This is our first high-end buffet review on our blog. To open this category of a fine dining experience, we chose one of the best buffets in Kuala Lumpur: the Mandarin Oriental Mosaic buffet. They are well known for Mandarin Oriental Brunch and an extensive selection of delicate foods. The name Mosaic refers to the small tiles that adorn the walls of this spacious restaurant.
We found out that mosaic can be reflected not only by the walls but on the food as well. The Mosaic buffet menu is enormous and is in fact one huge mosaic of food. But is this famous buffet in KL truly one of the best?
The ambiance at Mandarin Oriental Mosaic
The dining room at Mosaic is spacious, full of light and nicely decorated. Besides the mosaic walls, the elegant interior reflects hints of Peranakan culture. Beyond any doubt, this place fits to satisfy the multicultural environment, which is important in the Peranakan culture. Food stations are well arranged and it was easy for us to navigate ourselves.
Mosaic Buffet Menu
The second parallel with Peranakan culture certainly is the vast selection of different dishes. At the lunch buffet, each guest can find familiar flavors and also extend their palate.
All the food was attentively put on display and simultaneously replenished on individual stations. You’ll find a salad bar, seafood on ice, Malay, Indian and Chinese food, soups, BBQ, a roast station, a live pasta station, a selection of western food, a noodle soup station and more. Did we mention the separate room full of sweets, with a chocolate fountain?
At Lounge on the park, they have a big selection of pastries, desserts in glasses, cakes, ice cream and a chocolate fountain with condiments. Mandarin Oriental Mosaic brunch is spread on a huge area. You need to take your time and prepeare your belly. We couldnt try out everything though. However, some of the dishes will be more described in the next chapter.
The closest to our table was the Japanese station, which was also part of a cold seafood offering. As we already know, Japan is full of surprises and so was our encounter with the umeboshi. Umeboshi is a sour plum, and we’re slowly becoming familiar with it, even though we seem to come across it only by accident. Immediately after tasting it, I remembered the not so tasty drink from Wild Coriander a while back. At this station, we loved the kimchi and pickled cucumber. The funky fermented foods made us feel good when the thought of overeating crossed our minds.
Where else could we eat lobster, flower crab, yabbies, prawns, scallops and oysters one after the other in order to appreciate their delicate differences? It is easy to go and refresh your memory of the different flavors when everything is there, just waiting to be eaten. All the seafood at Mandarin Oriental Mosaic tasted great and there is no better cold starter than a plate of oysters.
Ok, there is one: good imported cheeses with condiments, although this wasn’t their best dish. The offering of high-quality cheeses was humble, with soft goat cheese, cheddar, a not so good Gouda and President’s Brie and Camembert. Opposite to the bread and pastry station, fresh made spreads and dips were displayed, such as pumpkin moutabel.
Oriental at its finest
Moutabel is typically made with eggplants and originates from the Middle East. There is nothing wrong when chefs get creative as long the outcome is enjoyable and this one definitely was. The muhammara dip, originally from Syria, was new to us. The taste of it confirmed the suspicion when we saw the deep red color, as we thought it would be made with peppers: dried and fresh peppers with walnuts and olive oil were the main stars, but surely not the only ones. The Baba Ganoush was a delicious appetizer in which the eggplants were brought to the center with mild seasonings. It is great to see a variety of these delicious cold dips from the Middle East.
The Mandarin Oriental Mosaic brunch also has great healthy options, such as overnight oats with mango and plenty of vegetable dishes. Some were more simple and all-time classics, whereas others were more complex. We liked the roasted yellow and green peppers with olive oil, the grilled eggplant with garlic, the roasted beetroot with raspberry vinegar and the confit pumpkin.
The Kabuli chana chaat – chickpea salad – was another dish that would make anyone happy. Especially because of the fruity, sour and tangy amchoor seasoning, which is actually a powder made of dried unripe mango. I think here at Mandarin Oriental Mosaic they really know how to make these oriental treats.
