Mauritius: Culture and Cuisine

The Mauritian gourmet experience reflects the country’s rich fusion of Indian, French, Creole and Chinese influences, offering an eclectic mix of flavours. Heading out to experience the local entertainment is a must to gain an understanding of this special country and its people.

One of the treasures of Mauritius is its street food and Port Louis or Mahébourg markets have food stalls on every corner.

In the village of Moka just outside the capital lies the Flying Dodo Brewery. It is the first and only brewery in Mauritius serving a full flavour blonde, a smooth semi-sweet amber, a Belgian-style wit and an experimental IPA. To keep you coming back, the brewery creates a new beer every month.

Treasures of the night

In contrast to some Indian Ocean destinations where it’s a challenge to find anything open after 10pm, Mauritians are often found enjoying ‘sega’ – a popular style of local music and dance – into the early hours. Visitors can take a sega lesson at the Veranda Resorts and Angsana Balaclava or watch the experts at a show on the beach.

A large variety of night-time entertainment can be found at Grand Baie, where bars and clubs such as Red Cat Beach Lounge, Les Enfants Terribles and Banana Beach bar line the beach. Also, worth visiting are the Bombara Bar and Nightclub at Long Beach, C Beach Club in Domaine de Bel Ombre and the various bars including La Vida at Flic en Flac.

Cook it yourself

You can’t beat following the locals at lunchtime for authentic Mauritian cuisine. Try traditional specialties vindaye poisson (seasoned grilled fish), rougaille saucisses (wild boar sausages in a spicy tomato sauce) and chicken kalya (cooked with yoghurt and spiced with saffron) at local restaurants or table d’hotes. Or have lunch at a domaine (sugar plantation) where island delicacies are on offer.

Not only can you taste Mauritian cuisine, but guests can learn how to cook it with Creole cooking lessons at resorts including Zilwa Attitude. ‘Field to fork’ cooking classes are offered year-round at Maradiva Villas Resort and Spa and in Epicurean Delight at Angsana Balaclava, guests learn to cook an ayurvedic tri-dosha meal, after visiting the market. Learning to cook Mauritian-style is one of the ‘Touching Senses’ experiences at The Oberoi Mauritius, and fish curry and Lychee desert are on the menu of new cooking lessons at The Residence Mauritius.

Recommended restaurants:

  • Chez Tante Athalie near Pamplemousses Gardens, North Mauritius
  • Chez Tino, Trou d’Eau Douce, East Mauritius
  • Le Case du Pecheur, Vieux Grand Port, Southeast Mauritius
  • Le Table de Château, Château Labourdonnais, North Mauritius
  • Varangue sur Morne, Chamarel, Southwest Mauritius
  • Les Copains d’Abord, Mahébourg, Southeast Mauritius
  • Le Palais de Barbizon, Chamarel, Southwest Mauritius

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