Chef and restaurateur Einat Admony (Taïm, Bar Bolonat and the recently-shuttered Balaboosta) will debut her latest venture, Kish-Kash (pronounced "kish kosh"), in Manhattan’s West Village neighborhood on June 18.
The focus of the restaurant is traditional—“real,” as Admony puts it—Moroccan couscous, a first of its kind for the city. Here, it’s a labor of love: Admony uses a large couscousiere to cook and hand-roll the couscous before running it through a fine sieve, or a kish-kash. The final product is something radically different than what we have grown accustomed to. “It’s like clouds—it’s very fluffy and light in color,” she says. The whole process is a labor of love and takes a minimum of two hours; Admony truly enjoys it and hopes to make 10 kilograms at a time, three times per week.
Open for lunch and dinner, dishes will include a summer salad of avocado, tomatoes and greens tossed with a preserved lemon-date dressing; slow-cooked lamb with dried fruit; and mafrum, a meat-stuffed potato with tomato sauce. Currently, the semolina flour used for the couscous is flown in from Israel. “I’m going to start looking for something local that is similar,” she states. “I’m sure it’s out there somewhere.” For dessert, a fried cookie often eaten on Mimouna, the North African Jewish celebration the day after Passover, is on offer.
Admony recalls longing for two foods from her culture when she first arrived stateside: falafel and couscous. Real couscous. “When I was working at Bobby Flay’s Bolo, chefs were serving up that quick-cooking couscous you find at the store. That’s not couscous—we call that ptitim in my country.” Even when she visits friends in Algeria, the art of making traditional couscous isn't common there either.
“No one is making this anymore,” she says. “It’s slowly disappearing from the world and I have to bring it back.”
Photo courtesy of Kish Kash.