Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Honeymoon Day 13: Anse Lazio beach and Seychellois Creole BBQ

1/11/2017
Honeymoon Day 13: Anse Lazio beach and Seychellois Creole BBQ

Raffles Praslin is all like, "Dude, I just woke up LIKE THIS."
First up... BREAKFAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was sooooo DAMN PSYCHED for the buffet.... as per my (wise) wife's idea, I took it easy so I didn't feel sick by overeating in warm weather. Good call. So I kindof tried everything, but just small amounts. Well... except for the fruit juice... I went INSANE on that.

The first thing I saw was literally my favourite possible thing... tons of kinds of weird tropical fresh juices. YESSSS. Maybe my most favourite thing ever. I had guava, then tried a weird tamarind & lime juice, then Calamansi!!!!!! Calamansi is sort of clementine-ish. It was SO good.


HECK YEAH
Next up was the unjuiced version of this... fresh fruit! And plenty of it. Coconut, Soursop(!!!), Papaya, Dragonfruit, Kiwi, Longan, Pineapple, Yellow Watermellon. Friggin' incroyable. The pastries were amazing too, especially a chocolate banana one.








Another fun and interesting addition was Poha rice and potato curry! It was also so good and was not overly strong so perfect to add to breakfast time. There were also some awesome dudes running the food stations, encouraging us to try everything and enjoy some new flavours, and happy and keen to make you anything you might want to order, like an omelet. The two dudes at the noodle station were awesome and very proud of their noodle dish, so Michal tried that and it was totally out of this world. WOW. I tried Rose Apple Compote and it was glorious. Also, some smoked salmon and smoked marlin (fancy!) were great additions.



Our buddies at the noodle and omelet counters
Potato curry!
These noodles rocked
The happiest kid on the block
Fruit is SO GOOD
Banana chocolate danish!!!!!!!!!
So that was friggin' amazing and we had a fabulous time. I drink a bazillion weird juices and loved it. So great!!

After breakfast, we checked out the front desk shop and went by the concierge to ask some questions about possible excursions or activities later in the week. We decided to walk to Anse Lazio beach, a great (and not TOO long) walk. It was pretty cool in the shade so we went out on an adventure to go explore the beach.

Bar area near the breakfast spot

This is the front checkin area we started at yesterday
A new bird friend







Nice rocky beachside along the walk


We walked past the edge of the Raffles Praslin property and continued on along the road, past this cool dude's BBQ food shack thing. "How you doin' brother?!" he said... to which I responded "Glorious!" The only response when you're in such a glorious place! We saw some rando-dogs wandering around on the roads and not a whole lot of people, it was pretty quiet. We saw a lady and one of her kids selling mangoes on the side of the road, and a few cars driving towards the beach, but otherwise it was pretty chill. It was about a 45 min walk, warm in the sun but awesome and was good to get a walk in and really enjoy the outdoors.

Cool dude's shack/business

This road was under construction so these logs were the "don't enter this road" blocker!
Anse Lazio at the end of this road
Almost there...


We arrived to Anse Lazio and it was super epic. Jason, our buddy from the Pool Deck back at the Raffles, told us that the best snorkeling was near the rocks on the right side of the beach. That was great advice! We snorkeled for a nice long time and there were lots of small and also some HUGE fish!!! Super awesome. Michal also was getting more comfortable with snorkeling which was really good too.







Here are some GoPro  photos and footage of the snorkeling.
















We figured we could probably ask any one of the random dudes hanging out near the parking lot to drive us back in their cabs (seemed like a bunch of cab drivers there, mostly just hanging out on the beach like us unless someone asked them for a ride!)... but weren't sure what the going rate would be. We asked and they said "250?" (about $20). We tried to push our luck and asked if they would take 200 but seemed like a nope, so we figured it was such a nice day we may as well just walk back and enjoy the weather and spend the taxi fare on snacks instead :) The walk, as it always tends to be, was much easier on the way back. We were also glad we walked as we found a fun corner store on the way back to get some fun things!!! So awesome!!  They had Liquifruit Passionfruit juice from South Africa (!!) as well as some BBQ Pringle-like ripoffs called "Jacker" ("Janked"?!) from Malaysia! So that was epic!

