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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
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Food & Drink

Seychellois Creole cuisine is influenced by African, English, Chinese, French and Indian traditions. The careful blending of spices is a large feature and much use is made of coconut milk and breadfruit. Breadfruit is prepared in similar ways to potato (mashed, roasted and chipped and so on) but has a sweeter taste. Locally produced fruits and vegetables include aubergines, calabashes, choux choutes, patoles, paw-paws (papaya), bananas, avocados, mangoes, jackfruits, grapefruits, guavas, lychees, pineapples, melons, limes and golden apples. Lobster, octopus, pork and chicken are used more than beef or lamb, which is imported.

Restaurants offer a few items of what is termed ‘international’ cuisine, with a bias towards preparations of fresh fish and shellfish, as well as the Creole delicacies mentioned above. Italian and Chinese restaurants can be found on Mahé. The main hotels have bakeries and home-baked bread is also a feature of some of the small guest houses and the lodges. Waiter service is generally available. All restaurants which are members of the Seychelles Restaurateurs’ Association quote an average price per person for a 3-course meal inclusive of 2 glasses of wine and coffee. Prior notice should be given in restaurants for groups of 4 or more. Reservations should be made for restaurants on Round and Cerf and for La Réserve restaurant on Praslin.

A good range of wines, spirits and other alcoholic beverages is available in the Seychelles. Local tea is also very popular.

Things To Know

A hotel licence permits hotel residents to drink at any time and alcohol can be sold to anyone between Monday-Friday 1400-1800 hrs, Saturday 0800-1200 hrs and 1400-1800 hrs. Other bars open 1130-1500 hrs and 1800-2200 hrs. It is illegal to drink alcohol in public or on any road.

National specialities in Seychelles:

Kat-kat banane.
Coconut curries.
Chatini requin.
Cbourgeois grillé.
Soupe de tectec.
Bouillon bréde.
Chauve-souris (fruitbat).
Cari bernique.
Salade de palmiste.
La daube.

National drinks:

Seybrew (a German-style lager made locally).

Tipping

Tips in restaurants, hotels, to taxi drivers, porters and so on are usually already included, as 5 to 10% of the bill or fare. Hotel and restaurant tariffs include a service charge, but payment is not obligatory.

Nightlife

The nightlife in the Seychelles is undeveloped and unsophisticated. There is, however, much to be enjoyed in the evenings, and a speciality is the local camtolet music, accompanied by the dancers. Many of the hotels have evening barbecues and dinner dances.

Theatre productions are often staged (in Creole, English and French) and there is a cinema in Victoria and casinos at Beau Vallon Bay Hotel and the Plantation Club.

Shopping

Local handicrafts include work with textiles, fibres and wood, traditional furniture, ornaments and model boats. Pottery and paintings may also be purchased. Special souvenirs include jewellery made from green snail shells. Tea-growing and manufacturing in the Seychelles is on a small scale. Local tea can be bought in shops or when visiting the tea factory on Mahé, where many blends of tea may be sampled at the Tea Tavern. Vanilla is cultivated as a climbing plant around the base of trees. Vanilla pods can be bought in shops and used as flavouring. Cinnamon grows wild on the islands and can be bought as oil or in quills made from dried bark which can be freshly grated before use.

Shopping hours: Monday-Friday 0800-1700 hrs, Saturday 0800-1200 hrs. Some of the shops close weekdays 1200-1300 hrs.