http://www.tastemauritius.com Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:46:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Monkfish Curry http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/08/29/monkfish-curry/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/08/29/monkfish-curry/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:33:55 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5853 Did someone say Monkfish curry? Great British Chefs have a fabulous summer section of recipes to try and it took me a while to choose which one to make I frittered between dessert to curry back to dessert to snacks and the more adventurous recipes, whilst settling on the monkfish. Seriously its unbelievable how long [...]

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Did someone say Monkfish curry?

Great British Chefs have a fabulous summer section of recipes to try and it took me a while to choose which one to make I frittered between dessert to curry back to dessert to snacks and the more adventurous recipes, whilst settling on the monkfish. Seriously its unbelievable how long it takes to decide make something or eat it in my household (after the obligatory food styling, photo snapping and instagramming)..

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Iv’e had my eye on this delectable recipe by Michelin starred chef Alfred Prasad for a while now, having not cooked with monkfish previously I am dying to delve into eating this homely, colourful looking curry. Since I say Michelin, it does not reflect in this recipe and think that’s what’s attracted me it, simple, easy, home cooking is right up my street!

Me and the hubby are partial to a good curry every now and then and if its not a Mauritian one, its an Indian or Asian-inspired one, I just love lapping up those tasty spiced sauces with fluffy basmati rice or fresh rotis or chappatis. Guaranteed clean plates!

I swung by fishmongers Moxons in Clapham South yesterday to pick up some fresh monkfish for the dish.

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So I’m whipping up Alfred’s temptingly rich orange hued monkfish curry.

To start you saute the mustard seeds in some oil (here I used coconut oil) because I’ve started to use it alot these days and I love the extra smooth coconut flavour to the curry it gives. Then tipping in sliced onions (onions are very important in the base of any curry sauce making) here with a touch of maple syrup (as I didn’t have any fenugreek) and apparently an interesting fact is maple syrup is a good substitute for fenugreek as it contains the same compound sotolone that tastes similar!  

 

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Then add in the rich yellow turmeric, which you don’t need alot of as it can be overpowering, with that then the tomatoes that are blended, hot water, chilli (of course!) and cumin/coriander spices. This all happily sits cooking away for 20 minutes to develop a rich aromatic sauce. Believe me I can smell it wafting out the kitchen and its only making me utterly famished.

After 20 minutes of cooking, the sauce has reduced down, now is the time to carefully add in the monkfish pieces, at this point I literally time it for 2 minutes cooking in the sauce, then turn off the heat, mixed through some coconut milk and left it aside. It smells divine!

All that is needed now for the curry is to finish off with some fresh coriander (that will be on my portion because the other half abhors coriander!)

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Here is the recipe from the Great British Chefs Site

 

1. Wash the monkfish cubes and leave to drain
2.In a blender, pulse the tomatoes into a purée and set aside
3.In a thick bottomed pan over a medium heat, heat enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, then throw in the mustard seeds
4.Once the seeds are crackling, add the fenugreek seeds followed by the curry leaves, ginger and sliced onions. Cook until the onions are golden, stirring occasionally
5.Add the turmeric powder, sauté and add the puréed fresh tomatoes and hot water into the pan. Add the chilli, cumin and coriander powders
6.Partially cover the pan and turn up the heat so that it starts to boil, leave for 20 minutes
7.Turn down the heat, add the cubes of fish and allow to simmer for about 2 minutes. Stir the curry gently as it cooks, as the monkfish will cook quickly
8.Add the coconut milk and salt to taste, and bring the curry back to the boil. Stir gently until combined and the fish is cooked, then remove from the heat. Sprinkle with chopped coriander, add salt to taste and serve immediately
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I accompanied this dish with brown rice mixed with fried white onions in a little ghee and oil spiked with cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and black peppercorns.  Plus a sweet carrot, cumin and sesame salad.

This in fact has probably made monkfish one of my current favourites, the fish cooked for 2 minutes retained its shape, was delicate to eat with the fragrant rich tomato based sauce, I only wish there was more! Will definitely be making this again.

id-week supper or if you have friends over!

Selina x

 

 

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Mauritian Open Air Festival 2014 http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/08/05/mauritian-festival-2014/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/08/05/mauritian-festival-2014/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 14:02:53 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5809 This weekend I visited the annual Mauritian Open Air Festival based in Tottenham on Down Park Lane. There was only a little wait for 40 minutes to get in.. but next time I’ve learnt to turn up later, we are running to Mauritian time after all With the promise of sega music, stalls serving up [...]

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This weekend I visited the annual Mauritian Open Air Festival based in Tottenham on Down Park Lane. There was only a little wait for 40 minutes to get in.. but next time I’ve learnt to turn up later, we are running to Mauritian time after all :)

With the promise of sega music, stalls serving up dhall puri, briyani and was a must visit for lunch (even if it was just to pick up some food) I went to last years one review here, with similar vendors as before and families setting up stalls serving homemade Mauritian food.

We met some characters, including a man who lived at a naval base in Mauritius in the 70′s, but now attends the Mauritian Festival every year. It’s quite refreshing to see many Europeans and mixed crowds at the festival, not just Mauritians to see that the interest outside of the community is growing.

There were some charity stalls there including Second Sight and Save our Monkeys who are championing their causes to support their charities directly linked to Mauritius.