Back "home" (heh) to shower and then to the pool for some Yellow Watermellon-Feta salad. WOW THE FETA!! It was sortof a cross between regular feta and cream cheese. Absolutely NUTS.

That feta was cray
Another little bird friend

Some reading and journal catchup at the pool as well as just continuing to enjoy the heck outta the magical weather and sweet sunshine. Can't eat TOO much today... we had to save room for the special Seychellois Creole BBQ event they are having tonight!!! SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEETT!!!

There was some "Rain" for about 5 sec that we ducked inside for, and then it went back to being perfect weather. This place ROCKS!!!!



After relaxing in the room for a bit, we headed to the "Management Cocktail Hour" where you got to meet the GM and other senior staff and have some bites to eat. I had a tasty Passionfruit cocktail and chatted to the GM, staff, and Michal's counterpart at this hotel. We had a great chat about the location and the hotel's history. Joreg, the excellent GM, suggested that I ask Robin (the head Chef) at the following Seychellois Creole BBQ what the traditional Sunday meal is. Intruiging!

Off to dinner!

We arrived at the same dining room as where we had the breakfast buffet. I ran into the head chef, Robin, right off the "bat"... such a warm-hearted and welcoming dude, he was awesome to chat with and laughed when I told him I had a question for him. "Oh yes, I bet Joreg said you should ask me! The traditional Sunday meal is Fruit Bat Curry"!!! I wanted to ask him if the dish made him as strong as Batman but I wasn't sure if/how much that would be culturally insensitive or an insult by mistake... heh. So I held that joke for later until I saw the same GM again and I asked him. He is a hilarious guy and said, "Oh, it doesn't make you Batman, it makes you ROBIN [the name of the head chef]" Ha!! I feel like I set him up well for that one :) Perfect :)

Batman or not, the epic chef Robin turned out to have superheroic skills in the kitchen -- he had prepared a massive Creole buffet that was truly incredible.

So, so many favourites, and so many interesting and exciting and new flavours to try. This was an amazing meal. Tons and tons of local freshly-caught fish, of course. The Red Snapper and Coconut Fish were flaky and had a terrific flavour. I tried some Millionaire Salad with Smoked Marlin which was also very tasty.

Variety of breads
Coconut Fish, and check out that Creole Sauce!
Roast Beef and Chicken
Millionaire Salad, this was awesome
Lots of different salads
Calamansi Dressing!
Israeli-meal-style, they had tons of different vegetable salads of all sorts. The Pumpkin one was my favourite but there were tons of amazing choices. I tried a Creole Fish Soup which was surprisingly very mild, and nothing here tasted "fishy" by any means. Everything was world class.

Traditional Fish Soup
Corn and Creole Rice
Beef in Curry Leaf Sauce
Chicken Curry
Grilled Red Snapper in Bilimbi Sauce
They had corn on the cobs which were little but tasty as heck! One of the highlight sections of the food area was the curries: the Beef Ball in Curry Leaf Sauce had a light brown gravy and was not "heavy" at all. Similar to the chicken curry we had tried at the pool, these were all very light and not overwhelming or too intense for the climate.

The true epicness was the Chicken Curry, probably one of my favourite things of the night. It was quite a bit lighter even than the one we had tried at the pool. Really, really fantastic. My other major favourite was the Fish Curry, the Grilled Red Snapper with Bilimbi Sauce. Incredible!!! The flavour, the taste of the fish with the curry sauce, the lightness of it all... WOW WOW WOW. I definitely came back for 2nds of both the Chicken Curry and the Fish Curry. Man that was amazing.

