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Krills........ Not only for whales.!
Krills are small beasts found in the sea, they look like tiny shrimps. Krills are sold dried. Fried white krills are my favourite.
Malagasy use to add red krills (pic1) to some dishes to add an extra taste to them. In the light leave stock, in the so-called "vary amin'anana"... We also have a specific dish of red krills & potato stock (pic2). It is made of zebu meat dices, potato quarters, red krills & water (it is a stock dish).
White krills (pic3) are esp. used fried. Then, fried white krills are eaten with soft rice. Hmmm... the smell of white krills being fried in a pan is sometimes like that of eggrolls.
Favorite Dish: I use to have krills home, now, in which restaurant to find red krills stock & fried white krills, I cannot tell. :-( I'll ell as soon as I could find a (good) one.
Updated Jul 8, 2006
"Grillades" usually refer to grilled zébu meat. In major restaurants, you'll find easily grillades as zébu steak or brochettes (zebu meat + veggies kebabs: tomato chunks, onions slices, green & red peppers) or pavé or côte à l'os or entrecôte grillée...
You could order a grilled chicken as well. Be sure to order "Akoho gasy", the tastiest chicken: the one bred in open air, eating corns & rice. It is our traditional chicken, NOT to mix up with the fatty farm-bred "poulet de chair" that has been lately introduced here. This poulet de chair, is just the chicken meat you buy in the Western world supermarkets: fatty, dull, hormones & preservatives-soaked, without any taste but lots of meat (Bio & Natural food aside).
Then, grilled fish & seafood (gambas, prawns, gigantic shrimps, lobsters, calamars), check picture 1 + 2.
How to give them this special taste ? they are traditionally garlic-marinated, except for steak, entrecôte grillée & brochette.
Now, how could I forget to mention "masikita"? You'll find masikita stalls at every corner. At dawn, you'll have this bbq smell spreading out while walking in urban Tana. Here you are, tempted to try. It sure is yummy (garlic-marinated small zébu kebabs & some fat chunks to dampen while grilling) but I would not recommend to eat there. Now where to find hygienic masikita ? Will have to fetch for this place(s). So far, I use to enjoy it at family gatherings when we all bring marinated zébu meat skews & make fires & jump into the convivial grilling. Beer glasses & bottles in the nearby, our tomato-onion-ground peanut relish at reach.
At last... the "new" meats: ostrich, crocodile meats. Available in some major restaurants but not in all of them.
Favorite Dish: Unfortunately, I cannot give you any "tried" restaurant name for I usually enjoying bbqing home. Al fresco lunch, with family & friends, on a homemade bbq, some red vino & laughters. In restaurants, I use to have their specialty, not something that I know we do well (& usualy "better") at home.
I asked my entourage & esp my sis, who works in the city & uses to stay there for lunch & has tried some restaurants, who cited Poivre vert (rather on the generous gastronomique), La Varangue (same comment as for Poivre vert) & Colbert (fine cuisne) as amongst the best grillades spots. Those three have other dishes on their card too. Price range for a dish in those is higher than average but still about within the 4-8 euro range.
Btw, all pictures are taken during our communal lunches at home.
Updated Jul 1, 2006
This is one of Malagasy style dishes I used to miss living in Belgium. The ricefields crabs are usually picked up when summer ends, when water withdraws (april-may) & I, unfortunately, used to have most of my holidays home later in winter (July-Sep).
In Malaza, the village where I live, we use to have the crabs fresh (photo 3) as crab pickers use to fetch them in the ricefields plains down my house. Then, it is a whole job to clean the crabs, get rid off many things as you would do while cleaning mussels (grass, mud..). Then, let them stay in the water to "let them rinse". Then, let them dive into boiling water (errr.... to kill them otherwise they would ramp everywhere in the basin & also it's better to kill them all at once & not let them slowly agonize in the freezer while deep-freezing them). Then only, one can let them "chill" and deep freeze or cook them right away.
Crabs use to be cooked with a tomato-based sauce & loaves of pork meat. If my memory serves me well, there should be some garlic paste in it. Pork meat is used as you wouldn't find anything to really eat in crabs. Still, the flavour of the crabs and the tomato-garlic sauce would transfer into the meat. Used to be served with...guess what..... rice. You'll eat the pork and the sauce & can still sip the sauce from the little crabs. Yes, you'll have to suck the little crabs. Just fingerlicking.
