Simply India – by Atul Kochhar, Mauritius
Update: After speaking with Atul Kochhar he informed me he is no longer affiliated with Simply India. When I ate there it was marketed as his restaurant.
On our last night in Mauritius we wanted to go out with a bang so decided to eat at Simply India. Simply India is twice Michelin starred Atul Kochhar’s offering in Mauritius at the St. Regis resort, Le Morne. The menu is not huge and as I’m a terrible decision maker we went for the tasting menu instead.
Before we ordered we were given a plate of poppadoms and 4 chutneys for dipping. This was a nice appetiser to get you in the mood for the large Indian meal about to come. We were also offered an amuse bouche of a paneer (Indian cheese) and gramflour.
First course — Karara Kekda aur Makali which loosely translates to crusty crab shells and squid. I fell in love with crab shells when I had them for the first time here. This dish was so colourful and busy, I couldn’t wait to dig in. Unusual combination of crab and passion fruit with mango salsa completely worked. The crunch of the soft crab shells with hints of cumin and sweet chilli sauce was really something unique, and confirmed that sweet and savoury if done well, is an explosive combination.
Second course — Murg Chandi Tikka, meaning chicken tikka with aluminium foil. No not really, it’s actually ‘chandi ka varakh’ which means thin layers of pure silver. I’ve never had silver on anything other than Indian sweets which is the traditional way of making Indian desserts more fancy. But this is Atul Kochhars restaurant, so expect the unexpected! The chicken lacked any distinct flavour, but the pickled onion/cabbage that came with it was really spicy and tangy.
Third course — Meen Moiley – pan fried seabass in a rich and creamy coconut and ginger sauce was for me the best dish of the night. The crispy skin of the seabass cooked to perfection with the flavour of kaffir lime leaves coming through in the coconut sauce was beautifully presented. It was so rich that I struggled to finish it as I’d already had two courses and a plate of popodums. This would have been the perfect dish if it had been the only course but within a tasting menu it was too much.
Fourth course — Sorbet – a much needed refreshing palette cleanser of light and tangy lime sorbet dusted with cinammon. It was just what was required for the next two courses.
Fifth course — Mangsho Ghughni – perhaps the most disappointing of the night, sliced lamb saddle on a bed of chickpeas with separate gravy poured from a jug. The lamb was dry and chewy and the sauce was a standard lamb curry gravy with little flavour. I hardly ate any of it.
Sixth course — Almond Rasmalai, a classic Indian dessert which I love was again nothing extraordinary. It didn’t melt in the mouth like rasmalai by Royal does which is prepackaged and sold everywhere. However the nuts and sugar shard definitely added some uniqueness to this dish and made it a bit more exciting.
At £75 per head my expectations were high and sadly Simply India didn’t meet them in terms of quality. The seafood and fish were the real winners. My husband who is allergic to shellfish had an alternate dish of lamb chops which again were standard lamb chops lacking any oomph. I felt that the meat wasn’t marinated long enough and flavours hadn’t seeped through to the meat. The other restaurants at St. Regis are just as good if not better than Simply India, also less expensive and are included in the half board/all inclusive option. However I was full beyond belief so I can’t complain about that. The nice thing is that they have a children’s menu which they use across the St. Regis resort which you can order from for the children.
I’ve heard great things about Benares by Atul Kochhar in London, so am hoping the food there is of higher quality.
Halal status: All meat halal as verified by staff/Alcohol served/no pork
Address: St Regis Resort, Le Morne, Mauritius
Tasting menu was MUR 3,600 per person (approx £72 per person) plus service.