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Street style gajacks (aubergine fritters, gateaux piment, du pain frier, bhajia)

There was one stall I passed by from a catering company that were serving freshly made dhall puris, you could see the process line of the woman rolling and filling the dough with split peas. And one was constantly cooking them on a large tawa (flat pan),she mentioned how you have to add a lot of oil to help it cook, to the hesitation of me going “that’s too much oil!” I still ate it anyway..

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Dhall Puri in all its glory.. with butterbean curry, chilli sauce and achar.. this chilli nearly blew my head off!

The dhall puri was slightly too hot for me, I know so shameful, but sometimes in dhall puri you buy on the street they just have chutney and the curry sauce  which is just as nice as with the hotter version with chilli sauce.

At £1 each for a pair that’s not too bad.

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Fruit pickled in sugar, vinegar, chilli with extra salt chilli to sprinkle on top 

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Fresh sugar cane juice, these were brought over from Uganda

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Alouda, vivid in pink colouring, a refreshing milky drink with basil seeds and agar jelly. This can be in various colours and is normally quite sweet, I make mine with ice cream for extra creaminess and texture.

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Gateaux piment (split pea chilli cakes) and gateaux arioulle (yam fritters)

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These fried morsels, are crisp, tasty and perfect scooped up with chilli chutney, proper Mauritian style. This rather stylish guy was frying gateaux piment in batch non stop, to keep up with the queues.

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Tarte Banane, caramelised banana cooked in a pastry shell, a cake/pastry in Mauritius best with a cup of tea! This was recommended to me by the stall vendor as the best tarte banane! Of course I had to text her theory out and it only lasted seconds.. the banana was spiced , dark in colour and cooked all mashed up, the pastry was baked through and had a delicious buttery taste to it.

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Pudine Mais, polenta cake with coconut, set in a jelly like texture, not too sweet

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With the main attraction being the food available, you do get dhall puri stalls competing with each other and every is offering the same traditional dishes, kept piping hot in large pots, there were a few jerk chicken stalls there as well.  We came across a few vindaye baguettes or chicken liver baguettes at £4 each filled to the brim with traditional fillings, a Mauritian sandwich if you like..

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It was lovely to briefly meet faces from Twitter, E.E Fry (@sugarcanebook) with her book Sugar Cane and La Boutique Maurice @BoutiqueMaurice .

Until the next Mauritian Open Air Festival, next year!

Selina x

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Electrolux Taste of London & City Pantry http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/06/30/taste-london-city-pantry/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/06/30/taste-london-city-pantry/#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 15:47:17 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5744 So recently this month I’ve been out and about eating my way through London and these two events stood out. Not only were there lots of options to try different cuisines from restaurants (Taste) or street food stalls (City Pantry Westival) but such a buzz of people enjoying, socialising and reveling in food bringing people [...]

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So recently this month I’ve been out and about eating my way through London and these two events stood out. Not only were there lots of options to try different cuisines from restaurants (Taste) or street food stalls (City Pantry Westival) but such a buzz of people enjoying, socialising and reveling in food bringing people together.

Electrolux @Taste of London

So visiting TOL I went on a Thursday evening to try out some of the leading restaurants in London from Duck & Waffle, Assado, Flesh & Buns, Salt Yard to name a few.

We also got to go to Chef Secret’s hosted by Electrolux and saw Simon Hulstone make a sauteed liver dish with mixed mushrooms and mustard with cream, rich and delicious on chargrilled bread.

A simple dish made in under 15 minutes. That even we couldn’t mess up!

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Electrolux Secret Ingredient

We watched Jeremy Pang, Head chef of School of Wok, London’s top Oriental & Asian cookery school,  show how to cook a delicious Chinese banquet using his ‘secret ingredients’ and top of the range Electrolux appliances. Jeremy demonstrated how to get a real balance of flavour, when cooking Chinese food plus giving us little tips along the way ( I would recommend a class at School of Wok see my review on it here)

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We watched him whip up some of the flakiest tender fish (steamed in the oven) and duck pancakes coupled with wine to taste. Amazing.

Duck & Waffle.. Chef Dan’s recipe for a pistachio macaron, with chocolate mousse & cherries was divine and very easy to eat.

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Assado.. a fusion Portuguese/Indian restaurant had some wonderful vegetable puffs with coconut, I could of eaten plenty of these nibbles and made me more intrigued about going to the restaurant

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City Pantry – Westival 

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We visited a street food festival this month called Westival (it was located in Kensington) hosted by City Pantry a hub for caterers/street food vendors to offer delicious lunches to corporate companies around the city.

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We had some food from Colonel Tom’s dishing up gumbo with cornbread, Cooking Cooks with their pasta concoctions and Frenchie with their Duck Confit Burger. All complimented with finishing on Custom Creams Nitrogen ice cream.

Looking forward to hearing more events or collaborations with City Pantry in the future.

Selina x

 

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Reunion Island & Cilaos (Land of Lentils) http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/06/13/cilaos-land-lentils-reunion-island/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/06/13/cilaos-land-lentils-reunion-island/#comments Fri, 13 Jun 2014 14:49:45 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5680 Mountains…lentils..more mountains.. 400 bended roads.. amazing scenery, interesting cuisine! “At first glance, Reunion is like a chunk of France transported to the tropics.” It is a tropical Island but unlike Seychelles or Mauritius it is not initially thought of as white sandy beach/luxury like these islands, it is more mountainous and almost feels like you’re in [...]

