Recipe: Black Qwehli Prawns poached with lemongrass, stuffed chinese chard and papaya chutney

This delicious and surprisingly easy seafood recipe comes from Chef Dominique at Constance Belle Mare Plage. The Black Qwehli prawn is an exceptional organic prawn that comes from Mozambique. If you can’t get these prawns, use the best quality prawns with tails that you can.

Black Qwehli prawns

Black Qwehli prawns

Serves 4

Ingredients

15-20 prawns

For the papaya chutney

  • 150g papaya
  • one piece of lemon
  • green chilli
  • 30g onion
  • 4g garlic, thinly chopped
  • 20g spring onions
  • 2g curry powder

For the stuffed chinese chard

  • 4 pieces of Pak Choi
  • 80g fresh fish, thinly chopped
  • 1 onion
  • 2g corn flour
  • 4g ginger pasta
  • 4 leaves of Pak Choi, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chilli powder

For the lemon grass foam

  • Shrimp stock infused with a good quantity of crushed lemon grass
  • 100g whipped cream

Decoration to serve 

  • 1 piece of tomato
  • Lemon rind
  • 100g watermelon

1. Crush the lemongrass and infuse in the shrimp stock. Then poach the prawns in the stock, and place in the fridge.
2. Prepare the papaya chutney – dice the papaya into small pieces, chop the onion, chilli and spring onion.
3. Cook this in olive oil, add the curry powder and blend very quickly. Allow the mix to cool down.
4. To prepare the lemongrass foam – whip the cream, reduce the stock and blend.
5. Place the tomato, watermelon and lemon rind onto cocktail sticks. Serve as shown in the photograph above.

The Moofushi Honeymoon Dream Package

Planning your dream honeymoon?

Aerial view of Constance Moofushi Resort, Maldives

Constance Moofushi Resort, Maldives

You can enjoy a rare taste of paradise where relaxation and romance come easily to make every moment unforgettable with us at Constance. A unique experience just for you…
Stay should not be more than 9 months after date of wedding. If you book before October you can receive up to 20% off rate prices.

Package include

  • 50% discount per person on 1st spa treatment /adult
  • Fruits and sparkling wine /room
  • Daily CRISTAL ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE for adult

Find out more about this honeymoon discount offer, along with terms and conditions.

Marriage certificate to be produced upon request
Special offers are not combinable.

Top 5 temples and ruins in Mauritius

There’s a fascinating multi-cultural heritage on the island of Mauritius, with a religious mix of Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Buddhists.

On the road in Mauritius

On the road in Mauritius

If you want a day away from the beach, there’s plenty of culture to discover on the island. Here’s a quick tour of the top temples and ruins to visit.

1. Balaclava Ruins

On the northwest coast of Mauritius, between Port Louis and Grand Baie are the Balaclava Ruins, just a few metres away from the Bay of Turtles.

The foundations of the fortress estate were laid down by the first French governor Mahé de Labourdonnais.

The ruins are set amidst tropical vegetation, and you can see the original sea walls of the fortress within the grounds of the Maritim Hotel.

2. The Triolet Shivala

The largest Hindu temple, the Maheswarnath, is found at Triolet Shivala in the North of Mauritius. Built in 1819, the temple honours the gods Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, Brahma, Ganesha and Muruga.

The Maha Shivarathri festival is celebrated here in February/March each year. There’s also a traditional early-morning Sunday market every week at the village.

3. Dutch Ruins

Set on high ground at Vieux Grand Port, you’ll find the oldest settlement in Mauritius, where the Dutch built their first fort. It’s regarded as a key part of Mauritian history and work is under way to further excavate the site.

Ganga Talao, Mauritius

Ganga Talao, Mauritius

4. Martello Towers

Five martello towers were built by the British in Mauritius, to defend their colony against the threat of attack by the French. In the early 1990s, the tower at La Preneuse in Black River was restored and protected as a national monument.

5. Ganga Talao at Grand Bassin

Ganga Talao is one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites on Mauritius. Each year locals make their pilgrimage here during the Maha Shivaratri festival.

Interview with Gert Puchtler, General Manager at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Gert Puchtler

Gert Puchtler

Gert Puchtler is our General Manager at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius.

Originally from Germany, Gert started in the hotel industry doing work experience as a bell-boy while still at school. He quickly proved his talents, becoming a general manager in Germany at just 29 years old.

1. Tell us a bit about Constance Belle Mare Plage

Belle Mare Plage is one of the longest established hotels on Mauritius. People have been working here for the last 30 years. Staff have contact with guests who have been coming here since the beginning, and special bonds develop between the staff and guests. They see each other as friends.

