La Goélette Royal Palm (i)- Grand Baie – Mauritius
- Michel de Matteis
In recent years, I have skimmed a large part of notable Mauritian tables. And I’m going to the Royal Palm Goélette today for the second time to close this trip.
First, for my English readers, please apologize for the translation because I made the French article with many specific expressions of Navy, which are sometimes very difficult to translate keeping the spirit of the text. I will place them between quote those I was unable to translate despite my research.
Having had the pleasure of enjoying a very large part of the menu, the article offers you a photo of each dish, but I will avoid the classic descriptive litany and focus on the highlights of the evening.
Just for once, I will start with the “wet dock”. Indeed, last year, this establishment of standing seemed “embabouiné” (have problems) by the absence of a dedicated sommelier. Meanwhile, Julien Laugier was armed as quartermaster of the liquid stewardship on the vessel. And the least we can say is that he takes the helm.
Indeed, he was faced with a competitor of weight: the group Constance who made massive purchases, and marvelous, let’s be objective, flasks and other “boujarons” to reach several tens of thousands of unit, which is unique in Mauritius.
Should he compete with the one who had the biggest … cellar? The Royal Palm preferred to opt for a limited selection but very sharp. Combined with the skill and passion of the young man as well as a close collaboration with Michel de Matteis, this gives a choice and a coherence with the dishes that honor the table.
But sail for the high seas.
As announced, focus on a few dishes.
The first, classic in its tastes but a big technical work of presentation.
It’s a box of spaghetti with seafood. The elements are of course first quality and perfectly cooked. They are coated with an excellent stock of shellfish. But the most notable fact is the formwork that you can see in close-up on the photo.
Spaghetti is an element in the simplest possible form, a food here without special culinary preparation, but which undergoes elaborate confection work to lead to this seemingly simple chest that encloses a maritime plot. A beautiful tour de force. Michel de Matteis even declined it in a two-tone version with spaghetti with cuttlefish ink.
The second dish is a lobster cooked with tandoori spices and accompanied with confit de bringelles, which is the island name of the eggplant. There is often confusion between the tandoor, which is an oven, the dish itself, which can be chicken, lamb or fish and the tandoori which is the spice mix used for the aforementioned dish.
Our chef buy spices from a local grocer who provides him with products of exceptional quality. The lobster, in addition to being cooked to perfection, is with an astonishing power in the mouth, a unique smoked and rich taste.
Next time, I will try to extort the address of this lady!
A purely visual follow with a moment of cooking service for cauliflower plate. We see our “maître coq” (ship’s cook) in his “maience” (ship’s kitchen) finish passing our two plates to the grill. Still a few seconds and they will be on our table!
To conclude, what’s a more villainous pleasure than to enjoy Suzette crepes in the middle of the Indian Ocean? Not exactly Suzette since they are with Rum Chamarel and not Grand-Marnier. And I will not enter into the controversy of whether they were flambées at their creation. My History studies are too far!
Was there a negative point in this meal? In truth, no.
However, if there was an improvement, it would be on a tuna preparation point. Indeed, each piece is surrounded by a sheet of dough and it is quite difficult to get a really crispy dough while keeping a tataki baking on the tuna.
In this case, even if it is still a little red on my photos (the base was much more cooked), we would like the fish a little rawer. But obviously, the dough will not have the same texture and will be too limp. There is a dilemma to solve. But we are here in the point of detail.
Despite this comment, the dish is not “missed”.
I always prefer to avoid superlatives, which are often used more to flatter human vanity and give pretense to fables of crows and foxes. I will say that, on all the restaurants on the island, La Goélette runs far ahead with Michel de Matteis right on his poop, hoisting high the grand pavois of Royal Palm.
And this because it is directed by a good man, in every sense of the word. This is discovered by tasting his cooking but also by talking with him.
You see what you have to do. Cast off, hoist the sails, matey! Head out to sea!
As this article has no classic coherence, I leave you with some anti chronological images since dating from the aperitif of our meal, at the moment when Phoebus still gratified us of its rays on the terrace of the Royal Palm. A counterpart of Tom Cruise in the shaker and a paradise sunset.
As well as other dishes tasted. And yes, there was plenty.
The chef probably wanted to test if the name of my blog was usurped …
A simple overview of the wine and spirits menu
Tel: 00 230 209 8300
Addrese: Royal Road, Grand Bay, Maurice