Never turn down any invitation to taste the Malagasy style crabs, you wouldn't even know that you would have missed one of most delicious (imho & opinions of many others) Malagasy dishes.
Also, simply because, there is a limited offer since I think that restaurants would only serve that dish only in April-June.
Favorite Dish: Fingerlicking Malagasy style crabs... It is so good because it is a finger food, you'll have to sip the sauce from the crabs.
Updated Jun 29, 2006
Mada being an island, aeafood is almost a "must-try" food over here.
Mada is acquiring a good reputation for its marine wealth. The world starts to know about what locals have known for ages. Many companies have been in aqua-farming & processing for a long time. Still, unprocessed seafood ( & river food!) is sold everywhere (considering deepfreezing is not a processing). Now, if you go to the coast, you'd be likely to be treated "fresh from the sea" fish, crabs, lobster, prawns.
In restaurants, your fish, seafood, river fish, crayfish can be grilled, fried, cooked in curry-style, with tomato sauce, with coconut milk, à la Malagasy (fish & crayfish can be cooked with pork meat & garlic; or fish with thin pork speck (?) then tomato & green onion).
Lobster & prawns can be prepared, boiled (not that much though, perfect prawns & shrimps are crunchy) in a court-bouillon (a vegetable & pepper stock) then eaten with mayonnaise sauce (our mayonnaise is usually homemade).
Gambas... for the big river shrimps (like gambas from river) having a softer taste than their cousins from the sea, they used to be prepared with thick tomato sauce & garlic whilst (sea) gambas are scrumptious garlic-marinated & grilled (pictures 1+2)
There are so many ways to enjoy seafood that it's unthinkable to skip it unless you have seafood allergy.
One of my favourite starter (& happens I decide to let it be my main dish ;-)) is avocado-prawn salad with pickled onion slices & vinaigrette (picture 3). Then, another starter is made of cucumber slices, pineapple bits, crunchy prawns, grated coconut in a vinaigrette sauce. Prawns are eaten with a bit of mayonnaise, then. Heaven !
Beside natural fishing, there is more & more specialized aqua-farming.
For instance, a company has acquired its French "Bio" label. The seafood it produces follows strict farming, production, quality rules in order to comply with the "Biologique" label requirements. "Bio" products are "natural foods" in the US.
Don't miss it! Seafood is a Madagascar signature.
Favorite Dish: Many restaurants in Toamasina used to serve scrumptious seafood salads, finger-licking grilled seafood or seafood from the skew. Don't know about the quality nowadays. There were Joffre restaurant, grilled seafood & fish at Darafify... Maybe you shuld check it at those places & report here ? What about that ?
Updated Jun 29, 2006
It is not about a specific restaurant. It 's about a specific dish, ron'akoho... After long journeys, days of hard work, disease, try the local pick-me-up dish: Chicken bouillon (stock) with ginger.
I see you grimacing, thinking of fat chicken meat you have in Europe... No, no, forget about that! .. Meat in general has a great taste as it is not as fat as European meat. In Madagascar, livestock, cattle, fowls live in open air and use to eat grass, corn, "organic" food. This chicken bouillon is a real delight! Although, the trend in intensive farming is big.
In Madagascar, Tana area esp., renowned restaurants don't serve it anymore. It's a pity! You have to go "Resto gasy" to taste it, or have it served by locals at their places. Resto gasy are restaurants of, often, low category. Clean but not exceptional that would serve everyday dishes. The one I know is Fanantenana, on Route circulaire (in Ampandrana area). I know it for being located near my grand-ma place and where I once ate with the school charity team... They are good in Malagasy cuisine.
I warn you about "hotely gasy" and "gargottes" and other streetvendors though. Use common sense. When it's dirty, sticky, no protection, it's no good for you! More than to anyone else, by the way... Don't imitate locals buying kebabs in urban streets.
I would give the recipe later!! or ask me if you want to try it home (you can, you can). You can find all ingredients in usual supermarkets.
Favorite Dish: Great flavour, nice smell though it is a kind of light dish... I do not believe in ginger to be an aphrodisiac but one thing I know is that ginger helps a lot here in perking somebody up :-)
Yep, after long trips, this is your best bet.
