Mauritius on Trend: Fusion cuisine
Top food blogger Selina Periampillai of Taste Mauritius took a trip to the island recently. Here she writes for Made In Mauritius about the latest trend for fusion cuisine.
The availability of fusion cuisine being produced on the island of Mauritius never fails to surprise me. Mauritian cuisine essentially encompasses European and Asian (mainly Indian, Chinese and French) the outcome of which are deliciously light, fragrant curries, fried or grilled vegetables and seafood in abundance. Even seeing dumplings of fried rice/noodles on a menu is not unusual.
So on a recent trip to the Island I got to try some of the food that's being offered in the kitchen's of some well known hotels and restaurants in Mauritius offering an insight into exploring these relationships and trends.
East at LUX* Belle Mare
On recently visiting this restaurant situated within the five star LUX* hotel on the beaches of Belle Mare it is predominantly Chinese in inspiration. The menu led by Chef Cheng has been artfully composed to always provide a lively, modern but at the same time authentic experience. We delved into a spicy piquant fish hot pot (probably the best I've tasted so far) silky white fish, served in a chilli oil, live demonstrated fresh hand pulled noodles, a selection of dumplings and to finish pomelo & creamy coconut tapioca.
Chez Tino, Trou d'Eau Douce
Heading to a place where even the locals eat out is always a good sign! At Chez Tino you can eat wonderful seafood overlooking the beautiful bay. With a plump menu of home-style food, you can't go wrong ordering mostly anything, a true gem when it comes to upholding the local interests that even make tourists interested to check it out.
Le Saint Geran- Rasoi
This restaurant features the contemporary Indian cuisine of Vineet Bhatia, who heads up the Michelin-starred London Chelsea restaurant of the same name. With views overlooking a private lagoon, perfect for a sunset view, using local produce the menu here borders on creative takes on traditional fare. Starting with a flavourful rosewater mojito I went on to enjoy a meltingly tender apricot cardamom lamb, malai coconut crusted chicken, tawa scallops with a mustard chilli marinade and finishing with chocolate samosas and a rosewater, pistachio and saffron ice cream.
Beach Rouge at LUX* Belle Mare
Another mention for LUX* comes in the form of their Mediterranean inspired Beach Rouge, with its uber cool chilled out Ibiza beachfront vibe, this restaurant is great for cocktails as well as the lighter bites. We revelled in trying razor clams with a beetroot sorbet, devoured freshly grilled lobster, marvelled at Sacrechien tartare with pineapple/passionfruit and a drizzle of vanilla oil and finished with a Rodrigues inspired lemon tart & sorbet.
Bois Cheri Restaurant
This restaurant lies within Mauritius' most famous tea plantation. Surrounded by a beautiful lake the menu here offers Mauritian dishes without being afraid to venture into being a little experimental. Using their own tea in the Chicken with Bois Cheri Tea Curry for example they also offer fish or meat platters and heart of palm salads on the menu. I was particularly blown away by their amazing tea chutney here and I have been trying to recreate it for ages.
La Table du Château, Labourdonnais
A contemporary restaurant at the heart of the Labourdonnais Chateau estate. The Chef Fabio de Poli offers a French inspired creative and seasonal menu with a gastronomic touch, inspired by the fruits and vegetables from the grounds orchards. Here dine on Terrines of Foie Gras with Tamarin Salt, Crab bisque with coconut milk and finish with thyme flavoured pannacotta or vanilla creme brulee.
Photos: Selina Periampillai, Le Saint Geran- Rasoi, Bois Cheri by Shanti Maurice