It was our first time staying in Ubud, and given we were hosting my mum for a 5 day break we opted for the fabulous Como Uma as our base. (You can check out that review separately.)
A mere 2 minute stroll from the Como is the impressive Mozaic restaurant. It stands out on what is an otherwise forgettable, non-descript road with the usual hectic Bali traffic & endless motorbikes. For a restaurant that has in the past featured on Asia’s Top 50, it’s not the most obvious location. However it had come highly recommended and we were excited to see what fine dining in Ubud was like.
The answer is, in short, stunning. Mozaic manages to retain all the cooking standards and wonderful ingredients of any top restaurant but delivers it in a typically Balinese, laid back and friendly manner. The interior is a large, warm space tumbling out into beautiful gardens for outdoor dining. Since it was a little drizzly on the evening we were there we were put inside, but I can only imagine that eating under the stars in balmy Bali is pretty spectacular.
There was a choice of two set tasting menus; ‘Indonesian’ or ‘World-Tour’ and within these options, either 6 or 8 courses. There were some similarities across the 2, but frankly the Indonesian menu not only read better, but also ‘when in Rome’ as they say. We all opted for the 8 courses and got settled in for a long evening.
The first item to arrive at our table was a bowl of weird and wonderful raw ingredients. Fruits, spices, vegetables and some others that were a mystery. It was a lovely touch. All of the items played a pivotal role in the courses that followed, so in addition to the standard waiter descriptions we also got to hold, smell & understand these foreign Indonesian ingredients.
There were too many dishes to describe each one, but Mozaic was a hit with all of us. Beautifully presented, well portioned dishes that were packed with wonderful, subtle flavours.
The highlights included an extraordinary Butter Fish Carpaccio with Rice Chips. It held a fine balance of citrus, subtle chilli heat and the star of the show being wonderful, delicate fish. Another that won us all over was the Coral Trout with Spiced Cauliflower and Roasted Walnut. It was another example of seriously good fish cooking, this time in a rich butter sauce.
We also loved the Quail with mushroom, beetroot and mashed potato. I have always enjoyed quail so was looking forward to this one. It didn’t disappoint, with perfectly cooked meat neatly balanced with earthy mushrooms and the sharpness of something that can only be described as an Indonesian-style olive tapenade. All finished off with a generous clay pot of rich, creamy mash. Yum.
The other main meat dish was less of a success. Suckling Pig with Octopus, Kaffir Lime, Baby Star Fruit & Crispy Pork Skin. It was perfectly tasty, and great to have the much loved and revered Balinese suckling pig on the menu, but the hero seemed to get slightly lost in the array of other flavours.
There were many other fine savoury dishes including a beautiful Tomato Tartar with Tomato Sorbet which packed a punch & a gorgeous Tiger Prawn & Baby Squid broth.
The puddings were fewer in number (just two!) but no less enjoyable. The best was the Fresh Grape Sorbet served on Black Rice & Fermented Soya Bean Crumble. Admittedly not the most appetising on paper, but delicious in reality. A rare combination of rich and creamy, balanced with fresh and light from the Sorbet.
All in all, we would highly recommend Mozaic. It’s certainly a contrast to the raw, healthy, vegan cafes and restaurants that Ubud has become known for but if you’re looking for a special dining experience with world-class ingredients and experimental dishes then look no further. It would sit very comfortably on Asias top 50 restaurants & whilst it might have dropped off in recent years I very much hope it gets back next to the esteemed company it deserves.
Mozaic, Jl. Raya Sanggingan, Kedewatan, Ubud