November 10, 2015
Mosaik 4, Marbella’s new food kid in town gets the culinary once over from Johnny Gates, the fussiest diner around.
Anyone who has had the pleasure, or not to dine with me will know that I won’t suffer fools gladly when it comes to my favorite pastime, eating out, and am as critical as any New York food critic, even if I’m in a late night Shawarma house.
Spending a lot of time in Morocco as I do, and feeling very much at home there, walking into Mosaik reminds me of high end Marrakesh, the Paris of North Africa, with its distinct Moorish arches, stained glass and ornate lighting. So far so good then, but don’t think of Mosaik as a one trick pony, quite the opposite. Although the decor is unashamedly Arabic, the menu boasts dishes from all four corners of the world.
First thing to do of course was to look at the wine list, I will never spoil a good meal with second rate wine, and indeed the Ribera del Duero I chose would make sure the evening was a success even if the food wasn’t. Don’t spoil the ship for a Ha’penny o’ tar my Grannie always told me.
So to the amuse-bouche, a simply sensational study in mousse, of subtle cheese hints, red wine and wild berries, things were already looking good for the rest of the evening, and trust me by now I would already be moaning in a lot of other establishments, so the coca of foie, pedro jimenez reduction and pansy flowers had a lot to live up to, and boy did it, what flavours and textures, possibly the best starter of my entire dining year, it’s worth going to Mosaik just for this.
So that was the kind of classical French bit over with, it was now off to Berber land to sample some typical Arabic fayre. A three tiered serving dish arrived, something you would be more accustomed to seeing your Auntie serve cakes on for tea in the parlour. Needles to say, here, not a cup cake nor Victoria sponge was in sight, instead the most wonderful array of Tabbouleh, Houmous, Kefta, Falafal and my favorite, Baba Ghanouj, a smoked aubergine dip that would make even the hardest whirling Dervish smile. The Tabbouleh for me needed more bulgar wheat and mint and so was a little dissapointing. Also lurking on the bottom of this tower of biblical flavours were some meat samosas, truly excellent and even better some pasties of feta cheese, the pastry being perfect in both.
Now why isn’t he having a whinge yet I hear you think, well for this reason, so far it’s all been bloody marvellous, but it’s not over yet…chipirones, or small squid in their own ink stuffed with vegetables appeared before me, mmmm, not my idea of fun, I have tried on numerous occasions to like this most Spanish of dishes, and its not the squid, hey I love squid, but the ink, don’t they use this as a defence mechanism when they are terrified as a 600 kilo tuna bears down on them? I have to say it was all very well done with the squid being perfectly cooked, not like a slice of rubber which it’s so easy to do with these critters, but just not my thing, but if it’s yours you can have mine.
Next we were off to the Orient with a legendary Thai Green Prawn curry, served in the classical steamer basket, a little heavy on the lemon grass but a super medium to carry the tender shrimp and vegetables within, as was the Beef Red Curry, of course a lot spicier than it’s green cousin and packing a serious Thai roundhouse kick to my palate requiring several large gulps of my Ribera to revive my taste buds.
For the final main course it was back to Spain with a meatloaf of Rabo de Toro. Now my first thought when seeing this dish was of the gifts my dog leaves on the lawn every morning and it didn’t look very appetising on that basis, but eating people, this was the best ever, with a bullring full of flavour, perfectly seasoned and for me one of the highlights of the evening, just need to sort out the “turd” look.
Now as you will have read, that’s a lot of food, and my favorite way of digesting large amounts of food like that are by taking a strong Carajillo,(black coffee and coñac). It was with this that we retired to the patio, sitting in one of the sumptuous Moroccan settees to let the food settle and roll a sneaky ciggarette, dirty habit I know but hey it’s the only vice I have left. No sooner than we had sat down than a large piece of slate covered with fruit, banana ice cream and a chocolate fondant was laid on our mosaic table. Yes I did find the room, are you crazy? Who on God’s earth is too full for chocolate fondant and banana ice cream, not me I can tell you.
So to summarize, Mosaik4 for me was a culinary delight, the service was impeccable as was the decor and it goes straight into my top five best restaurants in Marbella. Also good to note that all this doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, you can quite easily have a dinner for two, three courses, nice wine and coffee for around 35€ per head, now that’s bloody good value in my book so next time you fancy eating from the four corners of the globe give Mosaik4 a go, you won’t regret it. Also the valet parking makes it easy to just get out of your car, wine dine and generally have a great night.
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