While we were planning out trip to Indonesia, the New York Times had a timely review of Mozaic Restaurant in Ubud. It sounded like it was worth a try. It was also ranked as the fifth best restaurant in Asia by the Miele Guide, so I decided that that was the clincher.
After we arrived we enjoyed these cream-filled gougeres (above) in the lounge before being seated at our table in the garden. The garden was enjoyable but very dark. We didn’t bring along the mini-tripod and of course didn’t want to use the flash, so I don’t have many pictures from that point on. Alex chose the “Discovery Menu,” which is a series of dishes based on six traditional Balinese ingredients: Kluwek nuts, daun korokeling (salam leaves), kecicang (ginger flower), basa gede (spice paste), belimbing (baby star fruit), and buah kaffir (kaffir lime). At first we were presented with a platter that contained all six ingredients for us to look at, smell, and taste. The fresh salam leaves had a spicy scent that reminded me of burned rubber. The ginger flower had crispy layers and a slightly gingery taste. The baby star fruit was a little bit crunchy and much more sour than a mature star fruit. This was one of the few ingredients that we could more than just a nibble to taste. The kaffir lime had a wonderful citrus scent, especially if we squeezed it.
I chose the Chef’s Tasting Menu so that we could share and try both meals. Both meals were very good. I think if I could only choose one I would choose the Discovery Menu. It was really delicious and seeing and playing with the ingredients in their raw state was fun and interesting.
Mozaic’s ingredients discovery plate, part of the “Discovery Menu”: from left, kluwek nut, salam leaves (daun korokeling), fresh ginger flower (kecicang), basa gede spices (ginger, galangal, lemongrass); not pictured are baby star fruit (belimbing) and kaffir lime (buah kaffir)
Another thing I really enjoyed about our meal was the freshly baked bread. Our waiter dropped by occasionally with a basket full of warm rolls with interesting flavors like different herbs and grains. The rolls were nice and crusty, and a good change from the mostly sandwich-type breads and sweet rolls that were are so accustomed to in Japan.
fresh langoustine carpaccio cured in vanilla and macadamia, Sturia caviar, pepper tuille and baby leaf
Mozaic Restaurant, May 3rd 2009
Balsamic glazed barramundi, Balinese ‘kluwek’ infused black olive sauce, vanilla endives and sambal ‘kluwek’
Selection of market fresh seafood in a fresh curry leaf infused meunière, roasted eggplant caviar, cardamom reduction and fresh yogurt
French duck magret, stir fried Asian greens, fresh lime leaf infused yellow bell pepper sauce and sambal ‘kecicang’
Slices of grilled Australian beef tenderloin, four spiced chestnut purée, Balinese ‘basa gede’ and ginger scented sprouts
Fresh belimbing sorbet, confied young balinese star fruit and star fruit chip
Baked lemon tart soufflé, kaffir lime custard, chili infused lemongrass sorbet and passion fruit sauce
Chef’s Tasting Menu
Mozaic Restaurant, May 3rd 2009
Fine de Claire oyster with Japanese wakame
Fresh Langoustine Carpaccio
cured in vanilla and macadamia, Sturia caviar, pepper tuille and baby leaf
Parrot Fish Steamed in Laksa Leaf
fresh spinner crab ravioli, roasted coconut and laksa leaf infused broth
Caramelized Wagyu Beef
ragout of sticky oxtail, seared foie gras, whipped turnip, burned bread emulsion and ‘jus gras’
Victoria Rack of Lamb
organic plum purée, toasted spice, Swiss chard and Guinness beer emulsion
Fresh A.O.C. ‘Fourme d’Amber’ Cheese
Apricot sorbet, black truffle honey and baked fruit ‘pastilla’
Valrhona ‘Guanaja’ Chocolate and Coffee Fondant
Spiced grape reduction, date puree and bitter espresso granité