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Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient

Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient
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Cost
Grande Degustation menu R1250 (wine pairing R585) per person; Market Degustation R850 (wine pairing R460) per person
Ambience
Groups, Special occasions
Food
Fine-dining food, French, Health food, Mediterranean, Modern, Vegetarian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
No BYO

Critic's review

Hennie Fisher

Food
Coming in at number two in this year’s Top 10, this restaurant is a special treat. The experience begins with welcoming drinks and not just one amuse bouche, but two, and a fantastic bread trolley with gluten- and lactose-free breads (careful attention is given to special dietary needs). They’re accompanied by no less than five flavoured butters, ranging from plain salted to butternut-and-calendula and honey-and-cinnamon.

Before the eating begins in earnest, expect several other mini artworks to amaze all your senses, the most invigorating of which is an arugula-and-lemonade shooter to cleanse the palate. The current menu is named Tabula Rasa, and kicks off with a snail and slightly spicy cauliflower-and-corn mousse. Next is a dish entitled Tidal Pool, which is playful and satisfying. Goose-liver spheres encased in Brussels sprout leaves are served with a velvety cauliflower purée perfumed with truffle. This dish is followed by Sea Mist, which features a fat and tender scallop and an East-Coast lobster tail enrobed in a saffron froth, which has everyone in the restaurant in delight.

The mains options vie for first place. There’s the smoked venison with madumbi mash, duck with plum and suurvygies, and a tilapia-and-halibut duo cleverly called Where the River Meets the Sea. Cheese is always a treat here and may include a 36-month-old French Comté, or a goat’s cheese from a Johannesburg artisan with a small herd of goats.

When it comes to dessert, you could opt for a sophisticated pear filled with white chocolate and a fluttering of dried pear ‘leaves’ perfumed with tonka bean, aptly named First Frost. SmartTease is a tongue-in-cheek play on everyone’s favourite candies, comprising chocolate, many colourful mini macarons and a pistachio ice-cream cone.

Drinks
Moses Magwaza and Germain Lehodey comprise the passionate team in charge of all the beverages served at Restaurant Mosaic. Moses took the Wine Service Award at the 2017 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards. The wine and non-alcoholic pairings are done with the same verve as everything else in this establishment. The team has decided to replace the local and international option with a sommelier’s wine-pairing option, giving guests the chance to sample a fantastic selection of local and international wines.

Service
The front-of-house team took the Eat Out Service Excellence Award in 2017 too. The team rarely changes and the result is that the overall service is faultless – efficient and most engaging. One needs only show a little interest for the entire team to share the pleasure they derive from their trade. It is a rare treat to find as much pleasure from service perfection as one does at this restaurant.

Ambience
Although the restaurant is relatively small, it can expand to various other levels of the building. At the back, past the kitchen, there’s a smaller private room with its own little lounge, as well as a larger private room off the main dining area. Banquettes and small tables line the two main rooms, which are always inviting and well-presented. Mosaic has established itself as a destination. For those who can afford to stay over, there are rooms available, which adds to the enjoyment.

And…
Chantel Dartnall is a master at cooking protein. Whether she cooks tilapia or scallops, she is bound to make it taste its very best. Even though the food displays an undeniable delicate sensibility in both preparation and presentation, no one needs to fear leaving hungry, as Chantel knows how to cook food that satisfies on all levels.

(October 2017)

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay their own way. Read our full editorial policy here.

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  • 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)

    Eat Out critics arrive unannounced and pay their way in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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User reviews

