When I visited Bali in October 2019, I had a glorious time eating my way through Ubud’s vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants. Most of my meals were at casual cafes or part of my hotel’s yoga retreat package. However, for my last night in Bali, I made a dinner reservation for one at Mozaic.
For over 15 years, Mozaic has been one of Ubud’s most notable fine dining experiences. Mozaic offers a regular tasting menu and a vegetarian tasting menu. I mentioned that I’m vegan when I made the reservation; the vegan tasting menu is similar to the vegetarian version, with a few tweaks. I initially opted for the 6-course dinner, but after the first couple of courses, I asked to be switched over to the full blown 8-course tasting menu experience. Mozaic is known for its extensive wine list, but I wasn’t doing much drinking in Bali; instead of wine pairings, I just had a cocktail.
From start to finish, the vegan tasting menu at Mozaic, which marries Indonesian ingredients with modern French gastronomy, was phenomenal. The garden dining room was beautiful (except for one pesky mosquito who wanted to make friends with me). I was initially worried that I might feel awkward dining alone, but I quickly forgot about that once I settled in at my table.
Vegan Tasting Menu at Mozaic
The meal started with a playful amuse bouche quartet: mango spherication, compressed watermelon, a mushroom bite (that I wish I took better notes on, oops!), and pumpkin soup. As I was nibbling on warm walnut and olive bread, my server brought out a platter of ingredients. For the rest of my meal, each course was accompanied by a quick session of show and tell. It was fun to touch and sniff all the ingredients before diving into each course.
The next two and a half hours were filled with some of truly exceptional plates, from tomato lemongrass tartare balanced delicately on a tomato cracker to caramelized turnip and roasted beets with a drizzle of decadent dark chocolate. I loved the watermelon carpaccio with earthy king trumpet mushroom and rich rendang spices and fresh cumin, and the seared silken tofu with kalamansi lime, spiced pandan, and coconut was a creative vegan take on foie gras.
The most outstanding dish of the evening? Caramelized bedugul cauliflower with cepe mushrooms in a creamy curry leaf infusion topped with walnuts and fried curry leaves. It also made my list of the best things I ate in 2019. Much to my surprise, the coconut sorbet with coconut chip, coconut nibs, dried pineapple, and pineapple jam was another one of my favorites that evening. I enjoy coconut and pineapple, but I don’t *love* either ingredient, but this dessert absolutely knocked my socks off.
If you get a chance to visit Ubud, Bali, I highly recommend a meal at Mozaic. I’m happy to see that Mozaic is still open despite the challenges of running a restaurant during the pandemic. In addition to dinner, Mozaic also offers a four course lunch.
Planning a trip to Bali? You might find my list of travel tips helpful.