Those who wanted to cool down and enjoy the cold meal had also a few meaty salads to choose from: the tandoori chicken salad with mustard dressing, the BBQ duck salad ready in bite-size servings, the baby octopus with jellyfish, the grilled beef salad with pickled fruits, just to name a few. Of course, there were also cold soups. We liked the creamy of broccoli and pumpkin soup with scallops, both served in a shot glass with an edible garnish. Both soups had a rich flavor and a pretty clean taste.
Warm Main Dishes
For those that came for a hot lunch and would like a taste of more western dishes, then a stop at the international open kitchen is a must. The Sicilian eggplant caponata, mashed potatoes with Cheddar cheese and braised beef cottage pie are a few that could be considered western comfort food. The baked potato, mashed potatoes, and roasted tender beef prime rib would have made Gordon Ramsay proud, and the baked salmon with pineapple made Ian happy. However, the pineapple flavor wasn’t present with the fish, but it was baked perfectly.
My option for the warm main dish seemed more Mediterranean: seafood in a tomato and garlic broth. Unfortunately, this dish didn’t taste good. They added some bad wine and too much water later on to reduce the acidity. When you are making broth ‘a la brodet’ style, it is crucial to use good wine, season it just right and add garlic more at the end. Despite this faux-pas, in general, the main dish station performed ok.
The same goes for the Chinese station, where we tried the Szechuan style brinjals and dim-sums. The soups with a large selection of condiments looked inviting and the chef filled it to guest’s specific taste. The Indian station was extensive with all the famous dishes. We especially liked chicken curry and the naan bread with many different dips. We also stopped at the Malaysian station for a taste of nasi biryani, which was delicious, but nothing special.
With so many dishes on display, we almost forgot about the desserts. It is smart to have them tucked away in a separate room, so that guests don’t start the meal off with sugar. Once we saw the chocolate fountain and all the cakes, we couldn’t believe our eyes. There was more than anyone with a sweet tooth could ever dream of: everything from light desserts to rich chocolate cake!
Don’t feel like having cake? No problem! There were cookies, macaroons, ice cream, and bite-size sweet delicacies, anything, you name it! If we would have started with the sweets, we would probably have missed out on all the rest, that is how delicious they were, but that really would have been a crime.
The first thing to remember are macaroons, which were perfect. They had the crunchy crust and a soft and tasty filling. We then went for the beautiful cheesecake with a fresh raspberry on top. It was served individually on a small glass plate, and the raspberry added some freshness. We had fun cracking the caramel top of the creme brulée and we loved its creamy texture.
The cake section was just insane, there were so many, from chocolate to the fruity ones. Sure thing, there were also nutty ones and we had a taste of pecan pie. We also went for the chocolate mousse cake in the shape of a flower and caramel dressing, which was a delightful combination of textures all the way to the toothsome pastry.
The whole event at Mandarin Oriental Mosaic was beyond our expectations. The high quality was everywhere, from the taste to the presentation, the components and in the service throughout our dining experience. Every dish we tasted was an assurance that the reputation of the best buffet in Kuala Lumpur will remain here.
Our table was neat looking at all times as the empty plates didn’t stay around for long at all. That contributed to the clean look of the whole restaurant as it was organized at all times. The atmosphere was peaceful and we had a great time, so good that it was difficult to leave! Hey, did we mention we saw a king of Malaysia here at Mandarin Oriental?
Our reviews are honest and improvements can be implemented. They disappointed us with the cheese offering and the western warm main dishes. The food offering, in general, is too big. We would rather see them make it smaller and improve the quality of some dishes. More attention should go to Indian cuisine, especially when you can have amazing food on the streets of the Kuala Lumpur. The food tags had some mistakes, but even so, they still were understandable.
Price and Location
A brunch here will cost you about 50 USD per person. Mandarin Oriental buffet price is fair for what you get, we were quite happy with the value we got for our money! Here is a link to the location in a case you would like to try out this amazing brunch.
Mandarin Oriental Mosaic buffet review card
- ATMOSPHERE - 9.5/109.5/10
- FOOD OFFER - 9.7/109.7/10
- PRESENTATION - 9.1/109.1/10
- SERVICE - 9.4/109.4/10
- FOOD TASTE - 8.8/108.8/10
- VALUE - 9.6/109.6/10
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