culture Trip. That didn’t seem too much like hard work, especially since I was going to try his “Inspiration Moshik” tasting menu afterwards. I’ll leave the interview itself for the Culture Trip (and I’ll link to the article when it’s published) but in my 1000-word limit I wasn’t able to go into the details of the dinner. So here goes – this is what €175 (plus €88 for the wine pairing) will bag you at &moshik…
After an inspirational start, the menu proper began with the intriguingly titled “Jardin du Marin”. At the table, smoked caviar was revealed under layers of leaves, and stacked up with fresh scallop, tomato jelly, sabayon and a tart case made from sea urchin. If the sweet-salty flavours of the ocean weren’t sufficient to transport you straight to the Arabian Sea, then the warm spices in the next layer of the dish (literally: the first dish was lifted off to reveal the second underneath) would leave you in no doubt. Langoustine swam in a spiced saffron bisque with hazelnuts, samphire and lemon peel – flavours that felt like homecoming, even when “home” for me (or for any other dinner guest) may be far from the Middle Eastern region that inspired the dish.
In contrast, the next course was altogether greener, fresher and more northern European: North Sea cod with new-season green peas, mint and razor clams – plus a hint of kaffir lime from the foam. It reminded me of my Dad’s garden: picking peas and popping them from their pods, ready to be quickly blanched with a sprig of mint for dinner.
Damien Hirst’s artwork adorns the walls at &moshik, and Chef Roth looked to him for culinary inspiration too: an in-between course of raw fruits and vegetables that change seasonally formed a colourful painting on the plate: tomatoes, radishes, pineapple, melon, strawberries, white asparagus – all spritzed with a floral note of elderflower.
The only meat I ate was a roulade of lamb and pigeon, with a nettle sauce, edible flowers, Meyer lemons and dried Iranian limes that were ground like pepper. Together with the wine, the dish delivered on rich, sumptuous flavours contrasting with the brightness of the citrus and nettles.
From there, it was swiftly onto dessert, which came in three parts. Orange soufflé with chocolate ice cream was like eating a Terry’s Chocolate Orange (British readers of a certain age will know what I’m talking about). I imagine the deconstructed Pavlova might have had a similar effect on &moshik’s Australian guests… While the passion fruit mousse that I ate to cleanse my palette in between the two was like the Platonic ideal of passion fruit.
After all that, I probably didn’t really need to choose anything from the petit fours trolley that appeared at the end of the meal. But given all the sense-memories and emotions the dinner had conjured up, it seemed rude not to try a madeleine, for Proust’s sake. And a chocolate truffle, for mine…