Venues

Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient

Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient
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  • Location 012 371 2902
  • Phone Number The Orient Private Hotel , Francolin Conservation Area, Crocodile River Valley, Elandsfontein, Pretoria
  • email reservations@restaurantmosaic.com
  • Website URL www.restaurantmosaic.com
  • Opening Hours

    Lunch: Wednesday to Sunday from 12.30pm to 4.30pm (latest seating at 1pm)

    Dinner: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (group bookings taken Thursday) from 7pm to 10pm (latest seating at 8pm)

Cost
Avg main meal R175; Market Degustation Menu: R850 (R350/R400 for wine pairing); Grande Degustation Menu: R1 250 (R450/R550 for wine pairing); Pescetarian Degustation Menu: R625/R735/R1185 (R275/R375 for wine pairing); Vegetarian Degustation Menu R1100 (R450/R550 for wine pairing); Vegetarian Degustation Menu R735 (R450/R550 for wine pairing)
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Fine-dining food, French, Health food, Mediterranean, Modern, Vegan food, Vegetarian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
500

Critic's review

Alida Ryder

Food
From the first moment you enter The Orient hotel, you’re transported to another world – one rich with oriental antiques, lush fabrics and enticing aromas.

Chef Chantel Dartnall’s food is so at home in this elaborate establishment it’s almost hard to imagine the one without the other, but it’s quite clear that no other food will work here. Her impeccable style of plating, executed with perfection, is only outdone by the absolute deliciousness of the food. Every bite is filled with concentrated flavour and texture, and the way she plays with temperature is simply delightful. A piping-hot courgette velouté surrounding an icy mixture of fresh-as-can-be asparagus, broad beans and fava-bean mousse is one good example. The velouté, velvety smooth in texture, is also a great contrast to the al dente vegetables. So playful and so perfect.

Another showstopper is the Irish scallop served with a delicate yet intense maritime broth and pickled radishes. The broth is served in a siphon contraption of sorts, and is infused on the table with lemongrass and seaweed in a process that fills the room with the smell of the ocean. This broth is then poured over the perfectly seared scallop – it really is a dish to write home about.

L’Oie Doree sees slow-roasted goose breast served with goose-liver tortellini, candied clementine peel and a rich, robust sauce that ties the whole dish together. Similarly, Autumn Leaves is a beautiful serving of 36-day matured Angus beef, perfectly cooked and served with crispy sweetbreads, mushrooms, deep-fried celeriac leaves and cognac cream, all complemented by a full-flavoured, glossy sauce.

To end your meal, the enchanting Recipe for Romance sounds simple on paper, but is so much more. Chantel explains that for her, the perfect romantic evening is accompanied by your loved one cooking with you. This is translated to a DIY cake, which is brought to the table looking like a simple bowl filled with flour, cubes of butter and sugar, a chocolate bar and a raw egg yolk. In fact, what you are looking at is a slice of almond cake, ground almonds, coconut marshmallow, passion-fruit parfait, mango purée and 55% Valrhona chocolate, all accented by the Love Potion of a sweet, rose syrup which adds a touch of whimsy to the dish.

The meal is finally finished with a wonderful selection of petit fours consisting of the teeniest macarons, perfect Turkish delight, and dense, chocolatey brownies.

Drinks
It’s not a mere list of wines; it’s an entire enormous book, filled with every name you can imagine, all carefully selected by sommelier Germain Lehodey. But let that not overwhelm you; Monsieur Lehodey is always at hand to make expert recommendations. Allow him to take you through a journey of excellently paired wines; alternatively, enjoy your meal paired with creative non-alcoholic options like home-made nasturtium lemonade and Gyokuro shaded green tea from Japan.

Service
Every element is excellent, from the greeting at the front gate to the service during the meal. Staff are all incredibly well trained, friendly and professional. It is a delight to be taken through the menu by chef Chantel, and the sommeliers and serving staff complement her in their charming, informative way. The exquisite food is made more enticing by a team of staff who are clearly incredibly passionate about their work.

