The food in Mauritius reflects the multiculturalism of the country. The roots of the Mauritian cuisine comes from the four corners of the world, from India, China, Europe and Africa. Over the years, the various cuisines have been given the Mauritian twist and hence the food is unique to the island and like nothing you have ever eaten.
One mistake that many tourists tend to make is to only eat at their hotels and assume that it is a true reflection of the Mauritian cuisine. While the full-board option is convenient, it is not a true representation and you should really try to get a real taste of the Mauritian cuisine.
One of the iconic images of Mauritius is food vendors zipping around on their motorcycles with food in small glass cases. Street food is big in Mauritius and the locals tend to eat on the road a lot. It is the cheapest way to eat and as long as you eat where the locals are eating, you will be fine. The rule of thumb is that you should not buy hot food after 2-3 pm as street vendors (portable) have no refrigeration systems. Some of the better known vendors will replenish their supplies multiple times a day and like I said follow the locals.
Tip: Mauritians like their food spicy, but the food itself is not spicy, they tend to add chilli and pickles as condiments. So if you don’t like spicy food, ask to skip the chilli sauces.
This savoury flat pancake made from ground split peas is truly unique to Mauritius and is served with bean curry and a tomato stew. It is a must try, mainly because, if there was one food that should be our national food, then it should be this. Watching the vendors prepare and fold the dhall puri at blinding speed is great fun. The best Dhall Puri can be had at Dewa or Chapeau La Pailles.
Not to be confused with Farathas. If you ever have the opportunity to eat in a Mauritian home, you will typically be served Farathas. The street food version is Roti which is a served with curry and a tomato stew. Chapeau La Pailles makes one of the best street Roti.
Boulettes (Fish and Veg Balls)
These are the traditional Chinese fish balls (similar to dumplings) that are cooked in a broth and served hot with soup. When you are buying these, ask for “Niouk yen” (mixture of chokoes and prawn), “poisson” (fish) and “viande” (meat).
My favorite is the Niouk Yen also known as Charmagne.
This is a thick stew (Mauritian style) prepared with lamb and pulses. Scott was very unconvinced about this stew until he tried it and it is now one of his favorites. Goes perfectly with some baguette or roti for dipping!
Mauritian biryani is actually very different from other types of biryani. The Muslim community makes some of the best briyani and Port Louis is the place to go if you want the real deal.
Mine frite (Fried noodles)
This is a stirfry dish and is best eaten at the Chinese shops. Mixed shredded vegetables are stirfried with chicken and sauces (fish sauce, soy sauce, oil, vinegar and wine). Top it up with the Garlic Sauce.
Grillade / Mauritian Kebabs
Grillade is essentially Mauritian style Barbeque. One of my favorite memories from my trip is buying some grillade and eating it on the beach. Often the char-grilled meat is added to a baguette, with some lettuce, tomato and mayo, to make a Mauritian kebab.
Confits (Pickled fruits)
Mauritians love pickles and this is a throwback to the days where food was a valued commodity and needed to be preserved. Confits is very big in Mauritius but it is an acquired taste. If you are going to give it a try, have the olives and pineapples. It is the best way to give it a go.
No other dessert truly reflects the history of Mauritius than Puit D’amours. It is an amalgamation of a French and English dessert with a shortbread case that is filled with Crème Pâtissière and topped with shredded coconut and a maraschino cherry. The literal translation of Puit D’amours is “Fountain of Love”.
These are Scott’s favorite and was one of the desserts we served at our wedding. They are two shortbread biscuits sandwiched with jam with icing on top.
Tarte aux bananes (Banana tart).
These are exactly as they sound and so amazing. The best ones are from Gourmandises D’Anne.
Other food to try:
- Mauritian curry
- Riz Frit (Fried rice)
- Fish curry
Noteworthy Places to eat at
- Maison Eureka
- Address: La Maison Créole, Euréka , Moka
- Phone: 00 230 4338477 / 4332584
- Le Barachois
- Address: Constance Le Prince Maurice Hotel, Choisy Road, Poste de Flacq
- Phone: (230) 402 3636
- Domaine Anna
- Address: Medine, Flic en Flac
- Phone: (230) 453 9650
- Chez Tino
- Address: Royal Road, Trou d’Eau Douce, Flacq
- Phone: (230) 480 2769
- Sen & Ken
- Try this place for authentic Mauritian food.
- Address: Pierrefond Center 1 Louis Pasteur Street, Port Louis
- Phone: (230) 216 4727
Have you tried Mauritian food? If so, what is your favorite dish? Let me know in the comments below.