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Mountains…lentils..more mountains.. 400 bended roads.. amazing scenery, interesting cuisine!

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“At first glance, Reunion is like a chunk of France transported to the tropics.” It is a tropical Island but unlike Seychelles or Mauritius it is not initially thought of as white sandy beach/luxury like these islands, it is more mountainous and almost feels like you’re in France!

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The island produces sugarcane between July/December. There is Creole Brandy produced on the island, using fruit syrup, natural with no added sugar, with a variety of flours from lychee, mango,ginger, the small distillery we visited makes most their syrups before Dec (pre-cyclone season).

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Sea salt is also made on the island, where water is pumped into basins to evaporate, Reunion is known to have 200 different climates and over 100 different landscapes, one moment it can be blazing hot to a torrential downpour of rain.

And alike Mauritians the Réunionese love to eat, drink and to talk (it’s a creole thing)…

On arriving to Lux Reunion, it has a more outdoor, nature feel to the place, with the hotel entrance looking like a colonial mansion.

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We took a coach trip to spend the day visiting Cilaos a village in the mountains. “The name Cilaos comes from the Malagasy word, Tsilaosa which means the place one never leaves.” Wikipedia

Cilaos is a town on the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean only a half hour flight away (by Air Austral) from Mauritius. I was particularly interested in visiting the island as I have never been before and I wanted to discover more about the cuisine and how it differs to Mauritian cooking.

And here you get a feel of a community, this place is hidden in the depths of the mountain ranges that they really can be quite cut off from the rest of the Island. Growing their own produce (Cilaos is popular for the production of lentils) I couldn’t wait to try this!
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We were lucky enough to have our trusty tour guide Nicolas to talk us through the journey which included 400 bends in the road.. ouch!

We had a lunch prepared for us by a lovely couple Michel & Raymonda who specialise in Table d’Hote (supperclub style) their business is called La Tapacala  cooking, hosting and lodging for tourists who want to taste a true authentic experience of Reunion Island.

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Flanked by mountains and waterfalls in the outdoors we had picnic tables set up ready for our lunch, with Raymonda and Michel finishing up their outdoor cooking on hobs.

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The Rhum Charrette on the island is mixed with passionfruit, ginger, spices and geranium leaves to give them a spiced flavour. The traditional way is to let someone pour the drink in your mouth..so I saw!

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I was very excited about trying the lentil from Ciloas, cooked with smoked sausage and spices like saffran (turmeric) to give it a creamy texture, this is served with rice and we also had it alongside a marlin (fish) rougaille dish, none were too spicy. The dishes are similar to some Mauritian recipes, with slight twists and the food is more leaning to being French-inspired or Creole.

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We were also served a quiche but using chou chou, tomatoes and other vegetables it was delicious!

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Finally, we tried a chocolate cake with a combava (almost like lime leaf) taste to it, rich and dense, nothing like I have tried before.

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Definitely one of my highlights of the trip to Reunion Island, I will be expanding more on this in my next article for Air Mauritius’ Made in Mauritius blog soon!

LUX REUNION- La Plage Restaurant

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On having lunch at Lux Reunion we were treated to lunch at La Plage restaurant.  It celebrates the traditional Creole cuisine of the island. We started with a sparkling lychee cocktail (my favourite choice to drink) then on to a plate of gajacks or snacks (dim sum, samossa gateaux piment) served with achar (pickled vegetables) light and delicious.

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The main  was a plate of delicious fish including scallops, tender fish with a jus, potatoes and lemon wedges, celebrating the fresh local produce of the island.

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Fresh skewered and grilled prawns with peppers on a bed of seasoned vegetables & tomatoes prepped by the lovely French chef at the helm.

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Salmon Caesar Salad, a little twist to the normal Chicken Caesar, once since I have made at home.

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Thinly sliced pineapple carpaccio with ice cream

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La Cuisine- Lux Restaurant

In the evening we headed to La Cuisine another restaurant at Lux Reunion, we tasted some of the Scrucap wines, made exclusively for Lux resorts. (So glad I came home with a bottle of Riesling!)

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This meal was very enjoyable with a delicate starter of fish with pickled ginger, this was light and refreshing. These next two dishes are the highlight of most the meals at the hotel I experienced this fish was tender and buttery with a brede songe risotto base and parmesan crisp..OMG!

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Followed by the equally excellent root dessert, including cassava, a herb granita, turmeric and ginger spices plus root crisps. AMAZING! And a beautiful plate of food.

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Breakfast at Lux Reunion, included fruity exotic jams including a sweet potato flavour and fruit platers of fresh passionfruit, yoghurt and coconut.

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So a FABULOUS time in Reunion Island, so glad I got to experience it, especially the trip to Cilaos!

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Next time… Back to Mauritius in my final installment!

Selina x

 

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Win Taste of London tickets with Taste Mauritius! http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/06/02/win-taste-london-tickets-taste-mauritius/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/06/02/win-taste-london-tickets-taste-mauritius/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 11:50:02 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5667   Win a pair of Taste of London tickets, RRP £50   Taste of London is just round the corner, with restaurants from the city showcasing their creations in a bustling five day event set in Regent’s Park!   This year at Taste of London, ZWILLING J.A. HENCKELS will be offering practical advice and letting you in on [...]

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Win a pair of Taste of London tickets, RRP £50

Taste of London logo

 

Taste of London is just round the corner, with restaurants from the city showcasing their creations in a bustling five day event set in Regent’s Park!

