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Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient

Pretoria, South Africa

Imaginative French fine dining in a fairytale setting

Why go? Housed in The Orient Hotel, which is a cross between Moorish alcazar and Rajasthani palace, Mosaic serves seasonal tasting menus that explore flavour, texture and colour in exquisitely presented dishes.

Typical dishes: The menu is informed by chef Chantel Dartnall's culinary travels, but the cuisine is grounded in classical French technique. Signature dishes include Earth and Clouds – a combination of sautéed mushrooms with potato purée and black truffle foam – and quail tempura drizzled with tamarind syrup.

The venue: The dining room is a romantic space modelled on the Belle Epoque restaurants of Paris with a lavish art nouveau interior and intimate booths.

Chef's CV: Dartnall trained at the Prue Leith Chefs Academy in South Africa, before working under Nico Ladenis at Chez Nico in London and Michael Caines at Gidleigh Park in Devon.

What else? Mosaic has one of the best wine cellars in South Africa, housing more than 40,000 bottles. Former Tour d’Argent sommelier Germain Lehodey has served everyone from Salvador Dalí to Leonardo DiCaprio.

Bonus point: The hotel is part of a 280-hectare conservation area in the beautiful Crocodile River Valley, which is home to hundreds of bird varieties, antelopes and zebra.

Images: Dylan Swart

On the pass

  • Chantel Dartnall

Style of food

  • Contemporary French

Standout dish

  • Tuna and beetroot gravadlax