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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay their own way. Read our full editorial policy here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eat Out critics arrive unannounced and pay their way in full. Read our editorial policy here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Excellent service. Staff are attentive and knowledgeable. Chantel comes out to explain the dishes personally, and the waiters present courses with pride and confidence.
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
What a wonderful dining experience we had for our wedding anniversary lunch. Chantel, Mari and their team made our day truly memorable. I highly recommend and the service and especially the food. Thanks to the team for a great day!
Being from Cape Town, we are constantly told that our restaurants are better than what can be found up North. That may be so, being blessed with a constant stream of tourists not destined for Sun City, or one of the game parks. Being in Johannesburg from time to time for professional reasons, I decided to scout around for what they consider as their best restaurants. What a pleasant surprise to find this little gem tucked away in the African bush not far from my office in Sandton. I will never boast again about the quality of our restaurants – the last time I ate so well was in Europe. Well done Mosaic – the chef surely knows what she is doing, but I must give cudos to the serving team as well, starting with Mari that received our group and the French speaking sommelier (an amazing choice of wines in their cellar!). A perfect evening at a perfect restaurant.
Every so often life offers up a truly memorable and utterly delightful experience and this was one of them. This quaint establishment is hidden away in the lush countryside of Pretoria. Upon entering the hotel (Orient), you are immediately transported back to a bygone era as the buildings and design intend.
We arrived expecting a well executed dinner as the other reviews have suggested, what we experienced was so much more. The stellar service and ambience was surpassed only by the thought provoking and rather intriguing menu. Every detail of this tiny, yet inviting space was as is if it was hand picked. The décor, the music, even the coat hangers all fitted together in a cohesive way to magnify the experience.
Now onto the food, the reason we went - I had the petite degustation menu with the wine pairing and my wife had the same yet, she is not the carnivore as myself and refrained from any red meat courses. The sommelier was well versed and presented some well balanced wines. The best being the Chenin Blanc. The least favorite being the red which was paired with the fillet steak main ( I think a Merlot would have been a better bet, possible a Glen Carlou ).
The amuse bouche was interesting and set the tone for the rest of the dinner. Each course built on the success of the previous, with no two courses competing for preference. My favourite was the ceviche of scallop, a truly light and well balanced dish. My wife's favourite being the line fish main, a delicate yet simple dish that let the fish shine through.
Each course was fashioned around taste and not flamboyance. Don't get me wrong there was enough going on from home made beetroot jellies to pungent lemon puree and light dustings of spice to surprise even the most experienced of palates.
The plating was another highlight, each course with a character and theme of its own with precise and deliberate placement of components that challenged you to create your own taste experiences.
I have been lucky enough to eat at some of South Africa's top rated restaurants; Rust en Vrede, Ruebens, DW Eleven13, Overture, Terroir, 9th Avenue Bistro, Haute Cabriere and Harvey's - each has their own personalities and charm, yet for me there is now one true favourite that surpasses the rest Chef Chantel's Mosaic, is truly a once in a life time experience. Bravo
From arriving at the restaurant to leaving, the whole evening was fabulous. This restaurant has it all. Magnificent decor, meticulous service, extraordinary food. We had lunch on a Sunday afternoon in late March. The dining room is beautiful, the service is perfect and the food is amazing! It was bliss from the moment we entered the door till the moment we left. If you can afford it, do not miss it! This is a must. If you are serious about food this place is an experience you will never forget. The food is grown up and spectacular. I have never been disappointed.
Extraordinary food and just as expected. While not beyond expectation (our expectation was extraordinarily high for this place given the reputation of the chef), we absolutely enjoyed the cuisine. However, ask to see the cellar, you will not believe the selection available – the sommelier showed us around and it must be the best cellar in the country. A place for real foodies. Dined with a group on Mother’s Day.
This was the best dining experience I have had in South Africa. Cobus and his family have created a wonderful dinning experience and we were treated to Hungerian wines for the evening.
I have been to Mosaic last night. This is one of those places that you will never forget - the food was out of this world and Marie was the most charming person. This is a place for those special moments in life.
