I only recently came to Mauritius to join the team of Solis Indian Ocean. During the last weeks which I spent here, more than once locals asked me the question:
“Did you eat any Mauritian food yet?”
As I am always eager to try new things I actually had tried a couple of dishes that I had never had before.
Proudly I told them that I had had some soup with fish- and veggie-balls in it. “Ah, boulette “ they said, “ well, that’s actually Chinese…” I went on and told them I had this baked or fried triangular thing. “Samosa, well that is actually Indian…”
In a last desperate attempt to show that I actually had experienced some of the local food culture I described the fruit salad with chili dressing I had the other day. “Marchand salad, uhh, that’s veeery local” they replied with a smile.
Know the food and you will start to understand the culture
In this little anecdote, you can already see how different cultures clash in Mauritius and what that means for the Mauritian food. History has brought many cultures and people to the island. Some came willingly, others less willingly. Nevertheless, nowadays Mauritius is a place where Christians, Muslims and Hindus live together peacefully and celebrate their cultures while forming a new.
As a result, the local food is influenced by the French, African, Asian and Creole kitchen. Every culture prefers their own style of cooking, but this gives travelers unique opportunities to experience diverse and delicious tastes during their stay.
Throughout the island there are many restaurants which deliver a high quality experience featuring an individual atmosphere and delicious dishes.
Situated in the countryside between Port Louis and Grand Baie within the L'Aventure du Sucre's (The Adventure of Sugar) Museum, Le Fangourin offers an historic theme. Guests will eat sitting next to historic machinery from the sugar production industry while enjoying the view on the Long Mountain range north of Port Louis as well as pristine vegetation in the gardens of the L'Aventure du Sucre's.
Le Fangourin is seen as one of the best restaurants on the island for years. It offers a wide range of dishes while picking the best out of each culture. Guests are being offered smoked fish, grilled fish, Lobster, venison, lamp, chicken or steak in different styles. Nevertheless the variety of dishes remains straightforward so that the guest has an easy time choosing his favorite and the chef can focus properly on getting each meal just right.
In the town of Moka, just south of Port Louis on the backside of Le Pouce mountain range, you can find the restaurant Escale Creole. Here your dinner will be hosted by Marie-Christine and her mother Majo in a private environment. Majo is the chef and prepares classical creole food which focuses on using simple but high quality ingredients. The two women are hosting in a “table d'hôte” (table of the host) fashion. Guests will be offered the choice of only two different menus. Majo will treat you to Sausage Rougaille, Chicken- or Octopus Curry, Fish Vindaye and Salmi. Besides that, Marie-Christine and Majo are known to create a unique and authentic atmosphere. They are charming and always open for a chat about creole kitchen and culture, which makes a visit at their restaurant not only a very tasty, but also a very cultural experience.
The Indian Pavilion is a high class restaurant situated within the One & Only resort in Flaq in the North-East of Mauritius. Here you will eat with the Indian Ocean on the one side, the open kitchen on the other while having a wonderful view over the surrounding mountains and sugar cane fields. The floating aromas, carefully selected wines and the view will make it an unforgettable visit. The Pavilions kitchen focuses on north Indian dishes, widely influenced by Michelin Star Chef Vineet Bhatia. Vineet, who’s own restaurant is one of the best in London, acts as an exclusive consultant for the restaurant to hold up the high standards the restaurant sets itself.
In my opinion, trying out the local dishes is the easiest way to experience to culture of the land you are visiting. It says a lot about the origin of the locals and the way they are living. The Creole kitchen is a great example of how simple ingredients can be composed into a great meal. Ones you are in Mauritius, it is a must to go and taste it!
@ Michael S.