Seychelles - Creole Cuisine
Written by Gilly Pickup
Creole cuisine fuses the subtlety of French cuisine with India’s exotic spices, and the piquant flavours of the Orient.
Seychelles cuisine is a melange of French, Chinese, Indian, and African influences. Food is exotic and rich, thanks to the generous portions of thick coconut milk, which is liberally added to most dishes. Rice and straight-from-the-sea fish are the main ingredients, together with herbs and spices such as cinnamon, cloves, garlic, mint, ginger, cayenne, and cardamom.
Fish is often cooked over a wood fire and served with sweet and sour chutneys, while octopus basted with a sauce of crushed ginger, chillies, and garlic is a local favourite.
Rougaille – a tangy tomato sauce and grilled fresh fish stuffed with chillies – is another popular dish. The more adventurous might try shark chutney, where the fish is stir-fried and seasoned with aromatic bilimbi fruits, herbs, and onions.
At one time turtle meat was eaten, but nowadays turtles are an endangered species so it no longer appears on menus. Desserts include coconut cake and sweet potato cake with vanilla sauce, while the main thirst quenchers are tea and cool beer.
The brave might try fermented coconut calou, the sap of a flowering coconut palm, or bacca, fermented sugar cane juice. Mind though, it has a mule-like kick!
Three great places, Mahé
Try these three places for a true taste of the Seychelles at its best:
La Perle Noire
The ambience is perfect
for a holiday meal – fresh seafood and delicious kebabs, with the Cajun/Creole-inspired lobster in spicy sauce a must-have.
Tel: +248 4 620 220
The little beach café at the two-star Anse Hotel isn’t much to look at, but sit down and take in the views, and you’ll know why this is a spot not to miss. Fresh seafood and tasty curries are the perfect light bites to follow a snorkel in this picturesque bay.
Anse Soleil Beachcomber
Tel: +248 361 461
Perhaps the most sophisticated restaurant on Mahé, Lounge 8 (it has just 8 tables) perfectly combines the formal with laidback. The three- or five-course menu changes daily depending on the ingredients bought fresh that day.
Vista Bay, Glacis
Tel +248 746 808