NEW Zwilling PRO 18cm Chinese Knife £130

 

This year at Taste of London, ZWILLING J.A. HENCKELS will be offering practical advice and letting you in on everything you ever wanted to know about knives. Whether you are new to the kitchen or a keen chef at home a knife is the most important tool you will ever use. 

Check out the full Zwilling range at Zwilling. Or better still, head down to the Zwilling stand at Taste of London (stand E22) for demos and to pick up tips and tricks from Zwilling’s resident knife expert Paul Bough. Zwilling has also supplied the Electrolux Chef’s Secrets classes with professional equipment so for a hands on lesson be sure to head over to Chef’s Secrets before it books up!

Anyway they are giving away a pair of tickets to one lucky Taste Mauritius reader worth £50! The winner can chose to go on either a weekday of the event, which runs from 18th – 22nd June 2014.

For more information on what Taste of London has to offer visit: london.tastefestivals.com

Want to win???

To enter,
1. Complete the Rafflecopter form below.
2. You need to write the answer to the question on the form as a comment on my blog.
3. You gain extra bonus entries by ‘liking’ the Facebook page and ‘following’ on Twitter and tweeting about it too!
4. Closing date: Wednesday 11th June 2014.
5. You must be over 18 and live in the UK.

Not used Rafflecopter before? Here is a video clip follow on how to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Good luck!

Selina xx

 

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Mauritius: East meets Beach Rouge http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/06/01/mauritius-east-meets/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/06/01/mauritius-east-meets/#comments Sun, 01 Jun 2014 20:14:50 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5584 The second installment of my blog about the amazing trip to Mauritius I begin with a morning breakfast on the beach at Lux Belle Mare.. Oh yes seriously close your eyes think flip flops off, bare feet in white sand, warm water, with sunshine beating down on you. Laid out on our breakfast table we [...]

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The second installment of my blog about the amazing trip to Mauritius I begin with a morning breakfast on the beach at Lux Belle Mare..

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Oh yes seriously close your eyes think flip flops off, bare feet in white sand, warm water, with sunshine beating down on you. Laid out on our breakfast table we got to enjoy fresh coconuts, champagne, exotic fruit like papaya, pineapple and passionfruit the size of your palm. With continental options like croissants , pastries, charcuterie and cheeses for breakfast they also do crepes (french inspired) or eggs whichever way you want.

 

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We got the chance to eat at EAST restaurant within Lux Belle Mare for lunch, it’s predominantly a Chinese menu that they showcase here, the menu was a taster sample a selection of dim sum, seafood soup, spiny lobster with broccoli, deep fried chicken, fish hot pot, live handmade noodles, fried rice with Chinese sausages and shrimps. For dessert ginger and lemongrass creme brulee, pomelo and coconut tapioca and green tea ice cream.

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Starting off with a delicious coconut milk virgin cocktail that was not too creamy to drink mixed with coconut water, a great virgin cocktail option or the lemongrass cocktail, vibrant and fragrant.

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Dim sum is really popular as a starter or “gajack” in Mauritius, Chinese restaurants are very common around the island as locals love heading out to eat Chinese food in particular! These were filled with shrimps, prawns mainly and served with chilli sauce.

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The fish hot pot was the best I have tasted so far, the fish is perfectly cooked in a chilli oil mixture, at some point I think I either inhaled too much of the spice but was left with a numb mouth. Still my fault however it didn’t stop me eating this… Flaky & beautifully spiced fish.

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Next we got to watch Chef demonstrate hand pulled noodles, which took about 5 minutes or so.. super quick and expertly done. He rolled and flattened out the noodles, before creating thin noodles for our next course. A less spicy dish of noodles with seafood was comforting.

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Dessert was upon us but not before this lovely duo serenaded up with some funked up freestyle acoustic music and singing about enjoying our stay on the island, lovable characters!

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We got a trio of delicious mini treats but my favourite was the pomelo with coconut tapioca, little small pellets of sago or tapioca which were creamy, jelly-like with the taste of coconut milk and the pomelo added extra tang.

Flacq Market

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Visiting Flacq market is a must do on a trip to Mauritius if staying on the East coast of the island.  This is a bustling fruit and veg market for locals, with noisy bartering, the exciting busy vibe of this Sunday morning market with wafts of salted dry fish and local produce in abundance.

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We wondered in an out of the tens of lanes within the market with vendors on each side of us calling us over to buy their produce, from fresh curry powders (Mauritian, turmeric and achar/vindaye) which we bought most of to over-expensive (tourist) priced vanilla. But some interesting variety of squashes, tasty guavas, small bananas, Victoria pineapples coated in chilli sauce were available to buy.

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Pudine Mais- Polenta cake served by vendors in on their bikes. We only got to spend an hour here, but it was enough to peruse the market, however they also have a food court at the back and they sell textiles in some stalls in the market.

Beach Rouge

An uber cool set up of this beachfront restaurant and bar called Beach Rouge at Lux Belle Mare, reminds me of something you would find in the Mediterranean (this I hear is down to designer Kelly Hoppen) Lit in red hues in the evening to set the ambiance, with a DJ perched in the corner filling the space with heady chilled music we sit down to a tropical inspired cocktail before perusing our menu.

