Dining in Amsterdam: &Samhoud Places**

Chef Moshik used to be the chef of restaurant ‘t Brouwerskolkje in Overveen, half an hour west of Amsterdam. He has recently moved to Amsterdam under a new name: &Samhoud Places and immediately received two stars from Michelin (the same as at Brouwerskolkje). We were curious and so went to pay a visit. We had the 7-course “Inspiration” degustation menu (EUR 159.50) with wine menu (EUR 65) and black truffle supplement (EUR 20). Photos made with my iPhone.

IMG_0660
The amuse bouche are travel themed: Hong Kong, Venice, Chicago, and Moscow. The first is dim sum of scampi: both the filling and the wrapper are made from scampi. Very tasty!

IMG_0664
Chicago is a frozen ‘old fashioned’ cocktail with foie gras, served on a spoon. Nice combination of flavors and textures.

IMG_0665
Venice is a calzone stuffed with duck tongue and taleggio cheese and served with mushrooms. It sounds more interesting than it tastes. The ‘heart’ with beetroot, herring caviar and white chocolate was very good.

The very good series of amuse bouche was a promising start to our meal: 9/10.

IMG_0668
A ‘perfect egg’ with a spanish “Carabineros” prawn, 16-year old Lagavulin whisky and carrot. Very nice tastes and textures. It was paired with a Soave that already had quite strong bitter notes but became even more bitter with the dish. 9/10 for the dish, but only 8/10 including the wine pairing.

IMG_0673
The sommelier seems to have a thing for wines with bitter notes, because also the second wine has quite a lot of them. It’s a silvaner from Franken in Germany and although it does have nice ripe white fruits, it doesn’t pair really well the pear that is served with the scallop sashimi with sesame seeds and sea buckthorn sauce. Although I love scallop, this dish doesn’t do much for me. 7/10

IMG_0671
I liked this crepe filled with crab and served with a Dom Pérignon vintage 2003 sauce much better and it paired well with the wine: 9/10.

IMG_0676
The oyster with sea urchin sauce and salty plants is great with the Mosel riesling (although also this riesling has a pronounced bitter), but the clams are way too tough. 8/10

IMG_0677
The hazelnut emulsion is great with the green cauliflower, that is a combination to remember. Unfortunately it overpowers the elegant taste of the sole and clashes with the bone-dry oaked chardonnay from Adelaide Hills. 7/10

IMG_0679
We are not sure if we got the right wine served with this dish, because the waiter announced the regular dish with fruits and vegetables rather than our upgrade to a black truffle risotto. The pinot noir from Austria didn’t clash with the risotto, but wasn’t a good pairing either. The risotto itself was adequate and the quality of the black truffle was outstanding. It surprised me that even at a two-star restaurant (and in this case with three-star prices)  it is apparently not possible to server a properly prepared risotto (i.e. stirred for 20 minutes). 8/10

IMG_0681
The Anjou pigeon 50:50 is called that way because it is 50% pigeon breast and 50 other ingredients. We have seen dishes named after the number of ingredients at other restaurants before. The pigeon jus had good flavor and the pigeon was tender, but we’ve had better pigeon. I wasn’t crazy about the other 50 ingredients and the pairing with a syrah/grenache from the Languedoc didn’t really work. It was not a surprise that the wine had strong bitter notes. 8/10

IMG_0683
The dessert was a ‘demolished’ cheesecake and quite good. It was no surprise that it was paired with a Muscat de Rivesaltes, as that dessert wine is known for it’s bitter notes. 8/10

The madeleines that were served with coffee were excellent, 10/10. Unfortunately in this case the iPhone picture turned out so bad I can’t use it here. The other sweets served with the coffee were also good.

We were a bit disappointed with &Samhoud Places. Nothing was really bad, but in a two-star restaurant I expect better. To be honest I felt this was a one-star experience with a three-star price tag. Dining at this level is to a large extent a matter of taste. I don’t really care for wines with strong bitter notes, and although all wines served were good, their bitterness definitely had a negative impact on my personal experience.

The service was good, 9/10. The food was good but not outstanding, 8/10. Wine pairings 7/10.

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Dining in Amsterdam: &Samhoud Places**

    1. It is not just being a good cook myself, it is also that we eat at Michelin starred restaurants about once a month, so we have practiced palates.
      I love the idea of the hazelnut emulsion too. In fact, I’m going to try making a pasta with romanesco and hazelnut emulsion tonight! 🙂

      Like

  1. I hate when that happens. I have also found that wine pairings never match my own personal palate. Some hit, more often, most miss. As such, I hardly ever order the pairings but order a good bottle that I think will go well with the meal overall.

    Like

    1. Luckily there are some restaurants where they do actually taste the wines with the dishes to find the pairing, rather than a pairing in theory only. For me a good pairing is the ultimate experience that cannot be achieved with a single bottle unless the meal was constructed around the bottle (which is something I do myself once in a while). But when the pairing turns out to be bad, I agree that I’d rather have ordered a good bottle.

      Like

  2. Interesting. I get very angry when the wine paring is not perfect. If it misses the mark on most courses then the restaurant is either arrogant or ignorant. Or, worse still, both.

    Like

    1. Often, and also in this case, I get the impression that they are indeed so arrogant and ignorant that they think they can get away with choosing a wine pairing ‘in theory’. Optimal wine pairings can only be found by tasting wines and the dish together, and then deciding which wine matches best. Even at many three-star restaurants it is clear that this is not done on a routine basis. Good exceptions are Librije and El Celler de Can Roca.

      Like

  3. Reading the courses you were served, Stefan, it all sounds like a fantastic meal. Your comments, though, prove otherwise. I would have been disappointed, especially upon discovering that the note common to all of the wine pairings was “bitter”. I think you’re right. No one actually tasted the wine and its associated dish. I would certainly expect better from a Michelin starred restaurant.

    Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.