Sometimes the most amazing experiences are the ones that take you by surprise.
Since our package at Shangri-La Le Touessrok only includes breakfast, we find ourselves looking for options in the Trou d'eau Douce area for lunches and dinners. A quick search on the internet yields a couple of results which include a mysterious sounding Café des Arts. The information online describes the restaurant as a French fine dining eatery so we decide to give it a go.
Le Café des Arts is truly an off the beaten track gem. The building is an old sugar estate which has been refurbished into a restaurant but could easily have been an art gallery. The old stone bricks are still there, as well as a well maintained reflection pool.
We are greeted by the owner, Jocelyn Gonzales, at the front door and he ushers us to a sitting area for an apéritif and a gaze through the menu. The music playing in the background is a mixture of classic Chanson Française and contemporary jazz/blues. The walls are covered in paintings done by Jocelyn's mother.
After our drinks, we are led by our waiter to the dining area for our 4 course meal. Every detail has been perfectly thought out here from the placing of cutlery on the table to the serving of sauces separately to the dishes as they come out.
I won't tell you too much about the dishes so as not to spoil the surprise but I will say that everything we ordered was perfectly prepared, balanced and presented.
Our waiter was very attentive throughout the meal and Jocelyn frequently dropped by our table to make sure everything was going perfectly.
We have been to Michelin starred restaurants in Europe and North America and I have to say that this 3 hour experience would rival some of the best we've had.
If you are after an intimate curated dining experience, Le Café des Arts is the one for you. There are not many restaurants like this in Mauritius. In fact, this one might just be in a league of its own.