You will never believe what this restaurant serves! – Sitar Restaurant

Mauritius has many worldly flavors to offer. You will never believe what this fine-looking, ethnic and authentic restaurant has to offer!

Located at Bagatelle Mall in Moka, Sitar is an Indian Restaurant that serves mainly North Indian Cuisine. You will be surprised by the thematic Indian style interiors and decors of this place and baroque, paisley patterns that adorn their walls. As you turn your attention towards the welcoming hosts, you won’t fail to notice the impeccable details of Indian culture such as the waiters’ attire of traditional long Kurta or formerly described as a long loose shirt known for its collarless style that has been intricately embroidered and in line with their restaurant colors, the delightful pickle jars placed on every table! A complimentary basket of ‘Papad’ (Indian crackers) are provided to each customer while they decide their menu.

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Often one might get lost in the many tempting descriptive items on their menu. But thanks to their attentive waiters who guide you into understanding each and every item well in details. Sitar boasts of its mastermind behind their cuisine – Chef Negi Chandan Singh, who has gained experience in the Taj group of Hotels and has worked with the famous international chef Sanjeev Kapoor. The delectable cooking by their Indian Chefs, retains the originality of the flavor. No wonder, they are able to blend in all the spices together to make a gastronomical delight!

For those of you, who wish to try Indian Cuisine and have no idea what to start with, you need to try Sitar’s food as it will break your misconception about Spicy Indian Food. What we have tried and recommend you is the Chicken Tikka (Chicken that has been marinated and cooked in spices) The platter is served with tenderly cooked chicken legs marinated with robust spices and cooked specially in ‘Tandoor’ (a clay cylindrical oven) that leaves your tastebuds tickling, giving you the urge to munch onto it at first glance! You can ask for onions on the side as this will help you get the gist of eating habits of the Indian locals. That’s not it, you ought to savor the Dal Makhni (Black lentils slow cooked with fresh cream and butter) a local favorite and soul food, often served in shiny copper bowls and has a long list of health benefits if incase you are taken aback by cream and butter! One of them being rich source of iron and packed with anti oxidants for ages to come. This one is going to leave you wanting for more, We warned you! You can also try lamb and chicken preparations that are best eaten with ‘Naan’ (Indian flatbread). No meal is complete without a dessert, and hence you must not miss out the Kulfi Pista – a traditional Indian Ice cream made with Pistachio nuts and caramel milk.

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Like they say – when in Rome, act like the Roman, when in India, eat like the Indians! You can use the spoon and fork, but we suggest to eat with your hands as you can closely experience the Indian culture. After your meal, you will never believe what the restaurant serves, a bowl of warm water with soaked lemon – called the Fingerbowl. In ancient India, the Kings used fingerbowls after each meal to clean their hands by scrubbing them with lemons in order to remove the stench of the meat. Sitar has cleverly managed to put that element in place!

If you turn up here on weekends, you might end up being lucky as they have live Indian music playing every Friday and Saturday evenings as from 19:00hrs.

Got a grumbling stomach already? Head to Sitar!

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Opening Hours:

LUNCH: 11h – 16h

DINNER: 17h30 – 22h30

Reservation: (230) 468 8188

Summer Food in Mauritius

You probably are sweating right now and want to consume all the cold beverages you can possibly have. Island vibes and Heat are probably the strongest! Besides, Its Summer! But you don’t want to eat hot food. How do you calm that fury inside your stomach?

Just step out, if you hear musical bus passing by, let your inner child free because it is the Ice Cream Van! Trust us, when we tell you, The ice creams here are so creamy and delicious, you would probably brunch and lunch over these! It costs around Rs. 35 for a double scoop with coconut desiccate and chocolate Syrup. You can upgrade that cone of yours with triple scoop and different flavors for just Rs. 10 extra! Who would want to miss that?

Another thing you need to try is this cool local milk drink called Alouda. It’s a vanilla flavored milk drink mixed with basil seeds and vermicelli. Just a small bottle full of nutrition for Rs. 25 is going to keep you cool and refreshed.