It is impossible to find anything wrong with this restaurant! Our party of four visited paradise last night...breathtaking venue in a nature reserve, each plate of food and artwork (to compliment those on the walls around us in the Tiffany room), that tastes even better than it looks.
We selected the petite degustation menu (as displayed on their website) with local wines paired. The whole experience swept us off our feet. Perfect portion sizes, great, friendly service. Every food lover in this country should experiences this!
Which leaves me with one question, Why, but why is Mosaic and Chantell not on the Eat Out top 10? Surely this is a mistake!
Stupendous! Wonderful experience in this classical palace, mixing tradition and modernity, in its architecture, décor and, most of all, cuisine. Go! You will not be disappointed. Chantelle and Marie are out of this world.
I have been fortunate enough to have had lunch at Restaurant Mosaic this past Sunday. This was not my first visit to Mosaic, but I was again amazed by the creativity and quality of the food. What a wonderful and memorable experience! Chantal is a true artist and I have found the overall experience to have been exceptional. I am neither a professional chef nor a food critique, but I have eaten at all the restaurants on the current Top 10 list as well as several two and three Michelin Star restaurants all over the world. I therefore feel that I have some frame of reference with regard to good restaurants. I find it astonishing that this restaurant is not included in any so called Top 10 list.
Simply the best. Magnificent! Classy! Outrageous! What an experience! Thank you, I am in heaven (I think).
As a long-time resident of Johannesburg, I thought I had been to all the "great" restaurants. Then I went to Mosaic - which raised the bar to higher levels.
I won't review each course in detail as the menus change with the season and is different for each tasting - 4, 6, or 9. Suffice it to say that while my dinner partners ranked each of our dishes in terms of "favourite," even the lowest ranking dish beat out most other places.
This is a restaurant for people who appreciate food and realize that smells and tastes can be art just as easily as sights and sounds. While some of the presentation may seem too “arty”, it is done with purpose. There was nothing done in Chantel’s kitchen by mistake.
The servers were prompt, friendly, and fun. No one took himself too seriously, and we never had to ask for anything. Junel’s wine pairing was tailored to each diner's taste - we had the opportunity to explore "new" flavours after she tactfully gathered information about our wine knowledge.
Our meal lasted 5 hours and we never once wondered how long we'd been there.
Mosaic has jumped to the top of my "list." It is easily on par with the best in South Africa. Mosaic is not a good place for a quick bite, nor is it for someone who is reluctant to try either new foods or a new presentation of a classic.
I cannot wait for my next visit.
As per the reviews below - what an experience! Well done Chef Chantal on an imaginative gastronomic experience! Each dish is a conversation (crockery included) piece, and then the taste experience - memorable. The wine pairings were superb. At last, a Gauteng establishment that gives the Cape a run for their money!
Our first dinner at Mosaic a few years back left us with great memories. The service was personal, friendly, relaxed and professional. My husband and I have dined at Michelin restaurants throughout the world and this one is probably on par with most.
My husband had the full tasting menu and I had the lunchtime tasting menu (5 courses). Both were exceptional and worth every penny. As you would expect - any wine is in addition to this. True 'foodies' will love this restaurant. I am not going to go in to great depth about the food other than some of it is fairly experimental (but exceptional) and if you are at all 'faddy' and are not prepared to trust the chef then this may not be for you...
A stunning restaurant that well deserves its reputation.
This was a memorable dining experience with incredible attention to fine detail with both food and wine.
Atmosphere excellent with staff that could not be faulted in any way and performed their tasks to perfection.
We chose the degustation menu to savour a wide range of Chantel's delicacies and were not disappointed. Great flavours - everything was just incredibly delicious and luxurious. The setting is Paris chic from a previous era. Truly one of the best dining experiences I had while staying in Johannesburg. Yes, they pushed the multi course tasting menu, the champagne service, you will spend more than at the average restaurant but you will enjoy yourself immensely. The restaurant is beautiful and the food delicious. All in all a fantastic dining experience.
My husband and I recently lingered over lunch at this delightful restaurant for 3+ hours. From the moment we arrived, we were impressed by the impeccable, professional service. I think that a restaurant like this runs the risk of having overly formal i.e. sterile-service, but in this case the service was attentive, but still warm and friendly.
