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Embark on a foodie island without visa blues

india Updated: Jun 08, 2013 00:27 IST

MAURITIUS
A foodie’s haven replete with the wild landscape of sugarcane all around — you would discover that each wave of immigration brought with it a typical cuisine owing to the diverse ethnic origins. It’s a melting pot of French, Indian and Chinese cuisine and of course the indigenous Creole cuisine. That said, local food can be found at the central market in Port Louis which buzzes with fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, meat and fish stalls, all at very reasonable prices. Go for the inspired Dholl poori, a thin yellow lentil pancake, served with spicy chutney and a broad bean curry. The Caudan waterfront, houses your upmarket shops and restaurants. Make sure you do not leave without a catamaran cruise that offers the most scrumptious BBQ lunch of fresh sea-food!

GO LOCAL
Alouda, which consists of milk, crushed ice, almonds, basil seeds, vanilla essence, agar agar strips and some sugar; is absolutely refreshing.

HONG KONG
Set out to a ‘yum Cha’ joint for breakfast to begin your culinary sojourn. Its mouth-watering delicacies range from buns to dumplings and rice rolls that contain a variety of ingredients, served steamed, deep fried, baked or grilled. Dry sea-food is like a mandate in many Chinese dishes and Shing Street is quite an experience. You’ll find here abalone, sea-cucumber, shrimps, clams, mussels, sausages, and bird’s nest, besides some dry lizards. Lung King Heen at The Four Seasons Hotel (the only Chinese restaurant in the world to be graded a 3 Michelin star), is one of the finest establishments in traditional gastronomy. Sum up your trip with a night out of pub-hopping on the Lan Kwai fong road for sure.

GO LOCAL
Egg Tarts aka buttery flaky crusts filled with creamy rich egg custard that is still warm.

MALDIVES
One must try classics like mass huni (fish cooked with coconut), local curries and the famous Garudiya (clear fish broth) and Egg hoppers at the resort you might be putting up in. For foodies, no trip is complete without trying the local cuisine called hedhikaa or small eats cooked in a variety of ways at Male behind the fish market for a Maldivian experience. The hot-selling items include keemia, which is batter rolled tuna Keema - tangy and delicious; this is one of its kind, and Gulha (dough balls with a stuffing of tuna fish, grated coconut). For the brave hearts on offer is Mirhulee Boava - an octopus arm curry. To end on a sweet note, go for the Bis Haluvaa — an egg based pudding, also a side dish or as a dessert on most menus. The sweetened black tea compliments the short-eats.

GO LOCAL

Kuli Oakihiba (fish cakes) absolutely decadent to the core and fresh tuna can’t taste any better than this.

INDONESIA
Quite the draw for those wishing to find natural landscapes as the countryside here is charming. Awe-inspiring lunar landscapes of Bromo and Ijen are home to some of the finest coffee plantations in Java, it is where the world famous Arabica and Robusta Coffee is produced. The beautiful beaches of Bali and the endless green paddy fields with tall swaying palm trees, offer some decadent local food and culture. Padang food is famed for its spicy and unique services as interestingly all dishes are displayed at a glass counter near the entrance for customers to select.

GO LOCAL

The rending sapi (spicy curried beef cooked until the sauce is dry) and curried fish with spicy sambal and rice is to die for.

FIJI ISLANDS
Ingredients run the gamut from sweet pineapple, ripe papaya to locally-caught lagoon fish, crab, prawn and lobster, which are divinely fresh, locally-grown and prepared with a lot of passion. The traditional ‘lovo’ — a procedure where food is wrapped and cooked under native leaves beneath the ground, takes out delicious dishes like breads, seafood, Palusami (corned beef, tomato, onion and garlic wrapped in taro leaves) and Cassava (similar to our Bibinca).

GO LOCAL

Freshly-cooked Duruka (quite like Asparagus) and kokoda, which is the Fijian version of ceviche.