Imagine the freshest seafood, flavoured with coconut milk, garlic, ginger, limes and chillies, and cooked to perfection by chefs who know how to make a thousand different fish dishes! Creole cuisine in the Seychelles combines the subtlety of Asian food with the spices of Indian cooking, all moulded by fine French flair.
Rice is the staple and fish is eaten almost every day. Soup is a tasty starter and is often made from tec-tec, a tiny shellfish. Bouillon blanc, a fish soup that uses a whole, small fish with loads of garlic, ginger and chilli, is a meal in itself. Salads are made with sweet, little purple onions, tomatoes and crisp bilimbis which resemble tiny cucumbers. Millionaire’s salad used to be prepared from the heart of the rare palmiste palm, but now the heart of the coconut palm suffices.
Curries are traditional – usually fish or octopus – and quite delicious. Breadfruit, plantain, cassava and sweet potatoes provide alternatives to rice. Chatinis or chutneys are side dishes made by grating green papaya or the local fruit known as the golden apple, which is fried with a little onion and served in fresh lime juice or vinegar with ginger and garlic. Dried fish such as shark or tuna can also be prepared this way. Little chillies are often served on the side – they can be dynamite, so try with caution!
Breadfruit, with the addition of island spices and coconut milk, is also used for sweet desserts. Other desserts are prepared from coconut and bananas and are usually very sweet and sticky.
Many restaurants serve excellent Creole food so tourists can get a taste of the islands. However, most hotels and restaurants also serve international cuisine with a wide variety of choices. Some of the largest hotels have speciality restaurants (Indian, Italian, French, Japanese and Chinese) which serve really good and tasty meals.
Vegetarian/vegan food can be a little difficult as a lot of fresh vegetables and salads have to be imported. Pizzas are available and there are many local take-away options, particularly during the daytime. In general, eating out is expensive so the half-board options at hotels are usually a good deal.
The national drink is the locally brewed beer, Seybrew, which, when chilled, slips down ever so easily! It is available in 280ml returnable bottles or as draught in various bars and restaurants. The brewery also makes Eku lager and Slow Turtle cider; Guinness is also made under licence. The Seychellois drink an amazing amount of fizzy soft drinks, and fruit juices are also readily available.