Ambience
The restaurant is set in the lush Orient Hotel in Elandsfontein. With its rich tapestries and gorgeous oriental antiques, you would be forgiven for thinking you have been whisked away on a magic carpet. The restaurant itself is decorated in a grandiose manner and has an air of luxurious old-world charm.

And...
Prepare to be dazzled by every element of your experience at this incredible establishment. To top things off, book a night in one of the opulent rooms of The Orient.

(September 2016)

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  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Hennie Fisher

    Food
    Restaurant Mosaic offers three menus of varying complexity, categorised as Petite, Discovery and Grande. The menu changes to reflect the different seasons, but also to allow the kitchen to invent new ideas and perfect their execution in the intervals.

    To make you feel welcome, an amuse-bouche upon arrival might be the tiniest choux puff filled with truffle cream, or a Lilliputian rice roll. Once the meal starts, expect to be blown away by the tastes, textures and sheer drama of the meal, with many dishes served or finished tableside, and in custom-designed and -manufactured crockery.

    The salmon ceviche topped with caviar and gold leaf features lemon oil and buttermilk poured around it at the table. A handmade purple glass plate resembling a shell holds a lusciously plump oyster on a bed of seaweed, covered in Champagne foam, caviar, a hand-crafted ‘pearl’ and a tiny bit of crisp seaweed, and underneath the oyster, a sweet little jelly.

    The aptly named Millionaire’s Nest Egg epitomises what this restaurant is about: perched on the most amazing glass bowl are three quail eggs, filled with black-truffle paste and topped with truffle espuma and some more fresh truffle shaved over the top.

    The menu offers many other superb delights, such as The Alchemist’s Infusion (another theatrical device containing a number of aromatics infused in a clear broth right at the table). Dessert brings a lemon verbena plate with a delightful little opera cake or a decadent chocolate cherry dessert.

    Because they understand that guests might not be able to really eat another thing after such an Olympian repast, the petits fours are packed up in little boxes to take home.

    Drinks
    Sommelier Germain Lehodey and commis sommelier Moses Magwaza run their cellar like the captains of a large ship – no detail is overlooked. Guests can choose various options: a Connoisseur wine pairing featuring predominantly local wines, or an Enthusiast wine pairing featuring mostly international wines. They also offer a non-alcoholic drinks pairing, where you can expect such delights as a rose-and-pomegranate cooler, a pear toddy and a cherry tonka shooter. The wine list comprises two massive tomes that might flummox all but the most knowledgeable of wine lovers, but the sommeliers are always on hand to ease the process.

    Service
    A few staff members have been around for years, and some new faces offer a breath of fresh air. Everyone at Mosaic is generally extraordinarily friendly and accommodating. They have dedicated people managing the bread and cheese trolleys, relaying the various options – like rosemary-and-vanilla butter, saffron-and-calendula butter, along with green olive rye, caramelised onion and thyme loaf, or cranberry pear cheese bread – with enthusiasm and a sense of fun.

    Ambience
    Intimate and welcoming. Apart from the main dining room, there are a few smaller private dining rooms, all sumptuously decorated. Don’t be surprised if you should encounter a Pierneef or some other notable South African artwork dotted throughout. The restaurant and impressive wine cellar (more than 4000 labels; over 55 000 bottles) are on different levels, and lunching at Restaurant Mosaic on a Sunday must be one of Gauteng’s biggest treats, with beautiful views over the conservancy. They are also famous for their movie nights, when long-forgotten art movies are screened in a private movie theatre along with a gourmet meal. This is not just a restaurant, it’s a dream setting meant to whisk you away from the humdrum of every day to better places and times.

    And…
    Their frequent wine tasting evenings often combine a package deal comprising accommodation and dinner at very competitive rates. What can be better than not having to worry about driving home after a night of the best food and wine in sumptuous surroundings?