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Tonight we started with razor clams with beetroot sorbet, refreshingly sweet cooling red beetroot and the clams which are silky soft create a perfect light starter

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The tarter was matched with fresh passionfruit, pineapple and a vanilla oil was drizzled over, which slightly overpowered the dish, but an interesting idea to flavour the oil with vanilla.

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The mains consisted of poached dorado foie gras in a consomme with lemongrass , the spiny lobster in the next course was my favourite dish, you can literally taste the sea, a jus accompanied it that surprisingly need not be on the plate it served with crispy tuna and a pumpkin confit.

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The final course was a Rodrigues meringue tart with a tart lemon sorbet.

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To finish off my Lux Belle Mare visit I have to mention the wonderful ICI bar at the hotel that made their own ice creams, I got to sample some lychee and coconut (my favourite flavours in general) that excelled my expectations, creamy, sweet, full of fresh flavour and no additives, perfect for a stroll on a tropical beach…

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Till my next post this week we will be in Reunion Island in the mountains….

Selina x

 

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Mauritius: Cooking Alfresco & Dining at Senses http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/05/27/mauritius/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/05/27/mauritius/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 11:41:27 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5526 Day 1, Lux* Resort in Belle Mare, Mauritius Traditional Cookery Class & Senses Restaurant  This time last week I was catching a flight back from Mauritius to London, as my amazing 10  day trip had come to an end. Now back to the UK cooking for supperclub guests and teaching cookery classes I have accumulated [...]

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Day 1, Lux* Resort in Belle Mare, Mauritius

Traditional Cookery Class & Senses Restaurant 

This time last week I was catching a flight back from Mauritius to London, as my amazing 10  day trip had come to an end. Now back to the UK cooking for supperclub guests and teaching cookery classes I have accumulated a wealth of inspiration and recipe ideas from my trip. Here like always I want to share with you my trip to the sunshine island.

We stayed at the luxurious five star Lux* Belle Mare hotel on the east coast of Mauritius, with the Indian Ocean as its backdrop, sparkling beaches, it boasts Mauritius’ largest pool, re-designed by designer Kelly Hoppen the interiors are sleek, stylish yet understated.  The hotel has the Lux* Me spa onsite offering relaxing massages , over three restaurants serving up various cuisines aswell as a tempting ICI bar situated near the pool offering homemade ice creams in exotic flavours to tickle the taste buds.

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As soon as we arrived to fruit cocktails, mini shoulder massages (luxury treatment from the start) we were shown to our rooms before freshening up to arrive for a well needed breakfast located in an alfresco setting amidst a small lake, overlooking a bridge and mini waterfalls.

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We had a cookery class planned for lunch at the hotel, which I was really looking forward to seeing what the Chefs were having us create or demonstrating to the group. The setting was lovely next to the Jardin des Herbes, the hotel’s only herb garden, showcasing their fragrant plants from caripoule, curry leaves, citronelle, thymes, quatre epices and more frequently used in Mauritian cookery.

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I was less familiar with the herb Ayapana grown in the garden, almost quite a heady herb that is used like mint in tea which aids digestion. Here they created it into a cocktail for us which uncannily had a purple hue to it. We also opted for Green Island Mojito style cocktails made using lemon, lime, mint, sugar syrup, rum and soda water.

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Then we were straight on to our alfresco Mauritian home-cooking  lesson, on a table prepared already were ingredients for a palm heart salad, chicken curry and flambee banana. My mouth was watering already thinking about it. The class was more of a demo then interactive where we were shown how to make the palm heart salad, one of our group joined in the making of the chicken curry alongside direction from the chef.

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Being familiar with a Mauritian curry,  the recipe used was pretty identical to how we make it at home, using garlic, ginger, onion, tomatoes, curry leaves, Mauritian curry powder, fresh coriander, cumin & turmeric.

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Then lunch was served, chargrilled large prawns (they are not that big in the UK!) with a creamed, refreshing palm heart salad, made with cucumber and carrots. The salad is seasoned lightly, the palm heart is taken from 5 year old palm trees, also know as the millionaires salad (expensive to make) the result is tender, soft sliced pieces of the heart of palm.

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The curry was light, fragrant and delicious with hints of spice, its not a spicy curry, it went well with a fresh cucumber salad, rice, faratas and lentils. A true Mauritian lunch or dinner!

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The dessert was flambee bananas in a rum caramel served with Malaga ice cream.

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With a quick visit to the pop up bar in the resort we got to make our own exotic cocktails before heading to dinner.

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In the evening we were to try out the hotel’s Senses restaurant, combining a fusion of inspiration from the Maldives, Mauritian, Reunion, Rodrigues, we were treated to a menu of palm heart salad and spiced scallop which was beautifully done for starters. Followed by black chicken (using squid ink), charcoaled , chicken tikka and upma (malai/black) which didn’t appeal to my taste as much but the blackened chicken was smokey and flavourful.

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The main course was fish on a sambhar sauce (a curried, rich, piquant layer of sauce) with a coconut chutney. The fresh produce of the fish takes centre stage here as so it should, but with only slight overpowering of the sambhar sauce, it had me inspired to buy the spices the next day in Flacq market to try myself!

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To finish we were delighted to see a Chocolate delice which appealed to all senses, It was chocolate in many forms, as a fondant (my favourite) to a cheese cake/soured cream shot, chocolate samossa and a rich ice cream.

