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Mosaic - Second Coming or Potemkin Village?

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Seattle
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6 posts
19 reviews
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Mosaic - Second Coming or Potemkin Village?

My wife and I went for dinner at Mosaic, during our stay at Four Seasons last week. We had heard/read some good things about the menu and setting. The latter was stylish. Upon arrival, the hostess stages you in a stylish lounge, decorated in a combination of the retro with the Bali.

Even as we were seated, we loved the design of the outdoor dining area. Beautiful, relaxing.

Then they brought the food. On the menu of which we partook, foam was a running theme. The chef was obsesses with putting food based foam on 3 of the courses. I'm sorry, whipped cream and foam should be sweet, not made of vegetables and such. The venison was too tough to eat, and a sorbet was a combo of apple and something salty. Disgusting.

Overall, the menu smacked of a chef gone the way of Colonel Kurtz in the book Heart of Darkness. This chef has been gone too long, and has had his butt kissed too much, and has run wild.

Am I a complete provencial? Or is this place crap?

Ireland
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455 posts
13 reviews
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1. Re: Mosaic - Second Coming or Potemkin Village?

Oh dear.. Hope the chef was having a rare bad day and that Mosaic isnt losing its touch.

It is indeed a a wonderful setting and when we ate there 2 years ago the food was delightful.

How did they respond to your complaints?

Bangkok, Thailand
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1,697 posts
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2. Re: Mosaic - Second Coming or Potemkin Village?

We seem to get the odd post like this on this forum about Moziac.. and I on occasion get wrongly accused of having a vested interest in this particular establishment (which I most definitely do not or have any relationship to it what so ever except being a regular customer!)

I believe a restaurant like this is meant to slightly test your oral comfort zones, to take you on a bit of a journey an adventure.. not simply to feed you..

To be perfectly frank the types of dishes you describe are all the fashion in similar restaurants of this caliber other countries beyond these shores - foam, candied apples in savory dishes etc are showing up everywhere and savory sorbets are all the rage!...

I am sure if you had mentioned your displeasure with any of the courses they would have replaced them immediately with something to your liking.. (I have never had the occasion to ask this with the food but have on several occasions complained about the wine pairing and it has been changed with out question)

Sorry can't agree with your comments, I've been there 5 times this year already and totally rate the place (and eaten in many similar type restaurants O/Seas) Even my 13 YO loves it!

Sounds like your tastes are just a bit conservative for this type of dining.

(PS I used to be a chef many moons ago!)

Bali, Indonesia
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for Ubud, Pemuteran, Yogyakarta
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3. Re: Mosaic - Second Coming or Potemkin Village?

Great review! I have heard similar complaints before, from casual acquaintances, but have never eaten there personally.

If you have ever watched Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares it's a running theme of the show...he tries to get the chefs to simplify the pretentious meals and serve meals that actually taste good and satisfy the senses.

Seattle
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6 posts
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4. Re: Mosaic - Second Coming or Potemkin Village?

There's no accounting for taste, right? To each his own, etc. etc.

Perhaps I should have spoken up, and have requested something different. However, when there are only 3 set menues (one of which is a 'surprise' menu), and the only notes on exceptions apply to dietary reasons, I didn't hold out much hope being taken seriously when asking for something else.

Moreover, it was clear that the waitstaff was programmed for a certain response from customers (I love this food!). When I pushed away my plate, and told them it was terrible, they froze; they had no guidance for what to do.

Frankly, I should have pushed. I should have requested to talk to the chef, but honestly, what could I say? Your food sucks, it's too avant guarde, pass the french fries? Of course not. I didn't complain, because at the very least I didn't want my food spat in.

I need diner training. Can someone teach me how to send back food?

We had a wonderful and creative degustation menu at Baros in the Maldives.

Of course, there was no foam. :)

Antwerp, Belgium
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189 posts
62 reviews
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5. Re: Mosaic - Second Coming or Potemkin Village?

