With an exhilarating array of restaurants to pick from (12!), eating out can require a little too much decision-making for someone on holiday. We’ve come up with a list of dishes that make for a varied culinary experience. Ready, get set, GO!
1. Chef Deepak’s Tandoori Fish Tikka
Zafarani, “saffron” in Swahili is deeply-rooted in our Indian heritage. The colorful restaurant dishes up simple but seriously scrumptious Northern Indian comfort food. Chef Deepak draws on technique and nostalgia of his homeland, India, to reimagine old favorites. The Tandoori Fish Tikka is made up mostly of spices – saffron, ginger, garlic, and chili flakes – forming a rusty red paste in which freshly-caught fish filets are left to marinate. A squeeze of lime gives it a tanginess that perfectly complements a glass of Viognier white wine (included in the All-Inclusive package) or a Boschendal Le Bouquet. The comforting, piquant dish will nourish you from the inside out.
2. An ode to Islands: Infinity Blue’s Seafood Platter
The no-frills beachside restaurant, Infinity Blue, brings the art (and a local, favorite pastime) of fishing to your plate. Freshly-caught lobster, tiger prawns, calamari as well as flavorsome shellfish are grilled and served in their most simple form; that is, alongside some Creole rice – a national dish – and lemon butter. It seems as though it would almost be a disgrace to travel to an island afar without sampling the local catch. The seafood platter is perfect for sharing and can be paired with a Chardonnay (Lindermans is included) or a Chablis (we suggest Domaine Bernard Defaix).
3. Garlicky goodness: Tiger Prawns, Mushroom Risotto
Kuzini is Heritage Awali’s Italian eatery. This handsome, contemporary take on Italian cuisine (the way the dishes are plated is a feast for the eyes) will rapidly turn into a habit, a ritual really. Butter, cream, olive oil… The classic ingredients we can never seem to forgo give the dish a homey taste. The mushrooms provide extra creaminess to the risotto, while the secret ingredient, prawn stock, truly brings out the flavor of the dish. This recipe pairs really nicely with a Chardonnay (Libertas is included) or a Sangiovese, “the blood of Jupiter,” a red Italian (Brunello di Montalcino.) Save some room for our sweet treats, which include a milk chocolate semifreddo, and salted caramel ice cream.
4. Amafrooty Presents: The Zenzi Burger
Soaking up the sun combined with a few slow laps in the pool is enough to build up an appetite. Amafrooty, the poolside go-to lunch place will serve you a simple and savory burger (you don’t even have to get up from your chaise-longue). The bun is stamped with the name of the burger: Zenzi (also the name of the bar next door if you’re in the mood for cocktails.) Stacked between the warm bread is a beef patty and an exhilarating array of toppings – deep-fried onion rings, melted cheddar, caramelized onions and a secret house-made sweet and sour sauce. It is said the gourmet burger tastes best by the pool… Scarf it down with a glass of Bellingham premier grand cru, the perfect summer wine.
5. Local produce with a contemporary twist: Pumpkin ravioli, creamy papaya curry, pomme d’amour confit, curry poule emulsion
Annabella’s architecture will take you back to another era – that of a colonial plantation. The colonial style restaurant – with its veranda, rotunda, interior courtyard, and open kitchen – provides a stage for modern Mauritian cooking. The Chef uses local, versatile ingredients and produce to cook up sumptuous, elaborate dishes, sure to delight every adventure-seeker. While green papaya is commonly used to soften chewy octopus meat, here it is transformed into a curry. Bright red pommes d’amour, a variety of tomato (albeit with a more romantic appellation) is pickled. Besides the fact that is tastes really good, the dish is a glimpse into Mauritian culture. The recipe calls for a dizzying amount of spices, which blend particularly well with a Gewürztraminer from Alsace.
6. Fishermen’s Catch of the Day
On an island, one would expect to sample fish caught at dawn by fishermen sailing on traditional wood pirogues… Le Palmier serves just that – the catch of the day – prepared and cooked “en Papillote”. The light, healthy dish is perfect after a dip in the jade warm waters. The tables are set on the beach, which means you can slide your toes under the cool sugar white sand while biting into the freshest fish. Cool off from the heat with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc “Ataraxia,” a South African wine.
7. Seriously Scrumptious Sardegna Pizza
The trendy beach club has been done out in fresh blues and stark white, matching the immaculate beach and glistening sea. Nosh on a slice of the C Beach Club’s famous pizza on the coconut-studded beach. Barefoot dining has never looked this good. Try the Sardegna, topped with seafood including spicy prawns which give it a little piquant flavor. The tangy preserved lemon slices and roasted peppers awaken memories of long lazy summers spent on the Mediterranean coast. Order a glass of a 2015 Domaine Saint-André “Folie D’Ines” to go along with the tangy, spicy flavors. For dessert, sit back in one of the love nest chairs and indulge in a pineapple carpaccio with mint syrup, and passionfruit sorbet topped with a lemon-honey reduction.
8. Château dining: Venison Saltimbocca, potatoes, braised squash with curry leaves, green peppercorn and pinot sauce
The 1900s Château de Bel Ombre is a jaunt back in time. The colonial style château sits upon a hill overlooking the stunning Bel Ombre estate. The enchanting decor provides a stage for French and Mauritian haute cuisine. The Chef’s farm-to-fork approach, using fresh, local produce grown on the Domaine itself and products of the terroir, including deer from the reserve, reflects his passion for Mauritius. The historic setting and exquisite dish – which pairs well with a bottle of Chateau Musar 2007 – makes for a memorable meal. However, the meal isn’t over until you have tasted the pistachio moelleux, raspberry sorbet, and passionfruit and coconut jelly.
9. Grilled Angus beef tenderloin and chayote gratin on par
There’s nothing quite like cutting into the tenderest cut of meat after a round of golf, right? The Club House welcomes golfers for a no-frills lunch: here the food is simple and savory. The grilled tenderloin served with a side of gratin chouchou, a versatile and nourishing vegetable, is one of life’s small pleasures. As of September 1, Steak Nights will be a daily occurrence (meanwhile you may order this dish on Thursdays and Fridays) – be sure to order some wine to go with it. Our suggestion? A Telegram Chateauneuf-du-Pape or a Château Lascombes “Chevalier de Lascombes Margaux.”
10. Sushi : one of life’s small pleasures
The pursuit of good sushi ends here, at Gin’ja, the Pan-Asian restaurant. The minutely detailed sushi offers something for every adventure-seeker. The Chef draws on technique and the freshest ingredients to craft exquisite bites of pristine pieces of fish. The restaurant, with its grand interiors faces the sea. Come nightfall, order a glass of Martin Codax 2014 Albarino Rias Baixas, a cool and refreshing wine that will delight your palate, while in the background, the roaring waves crash against the reef.
Photography: Tristan Chaillet
Food Styling: The Artists of Heritage Resorts and Josepha Desvaux de Marigny