Beside the epic fish curry were some fried fish cakes that were great and had a really satisfying chewiness, and there was also another fish curry there! (thought my first one was the best!) We sat down after perusing the magic of this place and ate like crazy . This was so insanely delicious. So many new flavours and new things to try.

Try ALL the things!
Excellent Fish Soup


Top center of the plate is the banana leaf grilled fish with chilies on it. Bottom is the BBQ grilled pumpkin. Top middle with the tomato on top are the fish cakes, with Creole Sauce to the right.
At the front of my plate here again you see the banana leaf grilled fish... I loved this
And for the piece de resistance... the BBQ outside... OMG. The chef out there was making a Banana Leaf BBQ grilled fish... the most moist and delicious fish you could ever imagine in your entire life. With that they suggested putting on some Creole Sauce which is a bit like a spicy ketchup. This was probably the most magnificent thing we ate on the entire honeymoon. The chef also suggested I put one some "Chilies", another sauce that was mostly chilis. He said "This is the BEST" so I took his word for it. It was awesome and WHHHEW that added some intense spice!! The grilled pumpkin from the BBQ outside also was another huge highlight.

Very proud of his work and an awesme dude, my friend the banana leaf grilled fish chef!

Wheeew that was amazing.

OK... just a litttllle more.... I got another small helping of the fish curry, the chicken curry, the banana leaf grilled fish and the grilled pumpkin. My 4 favourite things. At least until dessert...

The specialty for dessert was the Seychellois Banana Flambe (more rum!!), and was made from local bananas, rum, and caramelized sauce. The staff continued to be totally amazing. I was near drooling on the Banana Flambe station and the chef there asked me how many bananas I'd like in mine, "We'll have 2", I said... "How about 3?!" I'm not gonna argue with a chef! He easily perceived my intense excitement for what was happening and turned it up yet another notch. "How about I bring you out some vanilla ice cream?" OMG now we're getting things that clearly aren't even on the visible menu. I was over the moon. And this was no ordinary vanilla ice cream. I have no idea how they did it -- it was out-of-this-world creamy and amazing. A life-changingly awesome dessert. One for the ages!

The awesome chef making my Bananas Flambe!
I could hardly stop tasting and thinking about my awesome bananas and ice cream... but after that magical combination of awesome, we headed for... even more dessert. There was an entire buffet area of dessert so we carefully chose a few things from there too.

Passion Fruit Mousse
Mango Coco Crumble, Coconut Creme Brulee
Macarons and cakes
Banana Fritters, Lemon Meringue Tarts
Apple Strudel (flown in from Austria, I think they said?!), and amazing Banana Fritters
A few more interesting desserts: Pumpkin Fritters, Papaya Turner (traditional jam) and La Daube (a plantain, coconut milk, nutmeg dish)
And like any good world traveler, you have to try one of each.
The Passionfruit Mousse was of course an instant win. I liked the Coconut Creme Brulee as it was a hilarious tiny creme brulee in a little coconut cup! Our banana bro very proudly gave us a tour of all of the desserts. When showed us the Apple Studel he mentioned "It is from Austria!" The Banana Nougat was a little like those date/coconut Jewish desserts. Banana Fritters (wow!) were moist and the pastry was flavoured exceptionally well. The Pumpkin Fritters were similar and also awesome. Then we came to the La Daube (Breadfruit). I was particularly psyched to try it, couldn't wait... and it was... surprisingly... kinda gross! Michal said it well... "It kinda tastes like bread... that is also a fruit". Kinda dry?! And a little weird! Fun to try though! The Papaya Turner (a Traditional Papaya Jam) kinda saved the Breadfruit though! Whew! What a glorious night of new tastes, new experiences, and a whole lot of fish and fun.

Happy and dreaming of fish and chicken curry and Seychellois Banana Flambe, we headed back to the room to find the bathroom and bathtub all decorated with candles, flowers, and bubble bath!! So cool!!!!!! So friggin' legendary. What a honeymoon vibe!

An awesome surprise upon arrival back at our room
What a way to end an amazing night!
 So... today was AMAZING!

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