Restaurant MOS*, Amsterdam (May 2017)

The good thing if you invite your colleagues for a farewell lunch, you can also choose whatever restaurant you have on your to-do list. Needless to say, there were no problems whatsoever scheduling this lunch…

About the restaurant
Restaurant MOS started in late 2015 and is situated on the IJdok, about 1 kilometre west of the Amsterdam Central Station, overlooking the Northern part of Amsterdam, and landmarks such as the EYE Film Museum and the Shell Tower. Therefore, also with a great view on the IJ and its myriad of ships, cruise ships, canal boats and ferries bustling around Amsterdam Central Station.

Inside, the open kitchen and 9 meter high ceiling with the huge windows are the definite eyecathers with the seats dispersed between cosy circular booths and smaller tables.

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Egon van Hoof and Henry Pattiwael van Westerloo started the restaurant late 2015, both very experienced in the restaurant trade: Egon, the head-chef, worked before for Ron Blaauw and the previous 7 years as sous-chef at Aan de Poel** in Amstelveen and Henry, the maitre-sommelier, worked at Het Wapen van Amsterdam in ‘s Gravenland and most recently at Fitou in Loosdrecht. The cuisine is classic French with lots of pure and seasonal ingredients and Asian touches and received pretty good reviews from the get-go and it was awarded its first Michelin Star in December 2016.

About the menu
From a 6-course set menu there is a choice of 3 or 4 courses for lunch (€ 38/46) and 4 to 6 courses for dinner (€ 55/62/69). These individual dishes  – together with 7 other ones – are also available à la carte served as a starter (€ 22) or as a main course (€ 30). A cheese course (€ 16) and two other desserts (€ 14) are possible as well. At the time we went, there were no vegetarian options on the menu itself, but it did indicate that vegetarian dishes are available. They were perfectly capable to do so as one of my colleagues opted for the vegetarian lunch menu and she was delighted.

We had the luck that the weather was fantastic, so we enjoyed our lunch outdoors on their terrace. The daily Chef’s lunch menu was purposely kept light with 2 fish courses and 1 veal course, which was a great suggestion for 3 of us (who also opted for wine pairings throughout the lunch). The other colleague opted for an elderflower based mocktail (€ 8,50).

The food

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Starter: Bitter Lemon crispy foam with various preparations of Cucumber, Pickles and Manchego
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First Course: Creamy North Sea Crab with Langoustine and pickled Sea Bass, Radishes and Cabbage
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Second Course: Panfried Dover Sole, various preparations of Aubergine and grated Purple Cauliflour
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Main course: Barbecued Veal Loin topped with a Macadamia and Sunflower Seed Crunch, home-made Fettuccine, Asparagus and a Tomato and Onion Chutney. This dish was also accompanied by a quenelle of Veal Tartare with Pickles and Spicy Mayo
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Various preparations of Raspberries (whole ones filled with gel, crispy rice puffs, cubes of dense and tangy rice pudding and mousse) accompanied with Lemongrass ice cream

One of my collegues decided to switch the dessert for the cheese course which was met with approval. Afterwards we concluded with coffee and yummy friandises (€ 6.75).

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When I was presented my farewell gift of these 4 bottles of very, very nice Californian and South-African wines (I apparently built some kind of reputation over the years…) the sommelier could not conceal his curiosity and came over to have a look at them also giving some much appreciated pointers on the Napier vines (which I strangely had never come across before)

Overall, the food was fantastic. Also the vegetarian dishes were greeted with much enthusiasm, the wine pairings were very good and the service was very attentive yet relaxed through out the lunch. There were no worries that we had to start about 30 minutes later as 2 of my colleagues had grossly underestimated Friday lunchtime traffic, us mixing and matching menu items and accommodating the dietary restrictions. Perhaps it was partially due to the nice weather, but our lunch at Restaurant MOS was really great and laid back experience.

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