I absolutely love this quote from Gail Simmons, a journalist for American Food and Wine magazine and she was a judge on the TV show, Top Chef.
“I’m very suspicious of people who don’t love to eat. It’s the act of revelry that I love. They’re my band, my posse, they make me laugh so hard I often have champagne running out my nose – that’s my litmus test for a friend. “
I couldn’t agree with her more!
When we travel I’m more excited about the food we are going to be having than the sights we will visit. Actually I can get a bit panicky thinking that I might not have enough time on our trip, to try all the different types of dishes!
Of course along with interesting food always comes interesting settings. Be it smart, fancy food in amazing, beautiful venues or street food in fascinating, tiny spaces, Mauritius doesn’t disappoint.
Roti stands are everywhere in Mauritius. Very often sold off the back of a motorbike along the streets or from brightly coloured tin huts. These “fried pancakes” are eaten through out the day, from breakfast on the go to a late night snack. Filled with butter-beans, chicken in a light curry sauce and liberally sprinkled with chilli if that is what you like, the choice is yours.
This must be the smallest and most ingenious use of space for a restaurant that I have ever seen. It is literally a slither of space between two buildings, two people cannot stand shoulder to shoulder next to each other. Their specialty is Chuchu boullette (Chuchu is a Mauritiuan type of squash which is grated into the dumpling mixture and then boiled in a broth).
I don’t have an address for the corridor restaurant or even a name but, as small as it is, you can’t miss it. It is on the main Chinatown street just after the entrance arch. Although this is definitely not the only place to find boullette on the island. Often the Roti stands mentioned above also sell them.
In this same part of China Town you can find these little sweet tasting rice parcels that we tried at the Chinese Food Festival, which you can read about here.
These little pastry goodies are made and sold through out Mauritius but undoubtly the best and most famous are from The Chinese Bakery, another unimposing “hole in the wall”. It is the oldest Chinese bakery in Mauritius, Chu Fung Lung, 61 Royal Street, Tel: 242 3984 (also easy to find, it is on the little street closer to the waterfront which runs parallel to the main China Town Street). Over the years the recipes have been changed, tweeked and adapted to what is available on the island. So now these traditional baked goods have a Mauritius twist to them.
So far I am doing quite well and have tried most the of different dishes on offer but there is always room for more.