While everything on the menu looked incredible, we opted to splurge on the tasting menu. In my opinion this is usually the way to sample the best of what a restaurant has to offer. The menu did not disappoint. When we walked in we were given the best cauliflower soup that I have ever tasted. Seemingly countless courses followed, each one better than the last. The great thing about trying a tasting menu is that you get the opportunity to try things that you would not normally choose to order. In my case this included a rich, perfectly cooked honey glazed wood pigeon, simply amazing. We asked Moses, the wine steward, to suggest wines to pair with our meal, and his recommendations were all very good, complementing the courses perfectly. Again, this gave us the opportunity to try wines we would not normally have chosen to order, including a Riesling from Alsace.
At the end of the meal, with our coffee came a selection of decadent chocolates, a perfect way to end what was in all respects a perfect meal. Come here if you are prepared to splurge - you will likely not regret it.
The experience at Mosaic is one of a kind, and so is the food and the service. I went a few weeks ago with my fiance and his mother, and we had such a fun time! While it is more expensive than a normal family restaurant, you do get what you pay for... and let me promise you, you will not leave there hungry! Every dish we had on the table was wonderful - down to every last detail. The menu came with wine pairing too. Compared to the usual a la carte menu, this is extreme value for money. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience, and I would love to go back some day! I highly recommend it to both visitors and locals in Pretoria. You must not miss it!
After 5 years in Pretoria we finally made it here for a special meal. We went for dinner and took the Grand Degustation Menu. I didn't think I would ever say this about a R 750 meal, but it was a bargain. Eight or nine courses, each of them a surprise and delightfully executed. Chef Chantal creates flavours you've never tasted before. Chantal stopped by all the tables and was friendly and approachable - she was sitting next to us having something to drink with friends who had dropped by. A true artist. Everything was perfect - can't recommend it highly enough.
Well it never happened... We booked. long ago, came from Stellenbosch, so excited about it. Our GPS would not find the 'address' so we eventually wrote Elandsfontein thinking that once we got there we could find our way, unbeknown to us that there are 11 Elandsfonteins in Gauteng we ended up 2 hours away from the restaurant. When we called to say we would not make it in time the reception we had was very unfriendly telling us we would be charged cancellation fees.
So not only are we disappointed not to have gotten there we are now angry and will not try to go back.
Thank you very much for the wonderful afternoon at your restaurant. And thank you for the extra courses that you spoiled us with! Everyone enjoyed it tremendously. The entire place is beautiful as always and the food – extraordinary.
I'd like to commend Chantel and her team on an exceptional meal. My friend
and I left the restaurant very inspired. The beautifully served delicacies
were really of a good standard, the pricing extremely reasonable, and we've
both eaten at very good restaurants in many cities around the world.
The ambience created by The Orient gave the experience an oasis like
quality, a hidden treasure after a drive into the unknown.
I can't wait to come back to share this newfound secret with others.
What a wonderfully joyous experience all round, the food was superlative,
the staff were fantastic, and the setting was conducive to allowing us the
opportunity to have an incredible celebration of a special person. As a team
they create a thing of great beauty and joy that reflect the foundations of
"passion, consistency and simplicity" as Chantel describes in her commitment to
We really enjoyed dinner at Mosaic on Saturday evening. It was truly world-class. Chantel's passion and creativity really shone through! The presentation of the food (artwork in itself), the quality, the different taste sensations, the great ambience - all made it the perfect evening. Thank's to Chantel for going out of her way to prepare the special vegan menu for us. It was an extraordinary gastronomic experience for us. Hmnnnn those caramelized veg kebabs and the aubergine cornet were so good and that red pepper sauce with the roasted veggies was devine! And of cause the mouthwatering risotto, yummy. And to top it all, the heavenly chocolate tower surprise! She far outdid herself and lived up to her title of chef extraordinaire!
I would like to commend Chantel and her staff at Restaurant Mosaic on outstanding service and a seasonal menu that can only be described as fit for the gods. Every single dish was exquisitely presented and the wine pairing could not have been any better. I could easily give Chantel’s cuisine a ten star rating. The staff and wine master was well informed and Chantel’s visit to the table together with the service excellence made our visit there one to be smiled upon for years to come.
