Cafe des Arts is a restaurant hidden behind the streets of Trou d’eau Douce, located in an old sugar mill. Although there are plenty of signs in the village to the restaurant, it still feels slightly wrong to turn opposite direction from the sea to go for dinner. Especially during tropical summer. However, on arrival you’re welcomed with refreshing towels to clean your hands and directed into an airy seating area overlooking the pool just outside the sugar mill. The atmosphere of the restaurant is something of it’s own. There’s fantastic background music to accompany the dinner and in fact the owner has compiled 12 Cafe des Arts soundtracks, some of which we happily walked away with. And most importantly, as it is called Cafe des Arts, there is a lot of art at the restaurant. In fact I could hardly see any empty spaces on the wall. The artwork is all done by Maniglier, who was the last student of Matisse.
We ordered some pre-dinner mojitos and despite coming across very confidently of their cocktail making skills, we ended up receiving a bush of mint served in a wine glass with plenty of sugar yet no ice. Nevertheless the manager was very happy to tweak it for us until it became more mojito-like.
Whilst we familiarised ourselves with the menu, we were served with a plate of amuse bouche of shrimp, octopus, samosa and a pastry filled with gorgonzola.
Amuse bouche devoured, cocktails finished, wines selected, we were guided upstairs to our table.
Before the actual starter arrived, we were served with ravioli, to keep us going.
As a starter I chose the duet of fresh braised palm heart served with hollandaise sauce and tiger prawns as the palm heart is a sort of a delicacy and very typical to Mauritius. Although if you like foie gras, which I don’t, one of our party absolutely adored it.
We were offered very generous glasses of Chamarel rum as digestives and as there’s was pleasant atmosphere, it was great to sit, relax and learn more on the background of the restaurant. The evening we went there, was relatively quiet, with only another party there aside from us. However, the peak period seems to be Christmas and New Year. The menu per person cost 2900 Mauritian rupees (approx. £56) or 3600 if you’re having lobster, plus drinks, which in Mauritian terms is quite pricey. Therefore I’d recommend going there as special treat and if you’re looking for something different. It should also be heavenly for any art lover and although being relatively sophisticated, remember it’s still an old sugar mill and there are some geckos or even little mice running about.