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AQUACASIA: The new island food concept

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AQUACASIA: The new island food concept

Often referred to as jewels scattered across clear turquoise waters, the islands of the Indian Ocean have always been regarded as some of the most picturesque places on earth. Aquacasia is a culinary celebration of this, bringing the bounty of the Indian Ocean and the unique food developed by local island cultures, where aromatic dishes are prepared using only the freshest of local ingredients. The menu is inspired by resourceful street traders, and authentic family recipes which have been passed down through generations of island dwellers, bringing together genuine dishes from the isles of Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Reunion, Indonesia and Western Australia.

With ingredients caught, raised and harvested locally in Mauritius, the menu boasts an abundance of fresh seafood, tropical fruits, vegetables, poultry and deer. Shanti’s flourishing organic herb and vegetable garden, augmented by the island’s tropical climate, sprouts bay leaf and galangal, ingredients not typically found on the island. It is this tropical climate that promises the island self-sufficiency, meaning very little of the ingredients have to be imported from afar. These thriving, garden-fresh ingredients, combined with traditional recipes and a mastery of spice, bring the Aquacasian menu to life.

A love of cuisine is at the heart of Shanti Maurice, and overseen by Chef Willi Reinbacher, Aquacasia presents aromatic dishes that embrace the raw, heart-felt flavour of the islands in their most natural form. Marlin, a fish synonymous with the island of Mauritius, is delicately smoked and served with poached eggs, capers and fragrant garden greens, plucked from the Shanti Maurice gardens, while the Maldivian style Lamb Mashroshi brings more complex flavours to the table. Fish Ceviche, another dish that cultivates the Indian Ocean’s abundance of fresh fish, is marinated in coconut and lemon, bringing acidity, spice and sweet flavours to the palette, in one flavourful punch. As further unique spices are explored and new cooking techniques discovered, the menu evolves, interchanging with the shifting seasons, ensuring fresh, seasonal dishes, which capture the defining characteristics of the Aquacasia cuisine. Vegetarian dishes are also prominent on the menu, and are an important aspect of many of the Indian Oceans’ cuisine.

As the Aquacasian menu has evolved, Chef Willi Reinbacher has had the opportunity to visit several of the islands peppered across the Indian Ocean. First-hand experience means the dishes remain true to their island heritage, while an understanding of the unique spice mixes and traditional cooking techniques used in local recipes ensures authenticity, with Chef often reaching out to local island friend for their insight and expertise.

With the Rum Shed, Fish Shack and La Kaze Mama already popular offerings available at Shanti Maurice, Aquacasia isn’t the first food concept to be introduced. Each concept utilises the island’s cultural heritage, and aims to support and grow local farming businesses. Set within a coral cove, Shanti Maurice’s Stars Restaurant offers an idyllic setting, overlooking a starlit Indian Ocean, the perfect place to lose track of time.

Copyright Nira Publishing | Photo by Lukas Lienhard