Feb 02 2013
Relatively new Bali restaurant arrival Mozaic Beach Club offers an incredible six-course tasting journey as well as an a la carte menu offering meals that are among Bali’s most creative and simply delicious. Set in elegant surrounds overlooking the beach club lounge and Batu Belig beach beyond, it’s the coastal cousin of Bali culinary institution, Mozaic Ubud.
When you turn 40, this is the kind of restaurant you’re permitted to splurge and celebrate. So celebrate late in 2012 we did, by having not just the tasting menu (1,000,000 rupiah, +8% service, +10% tax) but the matching wines (650,000 rupiah++). By international standards, the price is good value considering the finesse with which the imaginative dishes are put together and the quality of the ingredients. By Bali standards, this is very expensive, of course.
But we’ve already told you where to find cheap meals in nearby Seminyak, and this was a celebration.
Start with a cocktail — obviously — either downstairs in the lounge, or at your table. If you’re going to drop this sort of money on a meal in Bali, you simply must call in advance to reserve a frontside table so you’ll have the best view possible.
Decide whether you’re going to go tasting or a la carte. At this point you may well be served an amuse bouche that will be so incredible you’ll go for the tasting menu. That’s how we decided, anyway.
A la carte offerings however traverse appetisers such as freshly shucked oysters with Japanese dressing and ‘Ponzu’ infused tapioca pearls (40,000 rupiah — all items are ++) and wagyu beef and black winter truffle carpaccio (240,000 rupiah). Caviar, fois gras, ocean scallops — yes, it’s that kind of restaurant.
A la carte mains include lamb rack with ragout of seasonal beans and fresh curry leaf jus (they’re quite big on gels and foams here too) and slow-roasted spatchcock with pear, roasted cassia bark and toasted spices, with a few lovely sounding vegetarian options as well, such as a tagliatelle of celeriac with black truffles and tempe crumble.
Local ingredients feature prominently on the menu as well, so you do get a sense of location dining here — it’s not a complete space ship landed from Mars, as some French-inspired places in Indonesia can be.
Cases in point include the a la carte dessert of baked kaffir lime and lemon tart, with chilli-lemongrass sorbet and passionfruit gel (85,000 rupiah), and the fresh lemon basil gelato, with local honey cream and black olive powder (45,000 rupiah) — yes, they also like powders here.
We did, however, splurge on the tasting menu. While we didn’t take a photo of the menu we enjoyed, the current menu posted on their website is very similar to what we had. It was impeccable. The wines were fabulous too, and even if you’re not a wine coinnoiseur — living in Bali, where alcohol is ridiculously priced, we cannot afford to be — rest assured they were excellent. We did think the pours were a little short, but doesn’t everyone when they’re enjoying wine? We’d certainly had enough to drink by the end of the evening, that’s for sure.
The only disappointment here really was the overall atmosphere — the restaurant itself has decor that creates a somewhat chilled, masculine feel for our tastes, anyway. And we went on a Saturday night, when a DJ was playing downstairs in the lounge — loudly — and it rather clashed with the more refined feel upstairs. It would have been better to be warned of this when we made our reservation, we think.
Overall though, if you want a genuine haute cuisine experience, there is nowhere else quite like this along Bali’s southwest coast. If you want something more casual, La Lucciola is the obvious nearby alternative; we’ve always heard excellent reports about the Oberoi’s restaurant, but we’ve not tried there. If you want something much less fussy — there’s always Mano, next to La Lucciola, which has been done up a little since we were last there but is still cheap.
If you really want to spend big, as at Metis, there’s an attached boutique selling jewellery and other expensive items (Lotus Arts de Vivre) for when you’ve drunk too much wine and anything seems possible.
Mozaic Beach Club and Lounge
Jalan Pantai Batu Belig, Kerobokan
T: (0361) 473 5796
Restaurant open daily, 18:00 till last reservation at 22:30
Dress code is smart casual — “no singlets or beachware” permitted
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