We recently returned from several years abroad and were invited to an anniversary celebration at Mosaic. What a pleasant surprise to find a restaurant equivalent to Continental standards on our doorstep. Chef Chantel’s innovation and flair compares favouribly with the best and made us proud to be back. A worthy destination - she will see us again and again.
We celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary here and had an outstanding and memorable lunch. The food was innovatibe exciting and delicious, the service attentive and even the coffee and mini macaroons etc. excellent. Ambience very restful and cultured. loved every minute of our 4 hour lunch!
We had a fabulous dinner and stay last night. I have lived in this country for 25 years and can honestly say that I have never experienced better service. The attention to detail is in a different league.
The meal and wine we had last night were exquisite.
How this restaurant is not rated amongst the top 10 in the country is beyond comprehension and misleading. Chantel is a brilliant and gifted chef and it is a pity that she and her restaurant have not received well deserved recognition.
We had a beautiful and romantic evening at Restaurant Mosaic on Saturday evening. From the moment we arrived, the service was outstanding. Everyone was extremely kind and went out of their ways to make the evening special. The nature of the detail and personal care added a real oomph and I would definitely recommend Mosaic to anyone seeking a perfect night out.
The museum of Tienie Pritchard was so inspiring and the venue is extraordinary. The food was astonishing and the dessert was beyond belief - we enjoyed every second!
The memory of The Orient is definitely here to stay and I can’t wait to visit again. Thank you to the Mosaic team for a remarkable evening, it was perfection in every way thinkable.
Chantel, we'd like to thank you very very much for looking after Natalie (given her food allergies) at yesterday's function.
The venue and food especially were excellent and Natalie and I enjoyed the cuisine very much.
From the moment we arrived at Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient, the atmosphere was filled with excitement and mystery with the most magnificent views over the valley, as you are truly captivated by this magical place. Chantel’s menu, carefully and creatively planned, with her personally announcing the dishes with a friendly smile was a real treat. Her cuisine, simultaneously contemporary and exotic was perfect for the evening. There is only one word to describe it - fantastic!
These people know how to make an evening unforgettably special!
I would like to think that my wife and I have a good knowledge of food and eating out since we have dined at most of South Africa’s Top Ten restaurants, but Saturday night was new, fresh, innovating and just plain amazing. We were blown away by the fine flavour combinations. It is proof of extraordinary food knowledge and a very special talent. The wine pairing was excellent and both of us really enjoyed the Paul Cluver wine.
The only pity is that by the time the main course arrived, we could not enjoy the full splendour of the dishes, not due to any fault on the part of the Restaurant, but because we had over-indulged on the previous exquisite dishes.
This is a truly a place that stands out and I am sure can be compared to any of the best restaurants in the world. We both felt nuances from elBulli in Spain…we haven’t eaten there yet, but we have read so much about this restaurant’s unique dishes that we almost feel as we have been there..
Please keep on doing what you are doing!
Our lunch on Saturday was a wonderfully enriching experience. Thank you to everyone who played a part in making it special!
I would just like to thank everyone and especially Chef Chantel for the unbelievable experience that we had on Wednesday. It was, for all the first time guests, an experience out of this world and for the rest of us that have been there before a superb experience.
I will definitely say that this season’s menu was the best menu we ever had at the Mosaic.
George du Toit
A visit to Mosaic is at once a surreal glimpse of culinary heaven and the knowledge that you have experienced absolute hospitality. I have been fortunate enough to dine in the splendidly appointed dining rooms, draped in fine artwork and warm from the glow of richly polished antiques on three occasions.
Good food is to be found in many establishments in South Africa. It is less common to find good food, great service and sincere hosting, and altogether rare to experience exceptional cuisine, sumptuous surroundings and hospitality that makes you feel like a returning guest even though it’s your first visit. Restaurant Mosaic is one of those rarities.
Two paragraphs in and still nothing about the food. Suffice to say that last year a European business associate rated his meal as his best ever, globally. He returned this year to invite the super talented chef to prepare a banquet for a private group in Bordeaux – the brief, to showcase the exceptional talents of South African chefs. I could not think of a better ambassador for the cutting edge of the South African culinary scene than Chantel Dartnall.
