• Samsha

    Photo Gallery

  • Samsha Logo, Lounge

    by Victor Rodrigo, chef and graffiti artist

  • "Coral Reef"

    Dishes at Samsha are served on a flat communal table, often under a black light

  • "Forest"

    Samsha doesn't divulge the actual components of this dish until you actually dine at the restaurant

  • "Mushroom"

Samsha

Samsha’s, Victor Rodrigo is on a mission to reinvent the concept of dining out, completely.   Already ‘bored’ after an impressive run on Top Chef, and Spain’s most prestigious, “Chef of the Year” award in 2012, Rodrigo has recently scrapped the format for his already uber-modern restaurant, in favor of something that resembles dinner theatre on acid.

Rather than sit a table with their own party, diners are now welcomed into Samsha’s lounge for a cocktail, where Rodrigo sits on his knees and personally prepares small bites to a backing track of hip-hop and electronica.  As the dinner hour nears, the music gets louder, and diners are asked to take a seat at the large, 20 person, horseshoe-shaped communal table.  At center stage, Rodrigo then creates his dramatic dishes in front of his audience.  Under rainbow hues of dance club lighting, diners find themselves noshing on ethereal dishes like “The Bosque” or “Forest”, complete with day-glow mushrooms, and leaves that fall from the ceiling.  Fire?  Check.  Dry Ice?  Check.  It’s all here.

Fish_Bottle

Dishes at Samsha take on scenes found in nature, or in this case, an aquarium

Such whimsical, if not, half-crazed ideas might seem gimmicky in the wrong hands, but when you meet Victor Rodrigo you know immediately his art is genuine.   “I’m not in this for the money,” he admits.  This is certain, as it doesn’t take a mathematician to determine he could bring in more cash by turning over 2 or 3 tables a night.  For Rodrigo, a former graffiti artist however, “following the rules” is just not in his genetic makeup.  With a half shaved head, piercings and skull and cross-bone chefs pants, he’s anything but conventional.

His anti-establishment antics having earned him the nickname “Banksy of the Kitchen”, Rodrigo has made claims that he is “too radical for Michelin”.  While this may or may not be true, we can only say that Samsha’s sensory bending experience is perhaps closer to performance art, than it is “dinner”.   But in an entitled world where foie gras hamburgers have become passé, its refreshing to find someone being not just original, but original with punk rock abandon.

While not the cheapest game in town at 79 euros per person, we feel an evening with Rodrigo is well worth the price, considering the meal, a pre-dinner cocktail, bottomless glasses of wine and of course the “show” are included.  Go now, while you still can, for something tells us, if Michelin does take notice, Rodrigo may get bored, and the current installation of Samsha, may be wiped clean like his graffiti, and reinvented, yet again.