    (September 2015)

  • Eat Out

    Food
    Chantel Dartnall, our 2014 San Pellegrino Chef of the Year, reigns supreme at this flamboyant restaurant. Inspired by her travels and showcasing a strong botanical theme, the menu reads like a playful, floral ode to the senses. The first course, ‘sunflower spring’, resembles a Van Gogh painting and the humble carrot is elevated to new heights in four forms – raw, cooked, purée and jellied – with fragrant orange-blossom cream. ‘Funghi on the forest floor’ charms with a tableau of wild mushrooms, Iberico ham and a snail, still in its shell. Crayfish with citrus beurre blanc and morel mushrooms is an absolute sensation, and ‘birds of a feather’, an ingenious dish of quail and guinea fowl, is cooked to perfection and served with a pheasant tortellini. ‘Driftwood on Brook’s Bank’ is so expertly plated it looks as if it had grown that way – a toffee-covered hazelnut sprouting from a scoop of chocolate, with a twig made of pear skin branching out of crème anglaise. Superb in every way.

    Wine
    The restaurant boasts an unparalleled wine cellar. The selection is astounding, with more than 43 000 bottles representing over 3 600 local and foreign estates. Sommelier Germain Lehodey is on hand with thoughtful wine pairing suggestions.

    Service
    Excellent service. Staff are attentive and knowledgeable. Chantel comes out to explain the dishes personally, and the waiters present courses with pride and confidence.

    Ambience
    Unashamedly over the top, the Orient Hotel blends Middle Eastern and Belle Epoque opulence. It’s art nouveau with a fun, offbeat twist. Dining here feels like playing at a real-life game of Cluedo. It was Colonel Mustard. In the dining room. With a spoon.

    Comments by the 2014 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards judges

    “Amazing attention to detail, radical technique on display, and surely some of the most beautiful plating in South Africa.” – Andy Fenner

    (August 2014)

  • Chantel Dartnall’s distinctive style is playful without being frivolous. Dishes like beetroot and basil parfait convey the essence of the forest; a sweetbread cornet with avo and wild mushroom roulade evokes the soil. Plating incorporates unusual edible flowers and petit herbs for those inimitable flourishes that distinguish the food here. Sommelier Germain Lehody is at the helm of the unparalleled wine list and cellar. All staff offer warm smiles and heartfelt hospitality. (EO mag 2014)
  • Food
    Chantel Dartnall’s food style is distinctive, managing to be playful without being frivolous. Menus are often linked to the seasons or the earth, such as a beetroot and basil parfait, to convey the essence of the forest; or a sweetbread cornet with avocado and wild mushroom roulade to evoke the soil. Mosaic's winter grand degustation menu (R795 excluding wine), entitled ‘Fire’, includes such delights as terrine of baby beetroots with horseradish sorbet, and sea scallops with hazelnut and vanilla from Madagascar. The 2013 spring menu features fresh truffles and hand-selected spices from France and Europe. Plating is individualistic with lots of unusual edible flowers and petit herbs for those inimitable little flourishes that distinguish the food at Mosaic. As at most top-end establishments, sourcing the best ingredients is as much part of the drill as preparing it, so expect to enjoy the likes of matured beef rib eye with creamed morels or Kobe beef rump.

    Wine
    Not only did Restaurant Mosaic manage the coup of employing one of SA’s best sommeliers, Germain Lehody, but the team undertook a wine sourcing expedition to Europe recently. This dedication and commitment of the team is reflected not only in the unparalleled wine list and cellar, but in the overall knowledge and service of wine.

    Service
    The importance of a friendly welcome has clearly been entrenched in all staff. Not only the restaurant staff welcome visitors with warm smiles and heartfelt hospitality, but the gate keeper, security staff and doorman will go out of their way to make your visit a really exceptional experience. Most of the service staff have been around for a while, ensuring that service is always slick and polished. Some of the custom designed utensils are so cute and dainty that they become somewhat complicated to negotiate.

    Ambience
    People either love or loathe the interior of Restaurant Mosaic, which is firmly rooted in the Belle Époque. Whatever your feelings, it is wonderful to arrive at a place with a sense of anticipation and occasion and to be enveloped in a truly caring environment where none of the finer details are overlooked. While the main restaurant does not allow a glimpse of the exceptional views, ask to be seated on the verandah and revel in the African bush, should the weather allow.

