&moshik: Michelin-starred Amsterdam

Please note that since writing this blog post, &moshik has closed down

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…

First things first: lots of amuse bouches. Seven, to be precise. From the first morsel – sour meringue with smoked aubergine, tahini and a soy glaze – it’s clear that Chef Roth is inspired by his Israeli roots as well as his global travels. There were Asian flavours – with the beetroot and tuna “cornetto”, for example, and the shiitake and smoked eel dumpling – but also moments of perfect French simplicity: a leek, Comté cheese and béarnaise tartelette. Plus, arguably &moshik’s signature dish: the perfect egg – comprising steamed egg yolk, pine nuts, Muscat and undoubtedly more besides.

&moshik Michelin-starred restaurant in Amsterdam
&moshik’s beetroot and tuna cornetto – one of seven amuses…

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.

Chef Moshik Roth's culinary fairy tale
The second layer of Chef Roth’s culinary fairy tale

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.

&moshik - inspired by Damien Hirst
Inspired by Damien Hirst

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.

&moshik dessert
Foreground: orange soufflé with chocolate ice cream; background: pavlova

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…

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&moshik (International)


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