What would be Summer in Mauritius without its tropical fruits? Try fresh Pineapples, Juicy Mangoes, Litchis, pulpy Peaches, seems so tempting! You can find all these alongside the coasts or even in the local markets. Keep yourself hydrated with a large piece of Watermelon topped with some salt to give it a slight tangy taste. There is more to this than just fruits and cream! If you are a person with sour tastes, then you have to try the fruit salads. There is Cucumber, Mango and Pineapple mixed with a little bit of Tamarind juice, topped with Salt and chili powder and also some chili sauce if you prefer. But the outcome is delicious and we already want to go get ourselves some of that!

We gotta make a move, Temptations overflowing out here!!!

Your Mauritian Cuppa Tea!

 

“Would you like to have some Tea?” is the first thing that pops out if you meet and greet someone. Certainly, when in Mauritius, this is probably what you will notice if you are invited over by your Mauritian Friends! Grown, picked, traded and sipped for centuries, this beloved beverage is considered as the Islanders’ passion that never seems to wane. Mauritius is a producer of tea, initially on a small scale when the French introduced the plant into the island around 1765. It was under later British rule that the scale of tea cultivation increased.

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Tea drinking allows for socializing and is commonly being served to guests and in the workplace. The Mauritian people usually consume black tea, often with milk and sugar. But as the tropical paradise has its array of flavors to offer, so does their cup of Tea. Flavors such as Mint, Cardamom, Citron, Vanilla, Passion Fruit, Peach, and Fruit Punch are at the top spots of peoples’ choices. Not just these, you also have Tea Infusions that have intense aroma and a rich mauve color that will elevate your senses by just a sip!

As a visitor you can explore this fervor by following the Tea Route at the Bois Cheri tea plantation – a culinary and cultural journey into the history of tea production in Mauritius. Followed by Domaine des Aubineaux in Forest Side, a little way south of Curepipe, where the town gives way to a more rustic area. Their beautiful gardens, a handsome colonial house-turned-museum filled with antiques, paintings, vintage photographs and furniture from the East India Company are the perfect getaway for some Tea tasting. Wide ranges of infusions are offered: flavored black tea (plain, mint, coconut, bergamot, earl grey, lemon or vanilla), herbal teas (with ayapana, lemongrass or ginger) and green teas – plain or with jasmine.

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Finally, make your way towards the Bois Cheri factory. You’ll pass by an old locomotive’s steam engine once used to dry out tealeaves. Grab a cup of tea in hand – and gaze down on an ancient volcanic crater now transformed into a small lake, surrounded by century-old trees and admire the panoramic views from the wooden terrace.

 

Feeling relaxed already!

When in Doubt, just Rum! (Mauritian Rhum)

Alcohol does not seem to be the most suitable solution to problems, but your trip to Mauritius may prove otherwise! Mauritius is a relative newcomer to global rum markets. For centuries, colonial governments in Mauritius frowned on using sugar cane for rum, because refined sugar fetched much better profits. The historical progression of the rum industry in Mauritius is no less elevating than that of the Caribbean or of the South America. It was Mr. Pierre Charles Francois Harel who initially proposed the concept of local distillation of rum in Mauritius, in 1850. Thanks to him, Mauritius today proudly houses distilleries. Presently, the industrial rum represents about 90% of the world production of rum. Mauritius is one of the few countries that produce both industrial and agricultural rum!

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Whether or not you are a rum connoisseur, you will love discovering the rum making process when visiting one of the many rum distilleries in Mauritius. A few of the ones you can visit are: St. Aubin, Rhumerie de Chamarel, and Labourdonnais. They all make excellent rums that you will want to bring back with you as souvenirs. During your visit, make sure to ask about the Mauritian tradition of rum arrangé, or flavored rum!

The process of making agricole rum requires distilling the juice as quickly as possible after it’s crushed out of the cane. Twelve kinds of sugar cane grow in Mauritius, but two are used for rum — yellow and red. The color refers to the stalk, only visible once the green leaves are stripped away. At the Rhumerie, everything is designed to showcase the process, to encourage visitors to watch rum being made and then to sample the results. The finished drink is smoother than the traditional molasses rum.

