Large Chinese restaurant in Grand Baie
Thanks to the prominence of Chinese cuisine in Mauritius, you’ll find that Grand Baie (and other towns and villages on the island) are well-endowed with Chinese restaurants.
In fact, Grand Baie has three large Chinese eating establishments located practically side by side on Royal Road, opposite the town beach and the Indian food stalls.
One of these restaurants is Palais de Chine, and I chose to eat there one evening during my visit to Mauritius in February 2008.
This large restaurant (by Grand Baie standards!) cuts an imposing figure on Royal Road, with its triangular roof and large upstairs balcony overlooking the sea. Alas, Grand Baie is not particularly well lit up at night, so although I got an upstairs table right by the front (despite a number of tables having already been reserved), the view was not as impressive as it would be during the day.
The menu features a large choice of Chinese dishes that I have come to expect from such restaurants the world over. Starters include a choice of soups (hot and sour, chicken and sweetcorn, mushroom, seafood…), fried wantons, prawn crackers, spring rolls, chicken balls, prawn balls, crispy squid.
Main courses feature either chicken, beef, pork, prawns, seafood or vegetables served, for example, with oyster sauce, sweet and sour sour sauce, pineapple, cashew nuts, black bean sauce and a choice of fried rice and noodles. Desserts include ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, banana, strawberry, coconut), flambé banana and fried apples.
The meal was pretty good, although in truth I didn’t enjoy it as much as the nearby Restaurant La Pagode (see other tip). By Mauritian standards it was also quite expensive, especially after the 15% VAT (which is not included in the prices on the menu) is added on. In fact, this was the most expensive meal that I had during my stay, with my total bill falling just short of 800 Rupees. To put that in perspective, though, 800 Rupees equates to around 13 GBP which isn’t bad at all for a three course meal with a couple of beers – it’s just that it was more expensive than the other places I ate, but no better.
The service was efficient and attentive. However, when I came to pay, the waiter wouldn’t accept the 1000 Rupee note as it had a tear in one of the corners. I therefore dug out a wad of lower value notes from my pocket and gave him 800 Rupees. No change for a tip, but that was his own fault! Incidentally, I spent the torn note in the next shop that I visited with no problems at all. I opted for:
Fried wantons - Cost: 130 Rupees / 2.40 GBP
8 fried wantons, filled with pork and served with 3 dips (chilli, sweet and sour and soy sauce). Very tasty!
Chun Kian Beef - Cost: 225 Rupees / 4.00 GBP
Tender pieces of beef (and lots of them!) with ginger, spring onions and chilli. The grated ginger was very evident and the spring onions were abundant, but the dish was sadly lacking in hot chillis. It was nice enough, but it would have been better if it had had more of a kick to it.
Chinese fried rice - Cost: 140 Rupees / 2.60 GBP
A large plate of egg fried rice with prawns, pork and vegetables.
”Coconut Delights” ice cream - Cost: 75 Rupees / 1.35 GBP
A small bowl with a couple of scoops of coconut flavoured ice cream and grated coconut.
2 “Black Eagle” beers (330ml bottles) - Cost: 60 Rupees / 1.10 GBP
A good selection of Chinese dishes in the heart of Grand Baie. Prices are a little higher than at the neighbouring Chinese restaurants.