The food at Restaurant Mosaic is complex and arresting in its presentation. Expect bespoke crockery, artisanal eating implements and an array of textures and structures that tantalise your mind even before the heady aromas grab your attention. I am not a fan of foams and gels and the likes but here at Mosaic they are used as accents to layer complexity throughout the entire dish. Here they work. The sauces are deeply flavoured, the meat perfectly prepared (from delicate oysters poached in their own liquor to aromatic belly of pork presented in a heady broth) and every carefully chosen ingredient has a place and considered contribution. My last meal there was a multiple course affair with each dish having sufficient personality to stand its ground but also subtly integrate into the flow of the themed journey.
A visit to Topsi Venter some 20 years ago left me amazed at how she could build so much complexity into her relishes and jams. A visit to Mosaic and the enjoyment of a meal there leaves me with much the same question – the balance and complexity of the dishes is so perfect, so harmonious, that at times you will forgo the wine and ask for water so as not to spoil the simplicity of enjoyment.
I had agreat cullinary experience at Mosaic on Wednesday. Chantell is without doubt one of the best chefs in South Africa at the moment.
To Everyone at The Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient,
Thank you very much for making the evening so very special for Maritza and myself. Your effort with all the planning and executing of it is greatly appreciated. Words cannot describe how I feel.
Thank you to everyone!
Stefan and Maritza
And probably the the most curious of all in the current debate, is Eat Out not including Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient in its current Top 10?
We had a most enjoyable function on Friday night at your lovely restaurant and hotel. Our guests were so impressed with the venue and presentation of the food.
Sybase South Africa
After a recent visit to the Orient, I went to write a review and was taken aback to see that one diner had had such a negative time. It made me take a step back and rethink my review. How can 2 people experience the same venue so differently. Whilst I applaud anyone for finding their voice and using it constructively, how can Ms Wilson's experience have been so negative whilst mine can only be described as perfect. From the last bend on the driveway where this Moroccan oasis emerges out of the dusty veld, the ever changing and fascinating artworks, the Tiennie Prichard sculpture gallery, to the food itself which can only be described as sublime, it was a treat for all the senses.
This got me thinking about the responsibility of the diner, the paying public. Perhaps the demise of so many fine dining restaurants has left us unused to the level of attention that such an establishment gives - maybe.
But I believe that in order to give any restaurant a fair revue we, the public, have a responsibility to do our homework too. In this electronic age, this is quite easy. I love the diversity that is found in South Africa, and that this extends so much to our food and tastes. Having some idea of what one can expect from any restaurant can only benefit ones dining experience. If it is a large, robust meal you like then Restaurant Mosaic is not for you. My brother-in-law is happiest with a 600g steak cooked to perfection smothered in a creamy garlic sauce. For me this is my red meat quota for at least 2 months. He would be left wanting at Mosaic, wanting a different dining experience, just as he is when finely crafted morsels of sushi are suggested. Is he wrong, or right? Neither, just honest as he knows what his likes and dislikes. We just have different tastes and different expectations.
For me Mosaic is an occasion restaurant, even if it is just a celebration of life itself. And the food is always the ultimate highlight - it has never yet failed to inspire and amaze me on every level, ever! The service staff have grown in proficiency and confidence over time, and the attention to detail makes the higher price, for me, well worth it - even if we can only do this once in a special occasion.
But this is not only about amazing food served in a pretty place. What excites me most is that in South Africa we have a few restaurants who are starting to give an 'el Buli' type experience where complex dishes go through months of research and development. And once perfected the perfect plate is sourced to serve it on. My oyster course was served in an oval shaped glass bowl where the front lip is lower than the back allowing the food to be 'presented' to the diner. The dark stained base left me wondering whether this was part of the food or the bowl - I needed to taste it to find out. (My bowl was slightly more rustic having been blown by the chef herself - this level of passion completely works for me.) I was at the perfect restaurant for my tastes and as a result can review it with confidence. It is only fair on any establishment to judge them fairly without prejudice just because they don't offer your kind of food. For my hard earned money, research is the key, and then it is up to the restaurant to do their part - and Chantel and her team at Restaurant Mosaic played their part beautifully. Thank you for a memorable evening, complete with a full moon!
