I had heard so much about Mozaic over the years and on a previous visit to Bali just did not have the opportunity to get there. So this time, I made it my mission to enter through those now famous doors that invite you into an evening of pure gastronomic delight. And such delight it is.
Upon arrival and being greeted by the fabulous hostess, Sri, we were seated on the upper terrace looking out over the gardens. Two cocktails later and we were ready for what can only be described as an evening of decadence. After a delightful and interesting conversation with the maestro himself, Chris Salans, we were left in the more than capable hands of the dapper general manager, Jean Francois. Jean Francois was an absolute delight, with his French accent and friendly manner he made what was to be a memorable meal even more so with his explanations of our meals and anecdotes of life in Bali.
What followed after being seated in the beautiful gardens was a culinary treat par excellence. From the amuse bouche of a trio of cornetto each with its own taste sensation to the Jeruk Puruk which was a dessert of Kaffir lime chocolate shell, Valrhona chocolate espuma, kaffir lime sorbet and confit belimbing wuluh every course stretched the culinary imagination to new heights. Dinner at Mozaic is an experience. Before the meals could even be served, a tray of the raw product was displayed as a centrepiece, so that the waiter could explain each course and show us exactly what it was that was in the meal. From the flower ginger to tempe to pomelo, you can see, touch and feel all the ingredients.
Mozaic is about exploring Bali with your tastebuds. It is a journey through the warungs (small local restaurants) in style and sophistication. It is the vision of award winning chef Chris Salans where local ingredients are the star of the show on the most elegant culinary stage. But it is more than the food that give Mozaic its impeccable reputation. Everything comes together like a well conducted orchestra. The attentive staff seem to magically appear and disappear just as your glass needs refilling or you need to ask a question, unobtrusive and utterly professional. The attention to detail as the tables are set, I watched in awe as a table was being prepared. Every corner is checked and re-checked, the glasses, the cutlery, the positioning of even the candle, everything has to be just right. Nothing is left to chance. Ask any waiter any question, whether it be about a wine or a meal and he will give you a complete answer.
Mozaic is revolutionary in Bali and is certainly a trailblazer. Recently, many other chefs have tried to emulate what Chris has done here, but in my memory, it is Mozaic that has not only drawn the world’s attention to the culinary bounty of Indonesia but has set the standard of what French cooking with these ingredients should look, taste and feel like.
The decor is tasteful and sophisticated and the entrance hall bears testament to the many achievements of the founder. Everything from the exquisite front door to the crisp, white linens speaks of elegance. I could write an entire article on just the decor but will instead say just this: “You can come for the decor but will definitely stay for the food.” Mozaic is located in Ubud and it can be a bit of a drive to get there, but use the opportunity to take in the sights along the way, stop at the market in central Ubud and then make your way to this very special place.
Be sure to set aside enough time, this is a long leisurely evening to be savoured as each course is timed to give the previous course a chance to settle, for you to enjoy your wine and relax in conversation with whomever you choose to share this experience with. Perfect for a romantic evening out.