After having a very long but beautiful day in Ubud, we landed in Mozaic Restaurant Gastronomique, one of the most praised restaurants on the island. The chef and owner Chris Salans is Le Cordon Bleu graduate who worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris and was the head chef of the US Thomas Keller’s French Bistro Restaurant at Napa Valley before moving to Indonesia.
Inspired by locally sourced produce, Chef Salans combines progressive western cooking techniques with the exotic flavors of Indonesia in his beautiful creations. This is apparent in the chef’s tasting menu that comprises market-fresh ingredients which he incorporates into a range of French dishes. The menu constantly changes depending on the availability of produce and impromptu inspiration of the chef. During our visit, there were only two signature tasting menus available: From Our Local Farmers, which focused on local produce, and A Trip Around the World, which married the world’s best ingredients with local flavors. After long deliberation, we decided to opt for the latter as it seemed to combine the best of both worlds.
The almost magical ambiance of the restaurant deserves a separate praise. Upon arrival, we were seated in the lounge area where we had an opportunity to cool down after a day of sightseeing with a glass of cocktail and amuse-bouche (by the way, creampuff with savory truffle cream – oh so good) and also peruse the menu. The design here incorporates Balinese and Arabic motifs with crystal chandeliers, plush sofas and chic tabletop and wall decor.
However, it was not until we were escorted along a stone walkway to the main al fresco dining area that I gasped. Just imagine: candlelit tables with rattan chairs are set within a cozy and secluded tropical garden under an open star-lit sky. As the sun goes down, fire torches are glowing and soft music is playing in the background. It was an ultimate setting for a romantic dinner complimented with a superb service and outstanding cuisine.
Food in Mosaic was equally impressive. Courses were beautifully cooked, inventive and truly delicious. Before dinner, our waiter placed a platter filled with raw Indonesian ingredients on our table. Throughout the meal, the waiter showcased which ingredient featured in each dish and how Chef Salans incorporated local flavors into his Western cuisine.
Along with house-baked walnut and olive bread and butter, we amused our palate started with a few excellent bites: salmon tartar with salmon row, avocado and yuzu; foie gras cornetto with apple jelly; baked crème fraiche served in an egg shell with canary nuts and runny egg on the bottom.
The dinner proceeded in the same excellent vein, with each dish providing plenty excitement to our tastebuds. Deep sea grouper ceviche served with chilled coconut, ginger, French caviar and a touch of coriander oil. Caviar filled the bite with rich umami flavor which paired nicely with the sweetness of ginger, while croutons provided nice texture.
Canadian blue lobster tail served on fresh pasta cooked perfectly al dente, lobster reduction and Balinese Bumbu Kuning emulsion which had sumptuous savory taste with a hint of bitterness.
Taragonian tooth fish came with caramelized cauliflower, walnuts, Cepe mushrooms and fresh curry leaf infusion. Overall, a very well-balanced dish with subtle earthy flavors.
We proceeded with our favorite ingredient – pan seared French duck foie gras. It was elevated to another level by the accompanying sweet and sour broth.
Next, a beautifully cooked Iberiko pork loin was served alongside pomelo puree, baby spinach, oyster mushroom and sticky pork jus. Seemingly complex dish which blended all the flavors together wonderfully.
The final main course featured New Zealand venison terderloin accompanied by amazingly delicious pickled beetroots, baby turnip and toasted spices. Although it was the local cocoa reduction that made it sensational for me.
It was time for dessert and Mozaic didn’t disappoint in this department either. The first plate featured Mangosteen sorbet with fresh Rambutan (I had to Google this one), lime and cashew praline. The flavors were new to me and I loved it.
Although it was the final dessert that got our taste-buds tingling: “constructed” tabletop in front of our eyes, it incorporated ingredients like coconut, frozen passion fruit, white chocolate and caramelized peanut. It was absolutely jam-packed with irresistible tropical flavors.
We rounded up the feast with a few petite-fours and a glass of Eiswein – my absolute favorite – back in the lounge area before it was time to bid good-by to wonderful Ubud and head back to Jimbaran. You can easily see, why we loved Mosaic. With outstanding food, ethereal ambiance and great service to match, anyone would have a delightful dinner here.
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Wow between you and Polly I really want to jump on the next flight to Bali!! This bought back more memories of another fantastic meal!
I think Bali is always a good idea, you should go back! I highly recommend St. Regis.
We will have to try this the next time when we were in Ubud….me and my husband loved the variety of restaurants in the city :)