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CULINARY EXPERIENCES IN THE SEYCHELLES


Cheap self-catering holiday in the Seychelles

When we visited the Seychelles and spent 12 days there at the end of June 2019, we chose self-catering holiday homes where we had to take care of our own food. We bought our food in supermarkets and small local grocery shops, and also tried many restaurants, cafés and takeaways. This description is based on our own experiences.

We really enjoyed self-catering in the Seychelles, it is the best way to get closer to the local people, save money compared to those who stay in 5 star hotels, enjoy the same views and beaches as we did and pay 10 times more.


Our self-catering chalet in Anse Consolation, Praslin island



Shopping at local grocery stores

When you go shopping, don't expect a huge choice, especially in small villages. The choice is limited, you have to eat what you have, but that's not a problem, you can certainly find something for breakfast or dinner in the shops. We cooked breakfast or dinner almost every day and never had a problem finding eggs, bread, juices, water, tea or coffee, biscuits, snacks, ice cream, instant soup. We couldn't find our favourite brands, so we had to try new brands from South Africa, India, the UAE... but we enjoyed them, they were delicious and of good quality.

We had a problem with dairy products, they are not available in the smaller grocery stores.

The biggest problem for us was getting the cold cuts (salami, sliced ham, chorizo, sausages...), as they are available in the only STC hypermarket at a high price.

Meat products are also available in the smaller shops, especially frozen meats and ready-to-eat frozen products (pizza, meatballs, nuggets...), but you have to be careful with them because sometimes they don't have a label and expiry date, or they have an old and a new label with two different dates....


Our recommendations for local grocery stores:

Asmitha supermarket, Anse Boileau, Mahé

Shoprite at the petrol station, Grand Anse, Mahé

Farish Family Mart, Grand Anse, Praslin

OM Sakthi Mini market, Anse Consolation, Praslin


Supermarkets, hypermarkets:

STC Hypermarket Bois de Rose, Victoria, the largest in Seychelles

STC supermarket, Grand Anse, Mahé


The Spar supermarket in Eden Plaza was a definite disappointment: expensive and out of stock (especially in the bakery section), no bottled water, cold cuts, only one type. It is possible that we experienced this because it was a national holiday (public holiday) when we visited the store. On a positive note, this was the only supermarket on Mahé that was open at all.



Cheap lunch options

For lunch, we had salads, burgers, French toast, fish and chips, Creole or Indian takeaway, in restaurants and cafés, washed down with a bottle of turtle cider or a glass of fresh juice, frappe or cocktail.

Our offers:

Takeaways:

Cool Licks takeaway, Cap Samy Praslin

Takeaway at Victoria Market, Benezet Street.

Cafes:

Vallée de Mai Café, Praslin

Le Café de Celiska, Anse Consolation, Praslin

Skychef Cafe Paradiso, Mahé Airport

Café at La Digue Port Authority, at the pier.

The Coffee Club, Mahé Airport

La Belle Epoque, Eden Island, Mahé

Victoria Market (Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke market) in the capital is a must-see, a traditional market with lots of fresh produce and souvenirs, fruit, vegetables and spices.




Dinner at the famous local food market

The Labrinn Bazaar on Beau Vallon beach is a fun and colourful local food market with freshly baked and cooked food that opens on Wednesdays in the late afternoon. Both the market and the road to get there are extremely busy, so if you're planning a visit, allow at least an extra hour to get through the traffic jams around the capital.

You can sample the best local food at this market for a good price while enjoying a beautiful sunset on the beach. You can start your tasting with local banana, yam and sweet potato chips. The deep fried banana cake is also perfect as an appetizer. For mains, we chose one of the many stalls selling 'fresh' grilled fish, chicken, sausages, skewers and grilled vegetables with Creole sauce. The food was ok, but not perfectly grilled, the taste was good, but we got it cold... We also tried the Indian cuisine, it's well worth trying some of the wide selection. Then we drank chilled coconut water and freshly made local juices.

At the market we encountered two big problems: where to sit down to eat and how to eat standing up from a plastic box, where to wash our hands and where to find a toilet. Unfortunately, the lack of infrastructure made an otherwise pleasant culinary experience much worse. Overall, the market and the sunset was a great experience, but it is not hygienic and can even cause illness if you have a sensitive stomach.




Special breakfast: tropical birds’ eggs

One morning, Nicol, the host of our holiday home on the island of Mahé surprised us with a treat from the local market: a gift of boiled eggs from a local bird, the sooty tern. In the remote islands, it is sometimes permitted to collect and sell the eggs of the abundant bird population for eating purposes. We were lucky because we were on holiday there at a time when this was possible.




Food fit for kings at Hilton Hotel Labriz

Hilton Hotel Labriz regularly organises a family day on Sundays (Sunday Sneak Out Family Fun day), which local families with children can spend playing sports, going to the beach and having lunch on Silhouette Island. We attended one such event as tourists in June 2019. We were welcomed with a refreshing drink in the port of Bel Ombre and after arrival we could taste the island's cuisine in a buffet lunch. It was the best, most memorable meal of our holiday: Indian and creol cuisine, fish soup, palm salad, tuna salad, seychellois salad, cassave, pumpkin, grilled chicken, fish, pork "stew", sausage, caramellised banana, banana cake, coconut cake, icecream and many more.




What we liked the most: fruit salads and fresh drinks

In the tropical climate, we enjoyed salads made from locally grown fruits (papaya, banana, mango, passionfruit, star fruit, guava...), vegetables, fruit drinks and coconut juice. Our favourite salads and smoothie drinks were enjoyed at Le Café de Celiska café on Praslin Island, which we visited daily as we were staying on the property next to it. Everywhere we drove, we met locals selling fresh coconut water and fruit drinks for cheap on almost every major beach.


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