August 15, 2011

The Mandarin Oriental unveiled Mosaic this month, a dazzlingly designed venue that succeeds Biba's Cafe as the hotel's 24-hour flagship eatery.

Buffets are the dominant draw, but since we weren't feeling like a feast, we foraged through Mosaic's a la carte menu instead. However, the kitchen might have been swamped with Ramadan diners, resulting in offerings that sometimes missed the mark.

MO Cobb Salad with fire-roasted corn, avocado, quail eggs, blue cheese & smoked chicken. Naturally, prices here are high, but this bowl contained unexpectedly meager ingredients for RM38++. Check out Arthur's at the Shangri-La for a more satisfyingly lavish Cobb salad.

An entire page on Mosaic's menu is dedicated to eggs cooked in diverse styles. The Eggs Royale (RM38++) with smoked salmon, hash browns & tomatoes were not bad, but would have been better with runnier yolks.

Spanakopita _ pastry stuffed with spinach & feta cheese. This probably came from Casbah downstairs, but we recall it being cheaper at Casbah. Instead of paying RM28++ for these three tiny triangles, maybe we should have opted for Mosaic's buffet after all.

Thankfully, two European-inspired desserts were an indulgent delight. We really liked this praline turron _ a creamy, chocolatey Spanish confection given an Asian twist with Sarawak pepper for a pleasurably spicy sensation. Well worth the RM18++.

A beautifully baked blend of cheesecake & southern France's Nougat de Montelimar (RM24++), packed with honey & pistachios and partnered with stewed apples & roast almonds.

To escape the buffet crowd, head for the hotel's Lounge on the Park, freshly reopened with a moody-cool look after four months of refurbishment.

Chilean Chardonnay (Errazuriz, Casablanca Valley), RM36++ by the generously filled glass.

Cocktails here are constantly and comfortingly creative. Spicy Mango Chelada (Tiger beer, mango chili infusion, fresh lime) & Malay Mojito (Havana Silver Rum, mint, Melaka palm sugar, fresh lime). Prices start at RM30++.

Service at both outlets is sterling, befitting of the Mandarin Oriental's reputation.

Mosaic & Lounge On The Park,
Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.