Sunday, September 28, 2008

Surreal Dining

Good dinner last night, but it hardly felt Balinese. We dined at Mosaic, which came highly recommended by our ex-pat friends on the dive boat. It's the only place we've encountered that requires reservations a day ahead. Dewa dropped us off for our 8:30 reservation, and we stepped into a very modern, western-style lounge. Cocktail orders taken, a free canapé arrived, and we got to look at the menu.

The menu has four options, all prix fixe, six courses with optional wine pairings: An Indonesian experience, a daily tasting menu, a vegetarian tasting menu, or the Surprise menu, where you tell them what you like and/or can't eat, and the chef improvises for the whole table.

We went with one each of the Indonesian and the tasting menus, figuring we would trade some dishes along the way. And of course, we did. I'll spare you all the details, but the highlights included some Japanese-style oysters, a lightly-smoked salmon over citrus, a duck fois gras, and my favorite, cinnamon pork belly with Langoustine.

One of the desserts included fresh durian with chocolate in phyllo pastry. First time for either of us with the durian, and neither was very impressed. The other dessert was much more to our palates, passion fruit baked in phyllo, with coconut sorbet. Very nice.

The whole dinner took some three hours, and was very pleasant. My only criticism of Mosaic is that they had a live jazz combo playing in the lounge, and we could hear it quite clearly at our table. That's fine, except they were still playing their recorded background music through a speaker on the other side of the table, and the two did not blend well at all. Quite distracting, that.

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