  • I read about this restaurant in the Gourmet Guide, and followed instruction of staying at the Hotel for a night. I booked for my hubby's birthday in April 2017. I What an experience! From the moment we arrived, I felt that no pictures could give this place enough justice. It felt as though I was in a different country without taking an overnight flight. Loved everything about it. The hotel was full of fascinating antiques, the room was probably the best room (suite) that we have every stayed at, and we are well-travelled. (We stayed at the Marakesh suite). I chose the market degustation with wine-pairing, will rather choose the one without pairing next time, just too much wine for one meal...for me anyway. The only little problem was that when we checked out, we had been overcharged for the glass of wine and the tea that we had the afternoon before, while relaxing in the lobby area. This was corrected, but check your bill carefully for errors when you leave. It was an honest mistake, but a little careless. This is a place that is created out of love and passion, and it shows. Even though the dinner seems pricey - it is worth it, as there is very little else to compare. I almost forget the breakfast included in the overnight stay. Totally awesome and nothing you will have had elsewhere. The only other chef in my experience with similar creativity to meals, is Foliage. Will be back for another awesome weekend when I can afford the spoil.
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  • The best dining experience. I have been waiting for a special occasion to visit The Mosaic and I was certainly not disappointed. The attention to detail in every aspect of dining was well taken care of. We were seated in a grand room, filled with exquisite furniture. Everyone I was with knew we were in for something really special. The explanations were fantastic, to know what inspired a dish really makes the experience that much more enjoyable. Every spoonful I put into my mouth was delicious. I could tell you an entire story about each meal, but who has that much time to read a review ;) The Mosaic is an experience I will never forget and I will talk about to anyone who will listen. If you are able to spoil yourself, do it. And share it with people you love, you won't regret it.
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  • I swear the best tabooleh best batata hara best sheesh tawouk best garlic paste very nice staff and the owner of the restaurant is very professianal she accually helped in cooking our food!! 100 out of 100
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  • Restaurant Mosaic at the Orient Hotel, located near Pretoria in South Africa, is anything but ordinary. From the moment you arrive on their premises, you are transported to a place where it feels like, fairy tales come alive. In the architecture of the hotel, there is a clear combination of Oriental, Middle Eastern and Art Nouveau influences visible throughout the design. We were greeted by the restaurant’s sommelier that took us through their welcome drinks list and escorted us to the champagne lounge where we enjoyed a beautiful “Chateau Brown Blanc”. The ambience of the room was very oriental with its Persian carpets, Middle Eastern-inspired art and detailed wood panelling. It created the perfect setting of what was going to be a wonderful evening. While enjoying our wine, one of the waiters brought our first amuse bouche a rice paper Chinese roll with different vegetables, nuts and a truffle mousse. These little rolls were just mouth-watering, with just the right amount of truffle combined with the texture from the nuts to balance the dish and tie it all together. After the first taste of what was yet to come, we were escorted to our table, which turned out to be their “Salon Delacroix” room. The room was set out perfectly, with every single detail well thought out, to take you on a journey back to the 19th century. The ambiance of the room was majestic, with French music playing in the background, mesmerizing while looking at the artwork from the famous French artist, Eugene Delacroix. This made me think that I was in a châteaux somewhere in France and that Napoleon wearing his bicorn would walk in at any moment. We were served a second amuse bouche, an avocado and cheese mousse. This was just delicious with the silky smoothness of the mousse and perfect balance of the dish. The sommelier brought us the wine list. However, this was not your average wine list. As my husband opened the book, it completely looked like he was going to read us a fairy tale. As the wine list was not so much a list but rather a 100-page wine book. This was really impressive and to think this was only their South African wine list, they still had an international wine list as well. Guess having more than 75,000 bottles of wine from 5780 different labels in their cellar makes for one interesting list. The sommelier, really knew his wines and recommended a beautiful Pinot Noir from Botanica. It was our first time to try wine from this specific vineyard, but I have to say, it will surely not be the last time. The freshly baked bread selection was wheeled into the room. The selection of bread included: Aggie’s seed loaf, green olive rye, basil pesto and sun-dried tomato rolls, crusty polenta and calendula rolls as well as a cranberry and pear cheese bread. It was definitely not an easy task to select one, as they all