The Mauritian culinary scene offers everything from Michelin-star chefs, to fine dining to enticing roadside snacks sold by street food vendors. The delicate ‘heart of palm’ salad is famous in Mauritius and something to try if your budget allows. Cultural festivals, such as the Chinatown Festival, are known to attract thousands of Mauritians for their food offerings.
Traditional local restaurants offer a dizzying variety of tasty, typical Mauritian dishes, reflecting the islands’ French, Indian, African and Chinese heritage. Alongside the curries, briani and vindaye (fish or meat coated in turmeric, ginger, chilli and mustard seeds), look out for Creole-style rougaille (fish or meat in a spicy tomato sauce with thyme and chilli), Chinese inspired bol renverse (or upside-down dish) and French style meat stew or daube. Accompany it with a local Phoenix beer – or healthy citronelle – water spiced with lemon grass and ginger - and a homemade rhum arrangé digestive, flavoured with coconut or chilli.
A street food tour of the capital, Port Louis – listed among the top ten cities in the world for street food by The Telegraph – is a must for foodies. Sample the ubiquitous street food: dholl puris, samosas, gateaux arouille and gateaux piments both on and off the streets of Mauritius, in the many small restaurants and takeaways (“snacks”). Visitors will soon learn that eating is extremely popular among the local population.