    And...
    Chantel Dartnall works hard to ensure that Restaurant Mosaic remains in the upper echelons of South Africa’s restaurants. This establishment’s dedicated kitchen team and friendly, competent staff produce and serve an unsurpassed seasonal menu that will prompt one to come back more than four times a year.(September 2013)
  • Food
    Apart from the crockery that always manages to delight, the food is innovative and fun. A smooth cauliflower purée with salmon roe and squid ink tuile grabs the palate’s attention, followed by fish and chips on coco beach (a playful yet completely yummy rendition of something less formal). Even a stalwart such as butternut soup comes to the table so elegantly smooth that you cannot but acknowledge the masterly attention to detail and skill that went into its preparation. White chocolate and pistachio cake with pistachio ice cream is a treat for the eyes, the nose and the palate.

    Wine
    Wines are specially selected to pair with each course; think Stony Brook The Lyle MCC to Lamberti pinot grigio Santepietre. The wine list is voluminous; if you get stumped, take a tour of the serious, environmentally controlled cellar to choose your own.

    Service
    Young, friendly and well-trained staff attend to all your needs. From warm scented cloths at the beginning of the meal with which to freshen up to knowledgeable info provided with each wine and food course, it’s all there.

    Ambience
    World-class opulence: everything exudes attention to detail, from the napery, glassware, crockery and cutlery, ambient conditions to, of course, the food. And… Beg a kitchen visit: it’s beautiful, well organised and filled with happy creative people who seems to be having fun – perhaps they’ll invite you to watch them from the built-in kitchen cubicle.

    And...
    Beg a kitchen visit: it’s beautiful, well organised and filled with happy creative people who seems to be having fun – perhaps they’ll invite you to watch them from the built-in kitchen cubicle. (HF, September 2010)

