MOMO: high-end Asian immersion in Amsterdam

I don’t really know how many times I have been to MOMO just as I don’t know how many times I have been to Amsterdam before living here. MOMO is a classic. Years go by, there is always a bunch of new restaurants in town and MOMO holds strong as a trendy hotspot. This restaurant is the originator of high-end Asian cuisine + distinct design in Amsterdam and has been raising the bar for more than 9 years.

Thumbs up for fresh and inventive Asian fusion that is food for our body, soul and also our eyes. Do not forget the amazing cocktails prepared to perfection by some of the best bartenders in the Netherlands.

I returned to this beloved restaurant two weeks ago and it will be a pleasure to share my impressions with you.

First and foremost, make sure you reserve a table as it is very busy, especially for dinner. Do it here.

AMBIENCE

Minimalist. White. Open kitchen. Spacious. These are some of the features at MOMO and those who follow me here and on Instagram know I love it. There is no “wrong” table in this restaurant as there is plenty of space and every table is comfy enough, but I would reserve one close to the windows and with a view to the open kitchen – these are the most appealing ones to me but it can be also fun if you sit closer to the bar.

Minimalist decor at MOMO
Minimalist decor at MOMO

If you go for dinner, expect a party mood and a trendy beautiful crowd. No worries! It is absolutely possible to have a calm dinner but especially from Thursday on… the vibrant atmosphere is evident. Besides dinner, some people go for a couple of drinks at the bar. It is nice but wait – you are in one of the best restaurants of Amsterdam and you will not try their cuisine? I would go for the whole package. Dinner and drinks. No doubt!

The stylish bar at MOMO
Signature 360° bar at MOMO

Lunch is also a good choice and there is a special menu for this time of the day and a Bento Box option. It is not as busy as dinner and one can expect to meet some business guys and the fashionistas that work close by.

By the way, LOCATION is key at MOMO – it is placed in an strategic area of Amsterdam, very close to the Museum Quarter (where the main museums of the city are concentrated), close to Vondelpark (the main park of Amsterdam) and also close to Hoofstraat, the best and super high-end shopping street in town.

Top location at MOMO
Top location at MOMO

EXPERIENCE

Every single time I have been to MOMO was outstanding and my last visit was not different.

MOMO was the first Pan Asian fine dining restaurant in Amsterdam
The first Pan Asian fine dining restaurant in town

We had a reservation for lunch and were received by a very sympathetic hostess, who showed us the way to our table. The restaurant is very elegant but the atmosphere is relaxed and staff extremely attentive. Our waiter was a young helpful girl who knew everything about the menu and the plates and she really took the time to explain us what the concept was about and also told us what her favourite meals were. In the end she was able to help us with our choices because we pretty much wanted to try everything and it would be too much food. Haha!

Best Tuna Tataki in town
Best Tuna Tataki in town, with jalapeño sauce

The idea is to share the dishes. MOMO was a trend setter in that aspect many years ago, introducing the fine dining sharing concept in Amsterdam. For lunch there is the Bento Box and single plates but especially for dinner the best idea is to order a couple of dishes and share.

Special drinks at MOMO
Special drinks at MOMO

It was a very pleasant lunch. The ambience is bright and I love the interior featuring Philippe Starck chairs. Something else which totally fascinates me is the food presentation – plating in here is WOW and one can really understand the meaning of “eating with the eyes”. Haha! I went crazy and took a million pictures which I am glad to share here.

Photogenic and yummy Cod fish with Miso sauce
Photogenic and yummy Cod fish with Miso sauce

Keep in mind that the vibe at night and during the day is different. I am sure you will have amazing food any time, but if you are looking for the right location for a fancy date or fun time with your friends, choose dinner.

KITCHEN

MOMO’s kitchen has a reputation for its fresh ingredients and for presenting plates that are inspired by nature and executed with perfect technique. I can only state that this reputation is accurate – everything we tried was tasty, fresh, beautiful and unique.

Signature dish at MOMO: Toro tartar and caviar
Signature dish at MOMO: Toro tartar with caviar

The lunch menu and the Bento Box were both very appealing but we decided to order from the “regular” menu as there were some signature dishes that I had always wanted to try, like the toro tartar and caviar served on ice, the black cod with spicy miso and the MOMO roll with tuna, salmon, sea bass, avocado and tarragon miso.

Japanese cuisine to start
Japanese cuisine to start

The fish dishes were all an attraction on their own. Very fresh and sort of melting in our mouths. I am a big cod fan and the one I ate here is among the best ones I have ever tried. Also the Tuna Tataki, the toro tartar with caviar and the Yellow Tail were to die for!

Yellow Tail with coriander chili & yuzu soy
Yellow Tail with coriander chili & yuzu soy

We ordered some meat as well and it was very tasty. There is seared wagyu beef for those who really love meat – I tried in another occasion and it was very good. Recommend!

Extremely tender beef fillet
Extremely tender beef fillet

And the desserts… wow! Be prepared for some hard choices. We shared the Honeycomb, which consists of roasted peach and raspberries served on a honeycomb tuile with vanilla ice cream & yuzu marshmallow. I ordered it because I had seen it on another table and to be honest, I was feeling sorry to eat it because it was just too pretty. I am not a huge fan of marshmallows but this one was nothing like I had ever tasted before. Delicious!

Most beautiful dessert
Most beautiful dessert

Check the menus online here for some creative and sophisticated dishes that honour their ingredients and do not miss this place when in Amsterdam. It will be tasty, classy and fun!

MOMO perfection
MOMO perfection

Note: MOMO has released the MOMO Sushi Box. I saw it when I was in the restaurant and I am crazy to try it. The idea is amazing! It includes all the necessary ingredients to create sushi rolls, hand rolls, nigiri and sashimi for a group of people. Perfect for a little party at home, a healthy lunch in the office or even a boat ride around the canals of Amsterdam. For the less confident, a MOMO expert can be booked to visit their home and the ingredients can be discussed upon request.

Hope you enjoyed the read! Santé!

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