For example, families who come back sometimes insist that a particular villa master looks after them. Guests bring staff gifts, and some have tears in their eyes when they leave. Guests might come every 3 years – everyone recognises them, and everything is prepared just as they like it.

At Belle Mare Plage we also have two championship golf courses. Golf draws people here – the golf pros at our hotel encourage the guests, and teach them. People feel very comfortable here.

Legends golf course, Constance Belle Mare Plage

Legends golf course, Constance Belle Mare Plage

2. What do you think of hotel standards today?

The sincere service culture isn’t apparent in Europe anymore. It’s more natural to people in Mauritius, owing to their culture and their background of life – it makes them more sincere when dealing with other people.

Staff in hotels who’ve been working for a long time are intuitive. The management encourages and supports this -we teach that you need to ‘read guests’.

When you start out you need to make mistakes – you need to have a guest who isn’t happy, and to learn from it.

Constance has standard operating procedures for complaints but we also want staff to be creative and to think out of the box. We’re trying to implement a buddy system so that younger staff follow someone more experienced.

A guest’s second stay is the critical one – the potential for disappointment is greater because of higher expectation. The first time, guests don’t know what to expect but if on their second visit they don’t have a flower on their bed like the first time, they feel disappointed.

La Spiaggia restaurant, Constance Belle Mare Plage

La Spiaggia at Belle Mare Plage

3. What qualities should someone have if they want to work in this industry?

There’s a higher turnover of younger people these days – the hotel industry demands a lot of time and devotion of your hours. Early morning, late at night, public holidays. Younger people don’t want to do it so much anymore. It limits the kind of life you can live because your social life is limited.

Staff either get into it, live it, love it and stay. Or get into it, try it and don’t like it. Work experience is the best way to see what’s happening at the back of house.

I had a boss who said if you want to achieve something in the hotel industry, at the beginning of your career don’t look at time or money because you’ll always be unhappy if you do.

If you’re good at it, you can achieve something quite fast in this profession. I moved on in my career and by 29 I was made a general manager. That’s very young in Germany for that to happen.

4. What made you pursue this as a career?

As a young child, I was lucky to travel with my family to nice places. I loved it and I always wanted to get into the service industry. My father told me that ‘service’ is key – it makes you a servant or the one who is served. You have to make the choice which one you’ll be.

I tried it, and liked it. I’ve met so many people in my life. I wanted to meet international people – people from different cultures. Germany wasn’t enough for me. I went to great parties and functions when I was younger. In the hotel industry, you meet people you wouldn’t normally meet. I like going to nice places, restaurants, eating good food and wine.

It was a world that I loved, it was clear that I wanted to do it.

Everyday something else will happen – every day you come to work and you don’t know how your day will end.

5. Where do you think the hotel industry goes from here?

Young people don’t want to work that hard. There’s a change in generations of staff and guests. Young people think younger, so it’s good to have that in your staff. But you also need a more traditional service because wealthy older people prefer that type of service.

The analogy is that my father likes classical music. My generation likes dance and techno. There’s a big difference between these types of people, and you have to think how to align these two.

It’s a very important time at the moment, a period of transition. As management you need to be careful how you direct this transition.

6. You’ve travelled all over the world. Where’s your favourite place to go on holiday?

My favourite holiday destination is the southern part of France and I never miss the chance to visit this region whenever I go to Europe.

2011 US Open Tennis Championship gets underway

US Open Tennis 2011

US Open Tennis 2011

The last grand slam of the season is underway at Flushing Meadows, New York.

US Open

The official site of the US Open gives you daily scores, the draw and schedule of play, news and video.

Straight Sets

Check out the New York Times tennis blog for daily commentary and updates on how the top seeds are faring at this year’s championship.

Nick’s Tennis Picks

Lively commentary from tennis coach of 50 years, Nick Bollettieri.

Constance Lémuria – villa BBQ experience

Constance Lemuria, villa BBQ

Constance Lemuria, villa BBQ

If you’re heading to one of our beautiful villas at Constance Lémuria, Seychelles, why not plan a delicious in-villa BBQ prepared by us?   

While relaxing in the peaceful and private surroundings of your villa, the villa butler and the kitchen team will set up the BBQ experience in your garden.

At sunset you can enjoy a passionfruit and vanilla Constance Star Martini, shaken just for you.

And we’ll serve you some of the superb local produce of the Seychelles – fresh line-caught snapper, green papaya prepared in tangy chutney, jumbo prawns in lemongrass marinade.