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If you are to take those bottles home, we suggest you try the Chamarel’s Gold variety which is kept in French oak for 18 months, giving it a woody undertone. Another batch goes into American oak for a fruitier taste. Also, look out for Rhum Arrangé traditionnel. “Arrangé” refers to the infusion, often from macerated fruits like litchi or coconut, or other local produce like coffee, vanilla and spices. They create 21 different flavors, and for tourists worried about flying home with liquids, they also sell packets of dried fruit and Mauritian sugar, with instructions on how to infuse rum at home. Couldn’t get any better! And for the Coffee Lovers, it’s time to taste St. Aubin’s Coffee Rum, packed with intense flavor of Mauritian Coffee and ideal as a liqueur or an engaging aperitif, served on the rocks.

 

Cheers to the weekend, we drink to that!

What’s in that Mauritian Pickle?

By now if you have tasted the street food of Mauritius, you might have gotten familiar with that tangy, sweet and sour taste that you get in your Roti or even when eating a warm plate of rice with some Mauritian Lima Bean curry. And that delicious taste, my dear Foodies, is the most appreciated and beloved ‘Achard’ or fondly known as ‘Pickle’!

Mauritius is anyway a cultural pickle by its own, so why not make pickles of different variations? Everyone on the island loves it and your meal is incomplete without some Achard to go with! From sweet, sour to fiery hot or something in between, you can get the taste of your preferences!

When you go street hopping for food, you must try our recommended few flavors such as Achard Legumes which is a mix of shredded carrots, cabbage and French beans, this particular one is what the Roti seller puts into your hot Roti or Farata. A very delicate taste of all these vegetables and a tinge of mustard oil. Another kind we suggest you to try is the Achard Fruit de Cythere or commonly known as Ambarella/Jew Plum pickle. This is especially prepared by extracting all the juice and sun drying them thus giving it the tropical flavor when it has been well marinated. Drooling already?

There is something particularly exciting about Mango pickles. Maybe it is the aroma or just the nostalgia of our childhoods that the King of Fruits has always been so dearly savored by everyone around the world! And if that is the case with you, then you cannot miss out on getting some sour tingle on your tongue! Among all the pickle family that we have on the Island, the one particular that will win your hearts is the Famous Bilimbi Pickle. This fruit might be commonly known as Mimbro or Cucumber Tree or Tree Sorrel is also known for its medicinal properties. But when you are on a vacation, who wants to count the calories? Bilimbi pickle will leave you wanting for more as the taste is quiet peculiar and stands out from the rest of the flavors you have ever tasted.

You can also buy these pickles at a local produce market or a supermarket that might have few of these flavors for sale. But take Bilimbi home with you and you may thank us later!

Bon Apetit!

We all Scream for Ice Cream! – Icecream Parlours in Mauritius

You may not be as good at Math, but one equation everyone knows for sure is
Ice Cream Lovers = Everybody!

When in Mauritius, you won’t fail to notice the colorful vans passing by the streets or at halt on the beach side. Nearly everyone savors the taste of this ancient dessert! Of course, this tropical paradise has its own flavors to be explored from Delicious Sorbets to Dairy made flavors, this versatile dessert also has its own history on the Island.

Now that we got you tempted, the first place you need to run towards is ‘Vona Corona’ located in the heart of Rose Hill. Started as a small passion almost 90 years ago with a single icecream maker and some door to door sales, today it is the word on every citizen’s tongue, not for the brand, but for the emotion. Vona Corona offers homemade icecream of unmatchable quality and even after nine decades, its taste is undisputable! A must try on your visit.

You can then head towards Magic Icecream in Port Louis, where you can taste the dessert served in rolls. It is very amusing to watch the chef prepare your Icecream over a cold stone and scrape it off making the icecream roll up in cigar shapes. You can enjoy a variety of flavors such as KitKat, Ferrero Rocher, Cherry and many more. We urge you to try their Magic Cornetto for some extra chills!

Another one for your fantasy island trip is La Dolce Vita – Gelato Italiano coffee shop in Beau Bassin. Although they call themselves a coffee shop, you cannot miss on the array of ice cream flavors which gets everyone hooked! All you marshmallow lovers, say Aye! They have new flavors of Marshmallow and Guava among a variety of others.

Like they say, Money Can’t buy everything, but it sure gets you an Ice cream!

Now go and make sure you eat that cone 🙂