looked delicious and smelled even better, baked fresh daily off course. After the bread was selected there was an entire range of butters to try. The selection included: Mooirivier salted farm butter, honey and cinnamon, anchovy and caper or lavender and lemongrass. My favourite was the honey and cinnamon, it was smooth and sweet, and I could have easily eaten the entire bowl by myself. Our waiter brought our third amuse bouche, titled “Frogs on the pond” The tempura frog legs were really soft and melted in your mouth along with the wild mushroom and nettle jelly. The presentation of the dish, with the glass bowl added that extra touch of “ je nes e qua” that gave the illusion of the water in the pond. Our menus arrived, along with Chef Chantel Dartnall (South Africa’s top rated female chef), who explained each dish in detail. We as a group selected the Market Dégustation Celebration menu, that consisted of a five-course meal, with a choice of a main and a dessert from the menu. Just listening to Chef Chantel explaining every dish with such passion and pride celebration menu we were about to explore. After we selected our mains and desserts the food started to arrive, we were in for a treat. Amuse Bouche – Small Prelude to our menu. The plate had a variety of different items ranging from macarons, madeleines, to cheese. It was somewhat of a teaser of what was waiting for us further down the menu. The plating was done beautifully with each element placed with precision. If I have a choice, I prefer dessert before the mains as, for me, this is usually the best part of the meal. Also by the time you get to dessert you are typically full and can’t enjoy the dessert to its fullest. Kudos to Chef Chantel for having some dessert before the main, the macarons were to die for. First Course – “Celebration of Spring” This dish is Chantel’s ode to the French Chef, Michel Bras, where she captures the reflection of spring on a plate. The plate with its floral pattern complements the dish with its elements that added fragrance, flavour and vibrant colour to the dish. The smoky carrot mousse ball was my favourite element on the dish. It was complex and well assembled and this perfect sphere was jam packed with flavour. The crunchiness of the asparagus and sweet peas added to the freshness of the dish, to create something that replicates the perfect spring. The dish felt like it should be found on the menu of a Michelin Star restaurant. The second course – “Genesis” Chef Chantel received her inspiration for this dish from the origin of life, from “Genesis”. The dish was a sphere of rainbow trout, surrounded by a burst of pomelo with a lemongrass Japanese miso. The lemongrass flavour was very subtle with sudden citrusy bitterness as you bite through the pomelo pieces. An element of surprise that ties the dish together nicely. The colours of the trout, pomelo and edible flowers stood out beautifully in contrast with the black plate. The Third Course – Mouse de Mer Chef Chantel found her inspiration for this dish during a walk on the beach while watching the foam of the ocean waves as it rolls in leaving behind small shells, seaweed and bits of bark on the sand. The dish was exquisitely plated an almost perfect representation of the beach. Tomato powder represented the sand with smaller elements representing the items left behind with the foam. Hidden under the langoustine and foam was a rooibos infused risotto that added to the complexity of this dish. While at first struggling to eat this beautiful dish, I soon found it was hard to stop, as each element was pure perfection. Remise en Bouch – The Garden Pea This sweet pea and lime sorbet were the perfect pallet cleanser. The flavour combinations were refreshing. The perfect sphere sorbet looked like a giant pea on the plate. That, with the combination of the fresh pea’s, pod and the leaves made for one refreshing summer taste and a true celebration of garden peas. It was time for the main courses. There were three different options on the menu to select from: “Bouillabaisse” (Seasonal vegetables saffron, cod ), “Prints in the Paddock” (36 days matured Angus beef, sumac, red ivory fruit preserve) or “Queen Quail” (Acacia honey, lavender, spinach veloute). On our table, we ordered the “Prints in the Paddock” and “Queen Quail”. The fourth course – Main Course – “Prints in the Paddock” he dish was inspired by chef Chantel’s South African roots and the use of some rather unusual ingredients like red ivory fruit preserve and sumac. The sumac powder was used to represent the shape of the paddocks where the cattle graze. This tangy lemon flavoured spice balanced the dish, not overpowering at all. The beef was cooked to a perfect medium-rare (Chef’s Choice) and rested well to allow for great presentation. The elements placed around the beef added crunch as well as colour. The forth course – Main Course -“Queen Quail” (Chef’s personal favourite on this menu, as the dish, is really fresh and colourful) This dish was inspired by the fragrant Lavender field of Provence, in South East France. The quail legs were confited and lightly brushed with lavender balsamic. The remaining pieces of the quail were deboned and filled with wild mushroom and lightly brushed with akasia honey and lavender flowers. The balsamic created a beautiful balance between the sweetness and the acidity of the dish. The quail was served with an extremely light and smooth spinach velouté that