This is one restaurant which never stops to amaze. Everything is done with the best taste possible, and different styles of interior just seem to flow endlessly into one another. The food is pure indulgence and Chef Chantel, it seems, is to South Africa, what Ferran Adria is to Spain. Will definitely be returning to experience the new Spring Menu in September.
Overpriced, over decorated food in a snobbish atmosphere. I will never go back.
We went to Restaurant Mosaic on Sunday, 31 July 2011 and must thank everyone for making our lunch such a special one. The food and service was magnificent – a special thanks for putting us in a private dining area – it was a very special experience for all of us.
I have been fortunate enough to dine at Mosaic on two occasions in the past few months and I have been left speechless on both occasions! I feel very strongly that Chantel is the most creative and brilliant chef in the country. It is inconceivable how this restaurant have not been rated amongst the top 10 in South Africa in the past year. I have enjoyed wonderful meals prepared by all of the chefs from the current top 10 list, but nobody compares with what I have experienced at Mosaic. Chantel is an absolute jewel!
I went to Mosaic Restaurant for lunch today. It's a bit of a drive from Johannesburg, but once you are in The Orient facility, you are amazed by the artwork and decor. Although we thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and food, I thought that the wine pairing was very poor (only enjoyed 1 of the 5 wine/food combination), the staff was not knowledgeable about the food/wine (except the Chef and wine lady) and overall I think it was a bit overpriced compared to other exclusive gourmet restaurants in Gauteng or the Western Cape.
I treated my husband to a much anticipated dinner at Mosaic recently. Besides being a little star-struck when Chantel herself came to our table to tell us about her menu, we were utterly blown away by the detail and fine touches to everything. The duck terrine with ginger bread was heavenly and one of the best things we have ever tasted! Truly a memorable experience. Unsurpassed excellence.
Mosaic was the scene for my birthday treat recently. The staff were utterly professional and charming, and the wine steward was extremely knowledgeable and passionate, which was a delight. The winter menu from Chef Chantel was truly surprising and sumptuous, from the rich venison, to the gorgeous pudding in a pot - arguably the most wonderful dessert platter I've had in a year. - we were blown away. (However I must add that the Forest Fantasy left me cold; a bit too avant garde for my taste) The finishing touch of a beautifully packaged little birthday cake was so sweet as well. Bravo team Mosaic!
Not that any facilitating review for Mosaic is an opinion but rather a fact, one can't emphasise enough what an extraordinary job Chantel and her team continue doing in the Orient's kitchen. The menu is ever-chaniging and never disappointing. One of the few restaurants in the country you can go to, select a wine from the celler, sit back and let the Dartnall-team take you away on a seven course journey of the senses. The interesting cauliflower panna cotta and the tender freshwater fish fillet from Malawi is a must. The cheese platter is also quite a culinary experience.
Wow! Looking for a place to drive away the cold weekend, we jumped at an invitation to re-visit Mosaic. Freshly back from the kitchens of Paul Bocuse, Chantel’s star is shining as brightly as ever. A lot has been written about the poor state of Gauteng’s restaurant scene, but they are clearly overlooking this little gem that will fit snugly into the Michelin mould. Her creativity astounds (cameras did not stop flashing when her new Fantasy Forest was served), but it is her subtle blending of tastes and aromas that linger longest on the palate and in my memory – every dish a true taste sensation. Good, honest food presented beautifully, Mosaic remains one of our favorite destinations on the culinary map.
We held our awards evening at Restaurant Mosaic, starting off with a wine tasting after which our guests sat down to an exquisite dinner. The service, food and wine were off exceptional quality. I have visited several restaurants rated best in its class, but Mosaic, without a doubt exceeds all expectations. Chantel, the chef, was hands on with everything, from preparing the most delicious food to meeting all the guests. I have received numerous calls and e-mails from all my guests, and the feedback from all was amazing. For a restaurant who truly understands food, with great ambiance, art and style, Restaurant Mosaic is the place to be for a ‘once in a life time experience’