Sherman's Food Adventures: French Tasting Menu @ Mosaic

French Tasting Menu @ Mosaic

Mosaic at the Hyatt?  What, do you live there or something?  Sure seems like it eh?  Well, when I like something, I really have no apprehension blogging about it.  Another good example is EBO where they consistently put out good food.  As for the Hyatt, it wasn't always like that.  But with Chef Thomas Heinrich at the helm, "typical hotel food" is no longer used as an adjective when talking about the Hyatt Regency.  My wish is for more people to try the food at Mosaic and see for themselves.

From the positive experience I had at the Spot Prawn Tasting Menu (and at a reasonable $55.00 and $75.00 with wine pairings), Viv and I decided to take up the offer to try their 5-course French Tasting Menu (running from Sept 20th - Oct 18th). We started with the Rougie Quebec Foie Gras Parfait accented with calvados, pearls of apple and a marcona almond butter.  This was a healthy portion and due to its richness (with the almond adding even more), the parfait was quite filling.  It was smooth, sweet and silky, yet suffered from too much salt in our opinion.  Although there was little pearls of apple and a fluid gel of calvados, there wasn't enough counterbalance for the rich salty parfait.  Next up was the Escargot consisting of burgundy snails in the shell dressed with shallots, roasted garlic and parsley.  In a whimsical presentation, the shells were in a garden of sorts with pumpernickel "dirt" on the side topped by garlic chips.  We thought the flavour profile of the dish was spot on with a good balance of garlic, butter and acidity.

Onto our favourite dish, their interpretation of Lobster Thermidor really worked.  Buttery soft yet meaty, the slices of lobster tail sat atop a creamy and cheesy sauce.  Sure, it wasn't a classic preparation, but it was tasty nonetheless.  Again, the salt content was a bit too high when the lobster was eaten with the sauce.  The star of the dish was actually the lobster roe pomme puree.  It was smooth, buttery and bursting with lobster essence.  Combined with the lobster oil on the plate, the taste lingered in our mouths.  I wasn't a huge fan of the kale "nori" as it was too firm and did not add anything to the plate.  Our last savoury course was the Duck a la Orange made with Thiessen Farms duck breast with celery root puree and tarragon (which wasn't really apparent).  We found the duck to be prepared beautifully where it was moist and soft with a flavourful meatiness.  The celery root puree had a nice consistency and was seasoned enough. The rich, full-of-depth sauce was accented by an orange fluid gel.  One thing that should've been left off the plate was the rind leather as it was very tough to chew and stuck hard to our teeth.

We finished off the meal with a Mille-Feuille consisting of layers of flaky puff pastry with lemon cream and vanilla salted chocolate accompanied by a poached pear.  Although not mind-blowing, this was a solid dessert with nice textures and mild sweetness.  We particularly liked the salted chocolate as it elevated the flavours without adding more sugar.  The simple poached pear was soft enough without losing its texture.  This was a nice light way to end a relatively good tasting menu.  Sure, there was the salt issue and some other things here and there.  However, for the overall quality and execution, you can't go wrong for the price.

*Note - Meal and wine were comped, but gratuities were not*

The Good:
- For the price, the value is there
- Comfortable surroundings
- Not typical hotel food

The Bad:
- Use of salt was a bit excessive
- Some creative garnishes were not that edible

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