Not bad for a days work! Next installment coming soon… x

Day 2, Break fast on the beach, East restaurant, Cafe Lux coffee roasting & Flacq market visit 

  

 

 

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Selina’s Tasty Treats http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/05/06/selinas-tasty-treats/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/05/06/selinas-tasty-treats/#comments Tue, 06 May 2014 14:35:55 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5478 What a busy last couple of months, we have now officially moved to Taste Mauritius from Yummy Choo, although some of our friends still know us as Yummy Choo we bring you our new website, new pop up events and cookery classes! Here’s a little recap of what we have been up to in the [...]

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What a busy last couple of months, we have now officially moved to Taste Mauritius from Yummy Choo, although some of our friends still know us as Yummy Choo we bring you our new website, new pop up events and cookery classes! Here’s a little recap of what we have been up to in the kitchen and elsewhere…

Mauritian Dishes/Supperclub

With two supperclubs in Croydon HQ in April, both sold out we dished up delicious dishes of achar (pickled vegatables), bricohe gajack baps and more.. feeding hungry Londoners during their lunch break!

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Juicy sizzling garlic prawns with coconut satini on puris…! Check out EVENTS page for upcoming dates.

Total Greek Cookery Class

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A few weeks back I was invited to a Greek cookery class just before Easter with chef Tonia Buxton at the helm, supported by Total Greek yoghurt with unlimited tubs of the wonderful stuff to create some tasty dishes for lunch. This all took place at La CucinaCaldesi, a chic little Italian cookery school which I had been to before for another event.

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With a group of around 15 or so food bloggers, it was lovely to meet familiar faces again aswell as new! My ‘speedy gonzales’ team included the fab Slice of Slim, Miriam Nice, Lulabella’s Kitchen and Model Foodie, who by the end of the day we all had become gleefully acquainted with each other, cooking together as a team and taking those selfies!

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To start off we prepare our Greek Lamb Patties  a tray-baked dish with a variety of vegetables, lemon and tomatoes drizzled with olive oil. This simply done is my kind of cooking, straight into the oven.

In between dishes the lovely Tonia Buxton would rekindle us with Greek tales, myths and stories from her heritage which I loved! It made the class so much more interesting and inspiring for myself as a Chef who is passionate about my cuisine, its important to relate to your students and give them explanations of where the food is coming from.

We even got to indulge in playing a traditional “tsougrisma” game or translating to bashing red eggs over each others to see who would remain the last uncracked egg of the group and hence the illustrious winner!

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We prepared a fresh Total Greek tahini sauce, for our sea Sea Bream Fillets with Olives, Capers & Lemon which was a super delicious light meal, I have since tried it at home for a quick supper, the tahini sauce really brings it together. Finally the dessert called Anarocrema totally my kind of dessert or breakfast of Total Greek, soft cheese, adding in rose water, fresh berries and baked crisp filo pastry for added crunch, layered up like a trifle. I will definitely be trying this again, I happily took mine to the theatre in a tupperware that day (perfect intermission snack )

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A brilliant and fun morning, I’m so glad I went and learnt more about Greek cookery! These photos were taken by Satureyes Photography who cheekily indulged in our team super efficiency and my tupperware skills!

Mishkins & Chicken Shop-Covent Garden

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Not being to Mishkins before it was an interesting visit with the family pre theatre meal, it’s a Jewish based deli/restaurant, I absolutely loved the malt milkshake (just imagine ovaltine with ice cream)  we devoured Reuben sandwiches, matzo ball soup (my least favourite) and chicken sliders and hotdogs.

The Chicken Shop- Tooting

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This restaurant based in Tooting held up alot of hype as we see lots of places starting to pop up down the high street and Broadway, being one of my local South London areas to venture to for markets, shopping and food I was excited to try this. All I had heard of was about the OMG huge apple pie that comes to the table in big portions. The chicken was slightly on the dry side for me, but others in my group had tender pieces, the coleslaw and chip sides were good, the corn was buttery and melt in the mouth, The apple pie,  apart from the waitress slightly burning my arm and dropping half the pastry on the floor (tears…) it was full of flavour, served with ice cream or cream!

Sakura Sake no Hana Pop Up

I ventured here for my birthday celebration, wanting to see the decorative cherry sakura pop up bar in all its glory and try some of the cocktails. My Hanima, cherry liqueur, sake and cherry in the bottom glass bellini was fabulous! The sake just by itself was too easy to drink and literally tasted like silk in the mouth. This pop up is only on till mid May. They do bento boxes as well as cherry inspired desserts.

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The Begging Bowl & Ember Yard

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Visiting Ember Yard finally in Soho was exciting for me as I had wanted to experience the food for a while, with tapas style Charcuterie bar and grill the menu looks amazing, with fish, meat and vegetarian options. The food here was stunning, I enjoyed mostly all the dishes, the courgette flowers were so crisp and creamy with the goats cheese, the octopus was soft and matched the aioli and pepperonata. The padron peppers,charred and smoky, but nothing could beat the amazing chocolate ganacha dessert with salted caramel cream!

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The Begging Bowl in Peckham, has a very interesting Thai Street Food based menu, I was disappointed the special had sold out especially the pork belly as I was recommended to try this! However, the vermicelli noodles were crisp and full of punchy thai spiced flavours, topped with Dorset shredded crab, the Thai fish cakes were succulent, accompanied with a chilli sweet sauce. The beef shin was melt in the mouth tender, in a rich Jungle curry sauce which was spicy! As you would expect.. the finishing dessert I had was a granita, topped with rambutan and exotic fruit plus crispy shallots!

