Get out your bucket list and put “Eat a meal at Restaurant Mosaic at the Orient” at the top of it. This multi award winning restaurant is somewhere you need to dine at before you die. The chef, Chantel Dartnall, is so passionate about the dishes she creates , which is evident in her eloquent descriptions of the different courses before your meal.
We booked a table at Mosaic for lunch for Restaurant Week. This included 3 courses for R400 pp (the bigger menus cost R750 or R1200 pp), and we got way more than we bargained for. What a spectacular experience. The Orient hotel is located just outside of Hartbeespoort (everyone claims it’s Pretoria, but it’s right next to Pelindaba, which to me is in Harties).
Nestled in the trees with a couple of resident zebras, impalas and other buck, the setting of the Orient hotel is gorgeous. Driving along the winding road, through the huge wooden gates to the pinkish-orange hued buildings makes you feel like you are on holiday. It reminded me slightly of the Palace at Sun City.
The only word that can sufficiently describe the hotel in detail is Opulent. The furnishings and decor make you feel like you are in a rich sheiks home. The meal, well that is next level opulence. Definitely one of the best meals I have ever eaten.
When we arrived at Mosaic, we were given a welcome drink and snack. Either a glass of wine or Appletiser, served with tiny vegetarian spring rolls and tiny puff pastry bites filled with truffle mousse. These little morsels were a perfect way to whet the appetite.
The restaurant is located up a staircase, and is divided into a number of small intimate dining areas. We were seated at a booth big enough for four, and were really excited to get eating. We had a smaller subset of the normal menu for the Restaurant Week special. We we incredibly spoiled with what we got, and if that was only a portion of the menu I can’t wait to try their full offering one day.
The bread course (which didn’t form part of the 3 courses we were there for) included a selection of butters, including a honey and cinnamon butter (delicious), a salted farm butter, a caper berry and green olive butter and an anchovy butter. There were different breads to choose from, although after we were given a tiny slice from one loaf, the bread lady disappeared, I would have loved to try more of the breads they had on offer. We were also given some gorgeous, but tasteless crackers to try. They tasted a bit like dry pasta. A bit disappointing.
The amuse bouche (still not at the 1st course yet) was amazing. It consisted of a mini Olive and Chocolate Madeline (I could eat a jar of these), a mini butternut macaron and a nasturtium mousse flower.
The second amuse bouche (yip still haven’t actually started the courses yet) was called corn on the cob. It was a deep fried ball of liquidy corn deliciousness.
The pre starter dish of magic was a salmon something or other for the seafood eating bf, and I had a magical dish comprising of clemengolds and other things I can’t remember. It was pretty.
The first course, called Mousse de Mer (mousse of the sea) consisted of a Langoustine and a tomato and rooibos risotto. The plate was decorated with a tomato dust (for the sand) and seashells made from a tomato mousse. It was exquisite and very rich. I had the non seafood version (look how crazy scary that langoustine is). The risotto was perfectly cooked and still had a bit of bite to it. The flavours worked surprisingly well together.
The palate cleanser (french – Remise en Bouche) was called carrot candy. A carrot shaped, carrot sorbet served with a candied sliver of carrot.
For Mains we had a choice of Autumn Leaves, a 36 day matured piece of Angus beef, served with sweetbreads, country mushrooms, celeriac leaves, cognac cream and panniyoor pepper, or L’Oie Dorée, a free range confit of Goose, served with pan fried goose liver, parsnips, clemengold purée and goose tortellini. We ordered one of each and the best part was that they bought a small Le Creuset dish with a second helping of each dish inside of it. That way we got to try both meals. BEST DAY EVER! Side note. I tried the sweetbreads. Nope. Not a fan. The texture is all kinds of freaky.
And finally (but not really) the Dessert. Aptly named the Little Black Number, consisting of callebaut chocolate, vanilla confit pear and an Italian Dark Chocolate Gelato. Pear and chocolate is always a winner, and that gelato was like a cold chocolate mousse. Mouthwateringly good.
Coffee and a beautifully boxed selection of Petit Fours ended off the meal. Flower lollies, cinnamon nougat (a bit too spicy for me), deliciously soft fudge and soft turkish delight.
And, in case you didn’t eat enough, they gave us a bag of Aggies slightly nibbled chocolate chip cookies for padkos on the way home.
If you ever have the opportunity to dine at Restaurant Mosaic at the Orient, take it, savour it and let me know how it went. The menu changes seasonally, and you have to book in advance. You can find more details on their website – the website isn’t mobile friendly, so make sure you look at it on a computer.
Disclaimer: I paid for my meal in full. All thoughts and views expressed are my own. Please don’t use my photos without my permission, otherwise all food will taste like sand when you eat it.0