Well, I must agree with Brigid : I think that the type of food is a bit to 'weird' or 'avant-garde' for you. Concerning the foam : don't know if you know the Michelin-organisation, which is in Europe the most powerful and respected restaurant-rating organisation > during the last years, they consistently go for the type of restaurants which combine strange things (I had sea-salt on a chocolate sorbet recently > try it !), make foam and pearls out of everything...

If this is not your type of food, I wouldn't know indeed what you could say to a chef that is constantly trying to create new tastes and textures and odd combinations...

There is nothing wrong with a preference for more traditional food, but for me, a restaurant can only be called outstanding when they can surprise me, when I have a new experience...

Regards,

Bart

Newcastle, Australia
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68 posts
18 reviews
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6. Re: Mosaic - Second Coming or Potemkin Village?

I ate at Mozaic last year, and although I didn't have your foam experience (we tried the "surprise" menu) I did find the place to be overrated. And I disagree with some of the above posts that imply your taste buds are not cultured enough to enjoy the food. I have eaten at many of the best restaurants in the US and have the sense to realize food should not be pretentious or "avant garde" or whatever, it should taste good! I enjoy a good presentation, interesting flavor combinations, etc, but just because it's different doesn't mean it's wonderful.

Thanks for your post; I was considering going back to Mozaic, thinking maybe I had an odd sub-par experience, but obviously that is not the case.

BTW, if you're ever back in Bali, the food at The Breeze in Seminyak (the main restaurant at The Samaya) is divine!

Bangkok, Thailand
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1,697 posts
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7. Re: Mosaic - Second Coming or Potemkin Village?

I wasn't going to reply again because I think this whole argument starting to get a bit tedious...

I personally don't think Moziac is too avante garde, or pretentious for that matter.. and at $50 a head for this calibre of cuisine it is a bargain..

For someone to compare the style of food to Gordan Ramsey's kitchen nightmares when they haven't even been there is just plain ignorant.. I love simple food well done, but on an occasion having a dining experience like this is something my friends, family and I love.

It is really quite simple to complain in a restaurant like this.. you just politely say "this course is not to my liking - the meat is tough, may I change it for something else", pushing it away and saying it is terrible, is kind of bad manners and doesn't really give much of a comeback with a solution does it?.. They certainly wouldn't spit in your food!

I personally have never had anything I didn't like at Moziac - but they are happy to change courses around for my husband who doesn't like a few ingredients ... FYI in my experience Venison if it is not casseroled is generally tough if it served anything but rare...

Still not sure about what all the fuss is about foam..

Been to Samaya several times - yes it's nice enough but the food was pretty dull and predictable for me... I'd rather go to some of the more casual eateries around this area..

Gee I remember the days when Quiche and sushi were outrageous I guess some chefs are innovators and some followers...

If you are not into the unusual and unusual combinations of ingredients, don't go to Moziac - simple.. there are plenty of other restaurants to try.. Moziac is booked out every night anyhow so I am sure they won't mind!

Bangkok, Thailand
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1,697 posts
13 reviews
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8. Re: Mosaic - Second Coming or Potemkin Village?

Also I suggest anyone worried about 'foam' avoid the restaurant at the Bvlgari at all costs! : )

Tokyo, Japan
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9. Re: Mosaic - Second Coming or Potemkin Village?

Perhaps I can suggest ot SeattleEric that on his next visit to Ubud he dine at Naughty Nuri's, just down the road. Try the course de comfort degustation menu of Texas ribs, chili beans, and steak fries. Wash it all down with a strong martini. Now that is fine dining.

Melbourne
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10. Re: Mosaic - Second Coming or Potemkin Village?

$50 a head!! that settles it for me. I had been debating about whether to try Mozaic when we are there in September, but wasn't sure. Have been reading the various reviews with interest. Last night had a casual dinner in Melbourne after work with a couple of girlfriends. Nice food but nothing exceptional and a couple of glasses of wine. I handed over my share of the tab($45) without even thinking about it! I never get to go to restaurant with foam and unusual combinations because here they would cost me at least $100 per head and above. So this sounds like a great opportunity to try a different class of restaurant at a fraction of the usual price. And I haven't even got started on the cost of babysitting...Yippee!!

Boo88