Haggis Pakoras & Boboties

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Using Macsween Haggis, I created these wonderfully different dishes in the kitchen, being used to making pakoras for supperclubs using gram flour, this time rolling cooked haggis into balls and dipping in the batter before frying, it was super delish with mango chutney of course!

Lower Marsh Market-Waterloo

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Finally visited Lower Marsh Market in Waterloo to check out the produce and traders there, but mainly I wanted to get my hands on The Pressery’s fresh almond milk, I am an avid fan of almond milk and have been drinking it for a while. But trying The Pressery’s cacoa almond milk (chocolaty goodness) and their original milk you can really tell the difference from what you buy in the shop. A new favourite I think!

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Until next time, keep an eye for more tasty upcoming posts from a certain tropical island in the Indian Ocean ;)

Selina xx

 

 

 

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Mauritian Rum Festival, Andaz & Supperclubs http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/04/16/mauritian-rum-festival-andaz-supperclubs/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/04/16/mauritian-rum-festival-andaz-supperclubs/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:17:11 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5430   Mauritian Rum Festival- Emirates, London I heard through the grapevine the Mauritian rum festival had come to London for the first time! So I made sure I got to visit on one day out of the two,  it was held at the Emirates stadium, leading brands and the best of Mauritian rum including Green [...]

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Mauritian Rum Festival- Emirates, London

I heard through the grapevine the Mauritian rum festival had come to London for the first time! So I made sure I got to visit on one day out of the two,  it was held at the Emirates stadium, leading brands and the best of Mauritian rum including Green Island, Pink Pigeon, Tilambic, Chamarel, New Grove and Penny Blue were to make an appearance. And Citronella rum from Rhumerie des Mascareignes which has received the Gold Award.

Mauritius is home to seven rum distilleries, which have seen a growing reputation for high quality ‘Agricultural Rum’ traditional rums and “Rhum Arrange”.

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Exports of rums from Mauritius are constantly growing, meaning the spirit is fully ingrained within the island’s culture and translates into these delicious and uncompromising blends. The UK is one of the biggest exporter of Mauritius rum, therefore London was the natural choice of location for the second showcase hosting brands whose product is making a  distinguished mark on the industry. I already use many of these rums in my supperclubs and pop ups in London, educating diners about the rum from the Island of Mauritius as I go along.

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August 2013 saw the inaugural event take place in Mauritius with event organisers Enterprise Mauritius inviting Global Rum Aficionado, Ian Burrell to help curate two days of blind tastings, exclusive lectures, bar tender competitions and visits to the regions top rum distillers.

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Featuring at the first Mauritius Rum Festival in London were Litchquor, a luxurious and elegant rum; Rhumerie de Chamarel, created from exclusively selected sugar canes to enhance flavour; and Les Colinieres Ltd, unique in taste due to the carefully selected ingredients.

We got to sample a range of these rums on this day while the knowledgeable producers spoke about them, I got to discover the amazing Citronelle creation with flavours of tangy lemongrass and the Madarin from Chamarel, which had my mind working on its use in some great Mauritian inspired desserts.

The festival also showcased Ian Burrell (rum ambassador and a charming funny man) to speak about rum and give us a mini masterclass in it, I got to meet him afterwards and left him with the promise of creating a Pina Colada dessert for him next time!

Andaz London- Liverpool Street (1901, Eastway, Champagne Bar)

On behalf of wonder reviewing app Zomato I joined a group of fellow food bloggers and industry mixers to an evening journeying through the hybrid of bars and restaurants in Andaz Hotel located on Liverpool Street. It really was a great way to pit stop and really see the parts of the hotel other than just staying in one room or restaurant for the duration of the evening.

With different feels and experiences to each room we started off in the Catch Champagne Bar, sipping on champagne coupled with various Charcuterie selections,  Salami  Finocchiona  (regional speciality of Central Italy)  Coppa stagionata – matured   Castelspeck  (slighty smoked and flavoured with garlic,  pepper,  juniper berries,  nutmeg and aromatic herbs)  &  Mortadella Bologna. The room and space with high ceilings, low lighted, relaxed ambient vibe, where a social natter to start of the evening suited well.

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We then moved on to a more vibrant dining area called Eastway, here we got involved in Interactive Cocktail making, where we learnt to make our own creations, mine delved into the world of lychees (my favourite) muddling with sugar, lime, mint and mixing with lychee liquor. Heaven in a glass. My kind of drink that would go down a teat in the sunshine or after a long day of work.

We were plied with a buffet style canapes selection of Assorted Mini Burgers Chicken burger with tomato relish Beef burger with bacon and onion relish Fish burger with cucumber & tartar sauce (which was my preferred, I had a couple…) plus  28 days aged rib eye with peppercorn sauce, chicken chermoula with garlic mayonnaise, mini cumberland sausage with honey mustard dressing and a Lebanese Mezze

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We next went to 1901 a more chilled out area, here we have Dessert & Cheeses we get to sample these:

Innes Log
Staffordshire – Goat, unpasteurised
Creamy, lactic, tangy, nutty

Montgomery’s Cheddar
Somerset – Cow, unpasteurized
Grainy, sweet, rich, fruity

Milleens Dotes
Cork – Cow, pasteurized
Soft, rich, mushrooms, herb

Crozier Blue
Tipperary – Ewe, pasteurized
Creamy, rich, roasted nuts, salty

Finally, we are given a beautiful delicate dish of Lemon Tart, Blueberry and honeycomb, Strawberry and cream parfait and Bahibe Milk Chocolate and exotic fruit.

