Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Segala - Intercontinental Resort, Balaclava Fort, Mauritius

Lots of the higher-end resorts here in Mauritius are of the 'do everything and eat everything here,' Club Med-style variety - you pay for the room, and (depending on how much you want to pay of course), all the food and water-sports and other activities are "free." So it's perhaps not very meaningful to provide a food review of these restaurants, because the only people who dine here are guests of the hotel.

But anyway, the InterContinental Mauritius Resort Balaclava Fort is one such resort. And the Segala is one of the restaurants at the resort - if memory serves me right, it's the 'mediterranean seafood and grill' restaurant. Unfortunately I didn't take a photo when there was actual light in the sky, but it's located right next to the sea, and on the beach.

Practically all restaurants here are open air and non air-conditioned. Which is fine because the weather at night is cool, even during the summer. Here we dine with the waves as the background music, accompanied by a lone singer/guitarist, so it's mucho relaxing.

Selection of breads to start the night. Interestingly, instead of butter we're served with a trio of spreads which are (from front to back) Goat Cheese, Eggplant Caviar and Pumpkin Cream. Pretty funky stuff. I like the Cheese and the Pumpkin, but since I don't like Eggplant the middle spread was a bust for me.

We go for the set menu dinner, which has two choices for Starters. This is the Smoked chicken breast with pears and walnut vinaigrette. I don't know what the chefs marinate the chicken in, but it's delicious, so I can forgive the simplicity of the dish.

I don't enjoy the Grilled vegetables Terrine with roasted peppers salsa and creamy cheese sauce as much. It's a bit plain, and has too much eggplant (which I don't eat), and bell peppers (which I don't like).

For the main course, we have the Grilled Marlin Steak. It's seasoned and cooked deliciously, but the fish itself is pretty tough (for fish standards, of course). I don't have any real reference point though, as I've never really eaten Marlin before. Could be that these big game fish tend to have much tougher meat than other fish.

The darling's Marinated beef filet with black peppercorn was ordered medium but came closer to medium well, so a tad bit on the dry side, but otherwise the beef was pretty tasty, and the black pepper sauce wasn't overpoweringly peppery.

For dessert, there's only one choice: Fresh Coconut Tart with Coconut Ice Cream. A bit of cheating going on in the kitchen here: The Tart is just a generic base tart with some coconut shavings, and the ice cream isn't really coconut - it's milk flavoured with coconut shavings to make it taste coconut-ty.

No prices available because this set dinner is part of our room package, but if we didn't choose the set dinner we'd have been given 600 Rs (RM 61.20) credit to ordering ala carte from the menu, so I guess that would be as good an estimation as any.

Overall, the restaurant was above average, and if we were staying long we'd have no hesitation going back for repeat visits - but again, I doubt anyone from outside the resort would drive all the way out here just for a dinner.

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