mozaic - 13The entrance of Mozaic promises to take us to another world*

It is said that Bali is the Island of Gods, of unpaired beauty and so paradisiacal, and with a rare cultural identity in the preservation of Hinduism. It is said that Bali has the perfect sea to surfers and the interior of the island gives us back our interior peace. It is said that Bali is a fertile land with rice fields and rare fruits and even that it has the best and most varied cuisine in Indonesia.

Therefore, it must have been in this Mozaic that the Gods decided to concentrate all the qualities of the Island to show the world through the hands of Chris Salans, the French-American of whom I told you about in our visit to Spice (see).

The restaurant, open in 2001, became the first fine dining space, outside a hotel, in the country, being along the last years a regular presence in the most varied international tops and rankings, including the Top 100 of the Restaurant magazine and the guides of Miele and the Wine Spectator.

Decoration at the Lobby

Passing the imposing facade of the building, we are received in the lobby, a wide and comfortable room, in which the guests are welcomed with a toast of sparkling or a cocktail, while choosing the menu to taste and the entire concept of the cuisine and the menu of Mozaic is explained.

A concept which Chris Salans developed from his passion for local ingredients and his classic training in French cuisine, mixing both in a concept that forces western clients, less used to certain types of produce, to taste flavors that are completely strange to them.


As a small bite they served a gougères with mascarpone and truffle oil, with an excellent pastry and the flavor of the cheese, a bit harmed by the excess of truffle oil and its intense aroma. Then we were accompanied to the room, along corridors looking like a true jungle, surrounded in the mysticism only Bali can have. Unfortunately, for being a time of rain it was impossible to dine in the room outside, which environment and surroundings make of it one of the  most romantic places in the world to have dinner.

Amuse bouche

Already installed in the wide table inside, we are awarded with the amuse bouche, and it’s not only in Portugal that cones are a sucess, here with three different proposals, mushrooms and parmesan, salmon tartar and foie gras, the salmon one being the most interesting.

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Meanwhile it is placed at the table an arrangment full of fruits and tropical ingredients so we can smell and “explore” some of the local ingredients we are about to taste in our meal. A moment which requires for us to test the unkown and learn. Excellent idea!

Kecicang, Shrimp of the Indian Ocean, radish pickle and ginger flowers

A dish in pink tones, subdued by the charms of the beautiful ginger flower, of lighter flavors than the root, well balanced by the light acidity of the pickle and the shrimp was perfectly cooked, with good flavor. A fresh dish that shows quite well the identity of the restaurant. Very good!

In the glass was an Australian Chardonnay2010 of Splash, which without great exuberance was able to harmonize nicely with the dish, with its fresh and citric side.

Suna Cekuh, Northern Red Snapper, smoked corn puree, baby corn and ginger

Well accomplished dish, especially in the balance of the delicious corn puree with the ginger. Very well prepared dish but in a portion so small it gets lost among the other elements.

Harmonizing was an easy white, full of fruit but also with a crunchy side that worked well with the dish, an Herbis Verdejo 2012 from Franck Massard, produced in Rueda, Spain.

Buah Pala, Duck breast, foie gras, fresh nutmeg puree and jelly 

This dish is one of the most challenging Mozaic proposes to its western guests, matching the magret and the foie we are so familiar with, with a taste so strong as the nutmeg, which we usually just know as a powder, and without its fruit that here serves as basis to the puree and the jelly. A complex dish, demanding, with an excellent magret and a very well prepared foie tureen, and certainly is a love or hate dish, in my case I was delighted with the challenge, although in the end it seems a bit too much nutmeg to a dish.  

To go with the dish, we travelled to Italy with a I Muri Primitivo 2013 from Vigente del Salento em Puglia, a wine with spicy notes and marked tannins. Nice pairing witht he dish!

Jeruk BaliKintamani piglet, grapefruit puree, kai-lan (Chinese broccoli) and oyster mushroom 

Another dish that completely pictures the Balinese cuisine, with its famous piglet being presented in a very western way, boneless, with crispy skin and combined with quite Asian elements like the Kai-lan and the grapefruit, the former wining the spotlight for its typical citric notes, allowing a nice match with the pork. Accompanying was a great potato puree, with the right amount of butter, giving another structure to the combo. Great dish!

To drink it was the time of a Pinot Noir from New Zealand, a Shearwater 2013, a nice interpretation of the new world, dominated by fruit and the velvety tannins went really well with the pork and the puree.

Jeruk Semaga, tangerine sorbet, cardamom caramel and yogurt emulsion 

Passing to the desserts, we started with an explosion of freshness, with a great tangerine sorbet, a caramel flavored with cardamom that gave some sweetness to the combo and a nice emulsion. A simple dessert that meets my taste.

Although not being a fan of Muscat, the sommelier was able to accompany the dish with a good representative of this class, a Bosc Dla Rei Moscato d’Asti 2013, with honey and apricot aromas, slighlty frizzante with a medium ending.

Cengkeh, Chocolate Valrhona, Bandung pineapple and fresh Clove sorbet 

Excellent chocolate marquise, sweet enough and of very marked flavor, good match with the slightly caramelized pineapple and the surprising fresh clove sorbet. A fresh, light and well accomplished ending!

To finish, a Sauternes Calvet 2011 Reserve du Ciron, with the typical notes of apricot, honey, fruit confit, nice acidity balancing with the sweetness of the wine. Even though I would have prefered to taste it with the duck, foie and nut meg.

Before ending our already long meal at Mozaic, there was time to the usual petit fours, with a basis in the classic French pastry and local ingredients.

Petit fours

High score to the service, worked with the French rigour but with the sympathy and geniune smiles only the Balinese people has. Allowing the best of two worlds, not detracting the local and the roots of where we’re eating.

Part of Mozaic’s kitchen

Final Remarks
Chris Salans is able, at this Mozaic of a remarkable work concerning the integration of the local ingredients in a clearly French cuisine. Another of the secrets of its sucess is the space, wide, romantic, nicely integrated in the surrounding nature, giving any guest a unique moment to relax and enjoy good food. In terms of dishes, of course not all of them are easy to the western palate and the menu has some higher moments than others, yet all at a very good level, especially in the technical rigor. Some of the platings seem a bit outdated, being profoundly marked by the most classical side of the French cuisine, with which Chris was made a Chef.

A safe and mandatory value to those passing through Bali and Ubud!

Jl. Raya Sanggingan, Ubud – Bali
+62 361 975768

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses and Mosaic (marked with *)

Flavors & Senses in Bali with the support of Samsonite.
We were at the Mozaic by invitation, whereas this not alter our work, being the opinion and the text of the exclusive responsibility of the author. 

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