La Farola, Islington

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We stumbled upon this place after The Chocolate Festival on the weekend, the food was delicious and was definitely worth a mention! La Farola, serving up Spanish tapas, was buzzing over lunchtime, we were perched on the high tables overlooking the street view (where you can people watch) we settled into trying the serrano ham croquettes, cheesy centers with a spiced tomato dip, chargrilled bread drizzled with olive oil and finally smokey grilled chorizo with baby vegetables.

Our Mauritian Spring Supperclub..

Last week Friday we hosted another Mauritian supperclub at home, which our guests to thoroughly enjoyed! We cooked up fish vindaye, kofta rougaille, mille crepe cake, fresh coconut satini, coconut jam and more!

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Brockley Market 

A recent visit to the market after ages, we tried a fab breakfast dosa, filled with banana, coconut jaggery, yogurt and honey by Dosa Deli, my kind of breakfast!  We came back with some artisan produce from Troffle (amazing chocolates) and Olive Branch, Meze jars and Flavours of Spain, manchego cheese & quince.

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Have a good Easter weekend for now!

Selina x

 

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Favourite Eats this Month http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/04/04/favourite-eats-month/ http://www.tastemauritius.com/2014/04/04/favourite-eats-month/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 13:14:34 +0000 http://www.tastemauritius.com/?p=5400 The last month has flown by and here we are beginning of April, nothing seems to be slowing down and everything is picking up! This is of course great news for Taste Mauritius churning out more suppers, classes and recipes as we go.. But in between all this there’s got to me some relaxing time, [...]

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The last month has flown by and here we are beginning of April, nothing seems to be slowing down and everything is picking up! This is of course great news for Taste Mauritius churning out more suppers, classes and recipes as we go..

But in between all this there’s got to me some relaxing time, gorging on good food which If I’m not in the kitchen you can usually find me doing this as a favourite hobby of mine.. So here are my round up of places I’ve eaten out that have stuck in my mind with maybe some of my own food dashed in there too!

Sapore Vero - Based in Beckenham, a little jem of a place, has a small intimate feel to it, even on a Wednesday evening it was fully booked and buzzing. People still coming in to buy their takeaway pizzas and others dined on some quality simple and delicious food. Service was attentive, helpful as we ordered starters to share.

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Bruschetta was executed well, quality of ingredients stood out and the chargrilled aubergine and courgettes were lapped up. I was excited to try the pizzas, we ordered pretty much one each, you can  probably share but depends how hungry or greedy you are.photo 2photo 1photo 3

We shared the pizzas around so everyone got a taste, the Calabrese with spicy nduja sausage had me sweating, but was fabulous, great thin crust, no skimping on toppings and a pleasure to devour. The calzone was huge, it overtipped the plate, filled with vegetables and cheese ozzing out of the centre, was the best I have had in a while. No dessert, was stuffed. A must visit especially if local.

Brixton Diner Pop Up- The Pickled Fork boys do a mean beef brisket bap. Enough said now go! They only run their pop up on Coldharbour Lane for a few more dates, pre booking is essential as these get snapped up quick. dfbdfbdfbmhgmghm

This menu is fab for £20 only you get amazing buffalo chicken wings (no grease) with great accompanying sauces my fave was the blue cheese (could of nicked this when no one was looking) I tried to keep this on our side of the table as much as I could! The main dish was slow cooked beef brisket no holding  back here, piled into the baps with a cheddar crisp and fried, corn on the cob was utterly buttery! And enough to kill you off it the clotted cream goo with banana, peanut butter cream and a side sugar headache.

Great times, great food, awesome chefs, South London big thumbs up!

Tommi’s Burger Joint- Newly opened on the King’s Road, we got to go to an evening of burgers to sample and meet the man himself! The burger outlet by restaurateur Tomas ‘Tommi’ Tomasson himself is full of life and what a character. Was a great night, located on the fashionable King’s Road, full of fries, sauces and mini sliders to tease our tastebuds. I’l be coming back for more. Patties are made with top quality chunky mince, served in a soft bun with red onion and salad while fries are skinny. The King’s Road restaurant adds a special Icelandic beer, Viking, to the drinks menu alongside a selection of wine and regular beers, and home-made milkshakes created with Icelandic ice-cream.

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Asma Khan’s Darjeeeling Express Pop Up in Soho- This lady is one of my lovely food friends, she started her supperclub from her home in London serving amazing Calcutta street food taking guests on a culinary journey of food to tickle your palette.

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She now has been holed up for 8 weeks at The Sun & 13 Cantons pub in Soho, only there for a few weeks more check out her Twitter for more details, do book and go!  Make sure you try the Prawn Malikar, Black Chickpeas with Puri plus her platter of starters, great value for amazing food!

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We had our recent pop up in Tooting Market last weekend, for 60 people, what an experience! Here are some photos taken by guest @The Cutlery Chronicles of the evening..

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Lastly here are some food recipes I’ve been cooking up at home… from delicious Tandoori chicken (recipe coming soon) to my previous blog post on Coconut Cookies, Diana Henry’s Coconut & Chicken Soup and more!

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Till next time!

Selina xx

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