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Halfway between Tana & Antsirabe, you could make a halt at Ambatolampy to dine on very French things. Has been there for decades, is an institution.
It is a large room that can accomodate about 15-20 tables, catering for travellers as Ambatolampy, once famed for the neighbouring Ankaratra treks & fishing activity in Manjakatompo (hence the name), has become a simple place to stop by & lunch out on one's way to the Big South. Just be warned that it relates more to a autogrill. Not that many dishes to choose from (about 10). Yet....
Yet, it's still nice. The owner can be seen there, always there. He is French but as any bona fide zanatany is fluent in Malagasy. One thing I especially like about there is that everybody is equally treated, Malagasy & Europeans/US alike. Uncontrary to some other French-owned spots where, on rushing hours, the Vazahas (i.e, the whites, in general) get served first. Can say the same about Le Petit Verdot in Tana, the owner is always there, greeting people at their table.
Favorite Dish: Locals (Malagasy & French) use to flock in to lunch on frogs (panés with garlic & parsley). Bolder folks would go for their snails à la provençale (butter, parlsey, garlic) too at Au rendez-vous des pêcheurs. Mmmmm anything with garlic, butter & parsley is yummy in my books!
Dessert, have their cornet crème. Delicious! The cold cuts & crudités starter are quite generous.
Last time I was there, I paid 10 000Ar (4 euro or about 4.5usd) for froglegs (12 pairs of legs) & 1 soft-drink.
Written Aug 23, 2007