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Restaurant De Moerbei 1* Review

By August 16, 2015 , ,

This certainly isn't my first visit to De Moerbei, my previous visits in the last few years were pre blog. De Moerbei is a 1 Michelin starred restaurant located in the picturesque village of Warmond and for me only a 10 minute bike ride from my house. 

The restaurant itself has no airs and graces and is simply furnished and has a refined and relaxed atmosphere. The service is attentive without being cloying and I love the touch whereby the staff wear white gloves when serving at the table.

This visit I went for the 6 course menu alliance with wine pairing which overall was executed well.

As with any restaurant you have the ubiquitous amuses. These are always a delight and in some cases can be the highlight of the meal and sometimes it all goes downhill after that. Some restaurants such as Hof van Cleve (3*) might ply you with at least 7 or 8 before embarking on the actual menu, in that case the main events were just as good as the amuse.

We started with three amuses in this case. A horseradish mousse wrapped in a parsnip gel with a rice crisp, the horseradish was subtle with a nice background kick but the parsnip was  a bit lost. Next was a shrimp samosa with carrot foam (forgot to take a pic in my haste to eat it). There were wonderful combinations of aromatic spice flavours  in which the sweetness of the shrimp complimented the earthiness of the carrot. Last but not least was goose liver with beet sorbet and beet crisp, good classic well thought out combinations.

We began the main meal with salmon and king crab encased in a cannelloni of granny smith apple served with soft shell crab and watermelon. It was also accompanied by a sesame vinaigrette. Individually they were all strong flavours with the sesame often in danger of dominating the flavour, but paired with the sweetness of the watermelon it all came together very well.

The fish course was sea bass precisely cooked with a "de-constructed" ratatouille. It was paired with purées of aubergine, pepper and tomato and the sea bass was topped with a mirepoix of vegetables and accompanied by a light vinaigrette. Sea bass is a delicate flavour and I found that paired with strong elements it got lost. That's not to say that the accompanying elements were not tasty. Placing the mirepoix on top of the sea bass meant that the skin lost some of its crispness which was a shame.

The next course came with one of my favourite things to eat, sweetbreads. We had veal sweetbreads wonderfully cooked and crispy on the outside served with soft veal cheek which melted in your mouth. This was also served with summer squash purée, a jus and carrots. These all worked well together but the squash for me in its sweetness dominated the dish. 

The main event was a poussin with morel jus and foie gras. All elements of the poussin were cooked well from the breast which had a nice crisp skin to the confit leg. It was also served with asparagus wrapped in ham with a lovely crisp crust. The foie gras was for me a fragment overdone, the ham in its saltiness was too much for the dish, so much so the flavour of the morels were lost. I'm also not a big fan of vegetables being served out of season such as asparagus whose season ended almost 2 months ago.

The cheese course was a lovely selection and paired unusually with 2 wines which I thought was a good touch given that can be difficult to pair with a range of cheeses. I also liked the fact they served a Warmerdam which is a very local cheese produced, where else, in Warmond! It had a lovely nutty and rich flavour to it.

Last but not least the dessert course, which was a simple lemon meringue served with cream filled fresh raspberries and an accompanying mint ball. I found the mint ball which was cream and mint, not very minty at all. The dish did what it said on the tin, but did not stand out in comparison to the execution of earlier dishes.

The wine pairing was consistent throughout. Though I found that some of the wines got a bit lost when paired with certain dominant elements in the accompanying dish. 
Overall it was a nice meal with some well executed elements.

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