Friday, January 6, 2017

Exquisite Lunch in Paradise - Pirogue Restaurant and Bar in Praslin, Seychelles

In the exotic island of Praslin, in luxurious Seychelles, everything is expensive. Believe me there's no hyperbole involved when I say that no meal can be had below $30. The towns are few and far apart, and activity takes the glacial pace.

This so-called island paradise, with its tropical forest shelter, is drop-dead expensive, so much more than the Maldives. Prince William of Britain took her bride Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, here for their honeymoon. Seychelles sits at the southern corridor of mainland Africa, a jewel of the Indian Ocean. The people are a mixture of African and Indian race.

Meals are to be had in hotel and resort restaurants. There are no fast food chains here though there's a take away pizza place near Villa Confort in Amitie in the Grande Anse area. I hired a taxi to take me around the island. At lunch time, I was taken to the Pirogue Restaurant and Bar in beautiful Cote D'Or, Praslin's "Gold Coast". I tried not to be intimidated, but every new place in a strange country is an adventure. What if it were too expensive? I was seated beside the balcony with a pesky Zebra Dove taking the place of a fly. It wouldn't leave and would take fast pecks of my dish, I wanted to swat it away for good. Shooing it wasn't working.


I ordered the "Grill of the Day" - the Parrotfish. They are supposedly named as such due to their dentition, numerous teeth arranged in tightly packed mosaic on the external surface of their jaw bone, forming a parrot-like beak to rasp algae from coral and other rocky substrates. As such, they contribute to bioerosion. In the Carribean, their population is controlled to save the islands from hastened erosion. Would I eat something that's multi-dentitioned? Well, consider my meal as contribution to environmental protection... a very satisfying one.

I am not a "fish person" but my expensive parrot fish has since converted me into one. It was so good I didn't mind the price - about 250 SR (Seycheles Rupees). 


The restaurant itself is a well designed sprawl, themed as a Madagascar restaurant. Its name, Pirogue, refers to a wooden boat used by fishermen all over Madagascar. The restaurant even has a sample of the boat on display. It also has paintings and framed photographs of Madagascar. In my travels around the Seychelles, locals love to dish out what they know and dislike about Madagascar. It's more of a love-hate relationship, but it's obvious that an invisible rope links these two countries together, whether they like it or not.

I spoke to the owner, in a photo below, a silver-haired gentleman who threw easy banters with my taxi driver. He was mild mannered. His eyes filled with mirth and laughter. It's understandable why my taxi driver Clint spoke very highly of the restaurateur. If only the waitresses were half as charming and adorable...

This is the Eye in the Sky

A pirogue on display at the restaurant, it's way prettier than the ones I rode in Madagascar.

A pesky Zebra dove wouldn't leave me alone.

Accidentally snapped a photo of the restaurant's owner.

A photograph of the Malagasy coast on display.

From my lunch, I crossed the street. A few strides away was this view of Praslin's Cote D'Or (Gold Coast) with hardly anyone there.

No comments: