One fruit bat curry, minus the Ebola please

In my quest to sample weird and wonderful local delicacies from around the world, I knew I had to sample the “famous” Seychelles fruit bat curry. But like the Ecuadorian guinea pig, you seem to discover that not a lot of the locals actually eat this. Now I know why.

I had prearranged with my tour guide to take me to a restaurant that served this delectable dish while spending the day touring around Mahe. We ended up at a restaurant just outside of the capital city of Victoria called Marie-Antoinette, which specialises in Seychelles Creole cuisine.

Marie-Antoinette menu

The restaurant is housed in a quaint colonial-style building with both an indoor and an outdoor covered seating area, and sports the requisite pen of giant tortoises, which you seem to randomly find in various places around the country.

Turtle pen

This particular restaurant was clearly on the tourist trail, and the food on offer was a set menu of Creole fish, chicken and other small dishes, which we supplemented with an order of fruit bat curry.

Creole dishes

As you can imagine, the fruit bat is a rather bony animal, so the curry was more like a bowl of twigs along with some gratuitous potatoes than a curry that one might expect. Aside from one meaty thigh, it took a fair bit of effort to find much meat at all, so I suppose the correct technique may have been to suck the little bones. But I wasn’t feeling so keen on sucking bat bones that day.

Fruit bat curry

The flavour was a bit sour. Was this the natural, gamey flavour of the fruit bat or a proprietary blend of herbs and spices used in the preparation? I’m afraid I’ll never know.

Jen eating fruit bat

But I do know that you don’t get a lot of bang for your buck, as there’s not a lot of actual edible bat meat for the amount of effort you need to put in.

It just so happened that I visited in July 2014, at the height of the Ebola outbreak. After I left the Seychelles, I learned that fruit bats are thought to be natural Ebola virus hosts. I won’t lie and say I wasn’t hypochondriacking just a little for the 21 days after I found this out.

Twenty-one days later, I was fine. But Ebola or no Ebola, let’s just say that this is another delicacy I won’t be rushing to eat again soon!

However, should you want to try it – Marie-Antoinette restaurant will surely welcome you with open arms.

Marie-Antoinette Restaurant
Serret Road
Mahe, Seychelles
Tel: +248 4 266 222

Adventure Rating 5

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One comment

  1. I went to the Seychelles and Marie Antoinette restaurant too and didn’t eat the bat because I was too spooked by the ebola concerns (although I probably would have eaten it had I not read an article a few days before I traveled on bush meat causing the outbreak, and bats in particular! Good work for trying it and glad all went well 🙂

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