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Moksh

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At Moksh, great pride is taken in working with the finest quality Welsh produce and freshest authentic spices. Their ingredients are fresh, seasonal and locally sourced, allowing their tasty dishes to draw on the ancient Indian Ayurvedic system. Meaning ‘life knowledge’, the 5,000 year old system of natural healing and cleansing explores how to eat for optimum balance.

city-life-moksh1We caught up with Chef Stephen Gomes, whose signature style has gained him a place among the most respected chefs in the UK. 

Can you tell us a bit about your background and what has led you to where you are today?
Originally born in Mumbai, I moved to Cardiff fifteen years ago. I am a fourth generation chef, following in the footsteps of my father, grandfather and great-grandfather. After training and working within a variety of five star hotels across Asia, and studying molecular gastronomy at Westminster College, I knew I always wanted to utilise my heritage, experience and travels to create unique and modern Indian fusion cuisine with elements of molecular cooking. This, subsequently, led to the opening of Moksh in 2007.

Can you explain the concept behind Moksh? The dishes that appear on the menu seem a little different from other Indian restaurants.
It’s all about having fun with food. We look to create an overall dining experience that our customers will not easily forget – something a little different from anything they may have experienced before. Tastes may not change year to year, but we can enhance the dining experience by making food beautiful and theatrical, and make dining an ‘experience’.

Our dishes tend to venture away from those that are usually found in traditional Indian restaurants as well – from starters including Vegetable Tapas from the Lab (Delhi Chaat with coriander mint air, yoghurt blast, Bombay mix edible plastic and Dahi Bhalla ice cream with tamarind spherification) to our speciality main courses including Lava Chicken 180°C (a flavoursome chicken dish served in a saffron and home-style cooked sauce, with a sizzling 180°C lava stone at its centre!). I’m widely known in the Industry as one of the first chefs to successfully introduce natural food science into Indian cuisine. I enjoy playing with the senses – a lot of research and passion goes into the dishes at Moksh.

What is the most requested dish at Moksh?
The most requested dishes at Moksh are two of our starters: Treasures of the Sea – soft shelled crab on puffed rice, prawn wasabi cocktail with lemon air, salmon koliwada with yoghurt chilli spherification and pan fired scallops with lemon chilli zest powder.

Einstein in India – Shami kebabs stuffed with mint jelly, sous vide Lucknowi lamb chops with home-made candy floss, Hyderabadi mince cupcake with beetroot chilli foam and lamb seekh kebab with cold whisky smoke. Served on a bed of mixed caviars. I mustn’t forget about the seasonal Tasting Menu too. Five innovative courses that balance flavours and textures, while remaining authentic to Indian cuisine.

We understand that you’ve won many awards for your cuisine, which of these are you the most proud of?
The recent Ethnic Chef Award was particularly close to my heart. I was very honoured to have received the award, as the Craft Guild of Chefs is a prestigious association within the UK. The awards themselves are also recognised as ‘The Chef Oscars’ within the Industry as well. Of course, the AA Rosette in 2015 – I think we were all still a little stunned (in a good way!) for at least a week after.

What awards has the restaurant recently received?
We are very proud to have been awarded an AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence in 2015 – the first Indian restaurant in Wales to receive one. We have also recently been named Best Indian Restaurant in Wales at the inaugural Food Awards Wales in 2015.

You represented Wales in The Great British Menu this year on BBC2; tell us a little about your experience?
Where do I start? It certainly was an experience! With the theme this year being to create a menu to honour the standards and celebrate the Centenary of the Women’s Institute, it was always going to be an interesting brief to meet! It was a fun programme to take part in though, and I hope my creative flair and imagination came through. I was honoured to represent Wales alongside Phil and Adam, but the process was hard and, even as a chef, where long hours are the norm, we were certainly pushed to our limts.

We hear that you’ve recently opened a cookery school in Cardiff – please tell us about that.
Yes, SG|The Food Studio opened in August. Situated five minutes from Moksh, we are offering a range of cookery classes, where people will actually be able to experience cooking inside a commercial kitchen as opposed to a restaurant kitchen. The classes will be informative but, most of all, fun and hands on. Perfect for enthusiastic cooks who have a passion for Indian cooking, and enjoy learning new skills in a modern and relaxed environment.

So will the SG|The Food Studio only be offering cookery classes?
No, the studio will also form a base for food demonstrations and corporate and event catering. It will also be a much needed developmental kitchen for the ever-evolving menus at Moksh.

What are your plans for the future?
It is all go as ever. I have a number of overseas projects that are currently ongoing, and I hope to expand and open a restaurant in London too. There is always something new and exciting going on in Moksh too, and I’ll be working on the latest tasting menus in the next few weeks, so please watch this space!

More information on dates and times for the cookery classes is available by contacting enquiries@sgfoodstudio.co.uk or by visiting www.moksh.co.uk 

Moksh 
Ocean Building, Bute Crescent
Cardiff CF10 5AN
029 2049 8120 

enquiries@moksh.co.uk
www.moksh.co.uk 

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