Eating Out in Mauritius – A Culinary Guide

Mauritius has enjoyed a diversity of culture for hundreds of years. Much of that diversity is due to the occupation of other countries. Over time, the population of Mauritius has come to reflect the demographics of these other lands. It’s no surprise that the cuisine of the island nation has also come to reflect these influences. Today, the dishes are comprised of a rich blend of various foods from a host of cultures. This unlikely mixture fuses these influences to offer unique tastes that are exclusive to Mauritius. Below, we’ll describe the cultures that subtly manifest in the cuisine of the island. Then, we’ll offer a few notable restaurants to consider when eating out in Mauritius.

As Cultures Converge

Due largely to the French occupation of the island during the 1700′s, a Creole style of cooking is evident in the food. Dishes such as coq au vin served with a high quality wine signal the influence. Also palpable in the food are tastes strongly reminiscent of Chinese cuisine, a result of migrant workers from China coming to Mauritius during the late 1800′s. Indian cuisine is also an unmistakable influence, the product of indentured servants who arrived from India during the middle 1800′s. Finally, traces of European flavors are apparent in many dishes. This is likely due to a long history of exposure to several cultures over hundreds of years.

When eating out in Mauritius, you’ll find that some of the restaurants prefer to isolate the flavors from one particular style of cooking, effectively purifying the dishes from other ethnic influences. That being said, many restaurants revel in offering dishes that creatively blend each of the influences.

Restaurants Of Note

First, the small merchants who line the sidewalks in Mauritius and offer food to passersby are worth noting. Despite the presumed lack of hygiene, much of the food is incredibly tasty. Of course, if you’re eating out in Mauritius, you’ll want to reserve your appetite for the restaurants. They’re usually small with meager furnishings. However, don’t let that dissuade you as many of the best dishes can be found there. Here are 3 Mauritian restaurants that you should consider visiting:

#1 – The Amigo

If you enjoy seafood, visit the Amigo for a unique mixture of flavors from Creole and European cuisine.

#2 – Chez Manuel

The Chez Manuel has developed a reputation for delicious Chinese food. With the exception of their chinese fondue, the dishes are mostly pure from other culinary influences.

#3 – The Happy Rajah

The exquisitely marinated meat and carefully baked naan bread offer the tastes of Indian cuisine. Curries and stews are created to perfection with just the right balance of spices.

Enjoying The Flavors Of The Island

The flavors of the island nation’s food are as colorful as the cultures from which they spring. Eating out in Mauritius is an experience you’ll likely remember long after having returned home. Take the time to enjoy the unique dishes and flavors offered by the myriad of small, quaint restaurants on the island. You may find yourself returning to experience those flavors in the future.

Chinese Food Cooking and Chinese Food History

The Chinese culture is the oldest continuous civilization in the world and throughout the ages, plenty as well as famine have helped to shape the character of one important aspect of the Chinese culture – the Chinese food recipes, Chinese cuisine. During prosperous years, there was always an upper class who had enough time and money to devote to the sampling of delights turned out by their culinary staff. These were the legendary multi-course banquets and feasts.

On the other hand, many times through China’s history, floods, drought and other natural disasters have destroyed the crops and laid the country to a waste. Adversity and necessity forced the people to seek and use new sources of food. Today, the Chinese are experts in the preparation of such exotic items as eels, frogs and snakes, besides making use of every edible part of animal and plant. When well-cleaned, correctly prepared and cooked with the right seasonings, tongue, brains, roots and even flowers taste delicious!

A popular Chinese method of cooking – stir-frying – could well have been the result of efforts to cook with the minimum of fuel in times of chronic fuel scarcity. Food, cut into small pieces or slices, is quickly stirred in a little hot oil over a few minutes of intense heat. Food cooked in this manner has its natural juices sealed in while the color, texture and flavor are preserved. It is also highly nutritious.

Dairy products are practically unknown in Chinese cooking since cattle were more profitably utilized as draft animals in earlier times. So the main sources of meat were pigs and poultry which were easily fed on swill and leftovers. They also occupied less space so that the majority of the land-area could be devoted to growing cereals; these certainly could feed more people than any number of cattle raised on the same area!