There are a lot of places to eat in Bali/Ubud, but it’s hard to find real fine dining. It’s a given fact and it’s probably because the people that actually live there would never spend that amount of money on food if they can get it on the streets for less than a dollar. That’s probably also why Michelin doesn’t give out stars in Indonesia. But if they would, Mozaic in Ubud (owned and chuffed by the French Chris Salans) would most likely be a contenter. And that’s the reason we went there for dinner.
Everything around Mozaic breathes fine dining. It starts with the impressive entrance. There’s this gate you have to pass through and the moment you pass this gate you’re in foodie heaven. Everyone that enters is asked to sit and wait for a second in their lounging room. The table needs to be arranged (of course the table has been set long before but it’s the experience you’re getting). The lounge is a lot more modern in terms of interior decoration than the rest of the restaurant. Which is a bit weird if you think about it. We would have liked it if the rest of the restaurant would be a bit more like this, that would make it a little less stiff… But that’s a minor thing.
We’re joined by the marketing director and guided to our table. You take some stairs down and then you suddenly end up in this fine dining heaven (outside). This dark garden/jungle is where all the magic happens. Little lightning bulbs make it a very intimate dinner and hard to take pictures.
So enough about the setting, let’s talk about the food. We received two different menus. The grand 6 course menu and a surprise menu (which will change whenever the chef feels like). Scroll down and take a closer look at the pictures and see for yourself what appeals to you the most.
Of course you’re curious to find out what we thought of the food. We liked it a lot. The food is of great quality and it’s good (and tasty) that they stick to their surroundings. A lot of the dishes are inspired by Balinese ingredients. Highlights for us where the yabbies in gazpacho (flavor explosion), the smoked gindara (rice cookies where awesome), the wagyu beef (soooo tender) and the suckling pork trio (even more tenderrrr).
So, enough about the good parts. Are there any downsides to Mozaic? Yes, there are. As we mentioned earlier, the food is great. But that’s what you expect when you make a reservation at Mozaic, right? I mean, you’re about to pay a whole lot of money so you’re expecting good food. And that’s the problem of Moziac. They don’t surprise. The dishes are good, but not super good. Waguy, pork, prawns, foie… We would have liked to be surprised more. We might even expected it a bit.
If Mozaic want to regain it’s former glory (they are sliding down in popularity because other restaurants offer even better food) they have to step up their game. But, maybe we we’re wrong. Maybe chef Chris Salans want to play it safe at Mozaic and maybe that’s why he’s opening Spice restaurants (more low key) all over the island. So maybe it’s us and we went in with the wrong intentions (to be blown away).
Oh, one final note. The wine pairing should be done a lot better. It’s something they can really step up their game. We’re not saying the wines aren’t good, but they don’t actually lift the food/flavor as much as they should.