complements the dish well. It was time for the final course. There were two different options on the menu to select from: “Cheese Selection” (Old Amsterdam, Belnori Kilimanjaro and many more kinds of cheese) or “Stardust” (White Peach, Passion Fruit, Vanilla Meringue ) The fifth course – Final Flavours – “Cheese Selection.” The cheeses were brought in on a cheese trolley filled with a gorgeous block of cheeses that include the “Epoisses de Bourgogne,” (Napoleon’s favourite cheese, very suited for our room), “Belnori Phantom Forest” and “Dolcelatte Gorgonzola”. The “Belnori Phantom“ was my favourite, this three-week aged goat's milk cheese from Benoni just melts in your mouth. Along with the cheese, they served either a cherry and walnut or cranberry and pear roll; both complemented the cheeses very well. The fifth course – Final Flavours – “Starburst” The inspiration for this dish comes from the Milky Way and the space between the galaxies. Chef Chantel wanted to create a dish that dissolves in your mouth, the moment you taste it. The passion fruit ice cream was to die for, the amount of flavour in that one scoop was just mind blowing. The vanilla meringue added that extra crunch that just pops in your mouth. Once you start digging into the meringue, you discover the jasmine mousse with poached white peaches. The plate is finished off with colourful sugar dust that adds to the inspiration. Every element on this dish brought a surprise to the plate. Some are just so unique, and the methods of taking the ingredients to that next level make this dish shoot for the stars. “Coffee and Petit Fours” When the Petit fours arrived, I felt like a child again. The presentation was beautiful, and there were flower shaped lolly pops that looked like they were in a vase. On a mini washing line hung nougat, Turkish delight and fudge that melts away in your mouth. The dessert plate had macarons, Valhrona dark chocolate and lemon curd bonbons with dried forget-me-not rose petals as well as cherry and rose Turkish delight. We were already so full but decided to stretch our foodie experience just a little bit more. Our waiter brought a small box for the remaining petit fours. What an amazing finale to this culinary experience. Throughout every single dish, it was clear that Chef Chantel spent hours dreaming up these dishes, every single dish had its own story to tell. She takes so much care with the plating that every dish leaving her kitchen looks like a work of art. It is no wonder that this award winning restaurant is among South Africa’s top 5, this along with Chef Chantel being voted as South Africa’s chef of the year (2014). I would highly recommend the restaurant to anyone any day. Chef Chantel, you get the DBM splash of approval, no doubt about it.
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  • Mosaic restaurant at the Orient what an decadent indulgence. The whole experience was awesome. The food is sublime. Everything on the plate is edible even the flowers which add to the taste of the dish. Service and atmosphere excellent. Beautiful areas, small personal touches making up breathtaking scenes. Mari is warm, friendly and very welcoming as are all the staff. The chef, Chantel Dartnall's love and passion for her work is tangible. She is enthusiastic and literally glows when she describes her creations. She comes to each table personally to welcome you and to describe her dishes. The dishes and plates are in themselves works of art. Presentation absolutely beautiful. The Food is fresh, seasonal and light. Lots of tastes, textures and smells. A feast for your senses. Yes, the portions are more than enough to fill up the blokes. I personally loved each moment. There is a wine pairing of course but I was delighted to see a non alcoholic pairing as well. There is a vegetarian, pescatarian and omnivore menu available. We stayed over and the suites are truly sumptuous, decor is extremely well thought out and luxurious. The hotel transports you to another world and you want to soak in the culture, they display for you. They have a private cinema and a bronze museum, bronzes created by Tienie Pritchard. The bronzes are breathtakingly beautiful, detailed works of art. Walking trails are also marked out on the property. They even added special touches for us as well,a glass of champagne at dinner, as it was our 23rd wedding anniversary. A loaf of bread presented uncut so that hubby and I could break bread together. A Russ Puddin Teddy Bear to take home was placed on our bed with the turndown service. Also a book of Arabic poetry was placed on the bed to read and share while there. Since we stayed over at The Orient boutique hotel. I thought I would also share our morning. Breakfast was served on our balcony. Bowls with Fruit salad, oats, caper berry & salmon and panacotta. Fruit smoothie, pain au chocolat, croissant, jams,bread. The best eggs benedict ever.... layers of toast,ham and a perfectly poached egg and all baked in a "pan-like" ramekin. Savoury french toast with mozzarella basil & tomato pesto. Flavour explosion. A tasty Cappuccino and a huge pot of Earl Grey tea. Service and food exceptional. Go on spoil yourself.
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  • 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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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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