User reviews

  • On Thursday afternoon, 08 December 2016, we enjoyed the delectable Decade of Decadence Grande Dégustation Menu at Restaurant Mosaic at the Orient. We were welcomed at the door of The Orient Boutique Hotel by Sommelier Germain Lehodey, who introduced us to a fine selection of welcoming drinks accompanied by refreshing canapes. Sommelier Germain detailed us in an informative manner on the wine selection to ensure that we could make an informed decision on which wine we would love to enjoy as welcoming drink. Thank you, Germain! At the tastefully set dining table, Germain left us in the capable hands of Moses, assistant to Germain, who detailed us on every wine, which was skilfully paired with the specific dish. Thank you, Moses! All the staff who served us, were jovial. They explained every dish as they served it in a graceful manner. They also made sure that the table was kept spotlessly clean at all times. Thank you, to all of you! Maître d'hôtel Mari kept a watchful eye on our table, and made sure that every dish was served on time, and that the selected wines were served with the specific dish. We noted the handcrafted tableware, and Mari informed us about the South African artists who were commissioned by Chef Chantel Dartnall to create tableware, which should go together with the specific dishes. We were once again impressed with Mari’s knowledge about the specially selected cheeses. The “de Pekelaar Boerenkaas” produced on the farm, Langbaken in Williston, Karoo was one of our favourite cheeses. Thank you Mari! The award-winning Chef Chantel Dartnall – voted twice the S.Pellegrino South Africa’s Chef of the Year – took us on a memorable culinary art journey, inspired by her unsurpassed expertise in uniting the freshness of organic nature and refined culinary art. Chef Chantel created a fantasy world for us, by her meticulous approach of combining the finest organic and free-range foodstuffs, prepared in perfect equilibrium with her kindling spirit, fuelled by her passion for sophisticated culinary art that is obviously the work of a chef par excellence. Any “foodie”, who enjoyed an artful fine dining experienced - in the presence of Chef Chantel - would agree that it is unfair to “rate” Chef Chantel by means of a meek mathematics “point scale system”; however, the purest way of implementing an award-system, is to reach for the cosmos and select the liveliest star, to honour Chef Chantel with such a deep-rooted star. Chef Chantel, we thank you for an unforgettable botanical cuisine experience that took us on a trip down memory lane!
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  • Restaurant Mosaic is not for the faint-hearted. Not only is it an experience that you will need to carefully budget and save up for (that bill is frightening!), but Chantal Dartnall's creations definitely colour outside of the lines. If you like fancy food with a difference, then you really should make a booking. One of the most charming things about Restaurant Mosaic is the chef herself. Dartnall makes a point to visit each table and describe her menu to the patrons. I think this is a nice touch - after all, they are her creations so she's bound to sell it better than anyone else can. The surroundings are also magical. We have visited once before for dinner, and once for lunch. I recommend going for lunch, as then you are able to see the beautiful reserve where The Orient is situated. The service is impeccable: from the hostess to the sommelier to the waitrons, every one goes out of their way to make it an unforgettable experience.
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  • Dear Chantel, Mari, Germain, Moses and team, It is always a pleasure to visit Restaurant Mosaic - from the friendly greeting, the conscientious service and knowledgeable staff, it is a relaxing and tranquil experience. I have to commend you on the service during dinner, it is on point, starting with a delectable welcome drink and the famous bread trolley and flavored butters, that I have developed a craving for. Chef Chantel greets every guest in person with an energetic and passionate explanation of her menu for the evening. So refreshing to have these little personal touches when visiting an establishment of this caliber. Each dish is artistry on a plate and skillfully paired with a carefully chosen wine - I have been to a few of these tasting sessions and can appreciate the time and effort made by the chef and sommelier to ensure that each dish is superbly complemented by the perfect wine. The very suave sommelier, Germain and his protege, Moses is on hand to pour each glass with an informative (and sometimes very entertaining) description of each specific wine. The ambiance created by the soft lighting, soothing music and opulent decor sets the tone for a relaxed evening of gastronomic pleasure. As always the evening ends with a small, but delicious treat from the kitchen to take home and a freshly brewed cup of cappuccino. I am already looking forward to my next visit! Annerie
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    • Food
  • It is not everyday that a city girl gets the chance to celebrate her 40th birthday at the little piece of heaven called Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient. Even from the planning stages it was a pleasure to interact with them. Thank you Mari for all the extra’s you added, nothing was too much of an effort for you. Your patience with me was appreciated! There is so much attention to detail – from the friendly professional staff at the gate and the bright smile of the Valet, to the welcome drink presented to us in the Hotel’s foyer. Beautiful pieces of art and antique furniture from all over the world decorate the Hotel and Restaurant, it was enchanting to take in everything as we made our way towards the Restaurant on the first floor. Sommelier Germain with his diverse knowledge of wine and quirky antics had everyone laughing before long. The bread trolley with home made bread and butters made us lick our fingers with delight! Before dinner began Chef Chantel made a personal appearance and explained the entire Grande Degustation menu to us – with words like “Millionaire’s Nest Egg” and “Mousse de Mer” I could not wait to begin my gastronomical experience. We were not disappointed! Each plate was presented like a work of art and with every mouthful the evening got better. Chantel, for me you define the word gastronomy – your passion for food can be seen in every dish you create. The friendly and professional staff, the perfect wine pairings…every single thing about Mosaic made this one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I will most definitely be back in the very near future.
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  • It is pretty sad when an establishment becomes so arrogant to the point where someone like myself who rarely writes bad reviews feels the need to get this out there. I am not able to comment on the food etc. as I have not visited yet. I am also not planning on ever visiting this establishment. I phoned 3 times over the last few months to book at the restaurant. All 3 times I spoke to a Mariette (reservationist) who was so arrogant, pompous and even sarcastic on the phone that I put the phone down all 3 times. It’s really great when a restaurant is so busy that you need to book months in advance but people are fickle :) Especially when they are badly treated by the restaurant or its employees. Let’s take Portofino in Cape Town as an example. The chef was so rude to a customer that it created a social media frenzy. That restaurant closed down a months later. To top it off, I decided to provide the restaurant with feedback on their website. This was deleted, probably by the same individual, that same day. So they ask you for feedback; as long as its dripping with sugar! I really hope that this individual does not continue to damage this restaurants reputation. This amid lover of good restaurants will most certainly not be supporting this establishment.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Accommodation
  • Booking required
  • Dinner
  • Dress code
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Fireplace
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • StreetSmart affliated
  • WiFi

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