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If you’re considering staying at an all-inclusive resort in Mauritius, well, don’t even think about it. From top-notch Franco-Mauritian dining to Indian snacks by the side of the road, there are scores of unique taste opportunities here that should not be squandered, not even by the promise of your hotel’s buffet. Below, Forbes Travel Guide’s top places to eat in Mauritius:
1. Château Mon Désir. Irresistible to anyone with a sliver of romance in their hearts, the Château is situated on the grounds of the Maritim Hotel and looks out onto the Citron River and Turtle Bay. Atop the Ruins of Balaclava, the restaurant practically glows with old colonial charm on the remains of the old French arsenal, dating back to the 1700s. Embodying classic French cuisine with Mauritian influences, it’s hard to go wrong. The chateaubriand for two is a work of art, and worth it for the tableside service alone.
2. Coolen-Chez Ram. For classic Creole flavors, eat like a local. You’re most likely to find Mauritian families out to dinner in this unassuming Grand Baie establishment. Expect to be greeted by a refreshing punch and a starter of fried fish balls, and instead of the usual mints, a shot of rum and a full bar of Cadbury chocolate comes with your check. Ask for your waiter’s recommendation for pleasant surprises, but the fish in banana leaf is a classic.
3. Le Fangourin. Sugar cane is still a huge force here; you’ll notice cane fires burning almost constantly in the distance. At L’Aventure du Sucre’s in-house restaurant, its influence is felt all over the menu, especially in the desserts, all of which are made from unrefined cane sugar. Situated in the Beau Plan garden with Arcadian views of the mountains of the inner plateau, Franco-Mauritian food takes on an idyllic dimension. Sample the venison dry curry and finish with caramelized banana flamed with L’Aventure old rum.
4. Rasoi. For the ultimate in Indian fine dining, visit this mainstay by acclaimed chef Vineet Bhatia at the One&Only Le Saint Géran. The smells emanating from the wood-fired oven will lure you in, and the lagoon views from the verandah will keep you there. Look for Tandoor specialties and Indian riffs on European favorites, like masala foie gras.
5. Mystic Masala. After an afternoon exploring Port Louis, there’s nothing better than this South Indian snack shack. Overlooking the harbor, you’ll be tempted to order one of everything. Our advice? Do. Be sure to try a dosa, a savory crepe with a variety of fillings, or any of the puris, Indian bread loaded with tamarind and chili chutneys. A thali, a kind of sampler plate, will put your indecision to rest.