It used to be common to have ron'akoho with its blood cooked rice (see picture). One uses to collect the blood of the slaughted chicken in a plate to mix it with rice grains. Then, warm the mix to have the blood coagulating then place the whole paste in the stock being cooked. Yummy!
Updated Jun 10, 2006
In Ft. Dauphin we walked along the coast of the Indian Ocean up to the Mirador Restaurant. They have a nice lounge where you can sit before dinner and have hot coffee or tea which was welcome because it was very cold here in Sept. It was dark by 6pm. Dinner wasn't until 7:30pm. Our first course was eggplant mixed with meat and fried, served with lettuce and tomato. The main course was steamed prawns with steamed vegetables in a sauce. Today was one of the tour group's birthday so our guide had them make a cake and bring it out complete with Happy Birthday on it. Then shared the cake with the rest of the people in the restaurant including the staff. Then we had our coffee. And walked back to the hotel in the dark. I do not know the prices because it was included in the cost of the tour.
Written Mar 21, 2006
Exellent restaurant and not to expensive. Korean style restaurant with BBQ's in the middle of the tables. You can order a viarity of dishes, mostly korean, chinese and japanese. Also sushi.
I reckon this is the best restaurant in Tana!
Favorite Dish: Tie pan is really really good. It is a very hot iron plate with stir fried veggies. you can choose to have it with beef, chicken, porc, seafruit or even frog. Served with rice or noodles.
Obviously the BBQ is very good to. You can order a viarity of meats, fish etc. to grill your self....
There is also a Sake which has snakes and Zebu dicks inside......jummy
Written Aug 17, 2005
Address: Close to Lac Behoririka
Sakamanga is a really good french quisine restaurant with a good atmosphere. It is quite expensive for Malagasy standards though. A main course costs about 3 euros. Another downside is that there are basically only Vazahas in the restaurant. Only white people.
Favorite Dish: I absolutely love the goat cheese salade.
The Zebu steak and the duck breast with the green pepper saus are exellent too.
Updated Jul 6, 2005
Address: Haute ville
Setting is a bit old- fashioned but food has maintained its reputation for decades. Chez Papillon is reported to be, alongside with Colbert, the best place for French cuisine in Madagascar. They can be of different style though. Colbert would tend to the Nouvelle Cuisine type whilst Papillon would be a terroir cuisine. Dozen ways to cook crayfish, who culd beat that ?
My memory of this place was a cozy place, rather old-fashioned.. but very accessable. Not the formal and a bit cold ambience of Colbert, it was like enetering a montain chalet somewhere in France.
I was there after some hours on the road so was glad to see an open fire heating a room, that, by the way, didn't need heating since it was packed with clients, noisy. Not that it was the aggressive of cars and traffic. No !, it's the noise of happy people, laughing, having fun while waiting for the meal to be served.. having a good time.
The food ? zébus steak, crayfish (I have allergy but I know theirs are yummy), fish, brochette de boeuf.. many French dishes.
It seems that hotel rooms are nice as well (Hotel Moderne). Price was comparatively low though..
Favorite Dish: Try crayfish!
I appreciated there grilled z?bu steak and grilled tuna steak as well.
I cannot remember about the price but I know it is less expensive than in other restaurants with same quality food.
Updated May 9, 2005
Address: Chez Papillon in Fianarantsoa
Phone: 75 508 15
Nice, comfortable and clean bungalows, discreet and efficient personnel in a superb complex. Gardens full of flower. Patios lead to bungalows and pavillions. Many hidden corners to take pictures... Bending coconut trees.
I discovered it at night. Ambience was mysterious as night was warm and I was tempted to stay in the garden, under patios, listening to peoples' conversations, to music from its club.
Great food as well. I appreciated my breakfast: fresh juice, papaya and pineapple slices, toasted bread and Sahambavy tea... A kind of British tea as the company that produces it is reported to be Tate & Lyle..
Favorite Dish: I fell for fresh papaya and pineapple slices at breakfast...
I fell for the terrace or patio where we took our breakfast...
Updated Jun 11, 2003
Address: Hotel du Capricorne (Toliara)
Phone: 94 426 20
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