Friday, April 6, 2012

Dining and Wining at a Malagasy Institution: Chez Madame Chabaud in Mahajanga, at the West Coast of Madagascar

Pictures: Christian G.E. and Annette Schiller and Christiane Chabaud at Chez Madame Chabaud

Chez Madame Chabaud is an in institution in Mahajanga, at the West Coast of Madagascar. I had dinner there with my wife Annette, my daughter Cornelia and her fiancé Chris. It was a lovely - and very special - evening.


Mahajanga is a seaport, located on the Betsiboka River, which then leads to Bombetoka Bay. The city has a sizeable Muslim population. In 1977, it was the scene of ethnic unrest, forcing the evacuation of the Comorian minority living there.

Pictures: Impressions of Mahajanga

Chez Madame Chabaud

Chez Madame Chabaud is a bit hidden in the center of the town. It was founded in 1955 by Jeannette Chabaud, the mother of the current owner Christiane. “Business was good until the mid 1970’s when the Malagasy socialism started to show its first impact on the economy. My mother switched to “sur commande” only“ said Christiane. In 1991, Christiane took over and developed it into a full-fledged restaurant. “My best years were during the period when Ratsiraka came back as President and Tantely Andrianarivo was Prime Minister” said Christiane.

Pictures: Christiane Chabaud

The restaurant is rather small. There are 5 tables with perhaps 20 seats in total. It is a very cosy atmosphere at Chez Madame Chabaud. You feel at home and well taken care of.

Pictures: Chris Tremann and Cornelia Schiller

Wining and Dining

Here is what the four of us ate and drank.

While we focused on seafood, there is also a page “nos viandes” and a page “plats malagasys”. The total bill for aperitif, wine, water and 3 courses came to Ariary 194.000, which is US$ 50 at the current exchange rate.

In terms of my ranking of Antananarivo restaurants, I would give Madame Chez Chabaud 4 stars. The numerbs are the prices in Ariary. Ariary 2000 = US$ 1 and Ariary 2600 = Euro 1.


Quenelle de crabs au combava 8000
Tartare de courgettes et poisson citronnes 7000
Gratin de chouchon aux crevettes 12000
Nems aux crabs sauce a la mangue 13000


Curry de raie aux raisins secs et riz au coco 14000
Croustillant de crevettes a l’ananas 14000
Crabes au coco a la coriander freche rougaille 13000
Ouassous a la creole et son riz au coco 15000


Ananas des iles 6000
Flan au coco 6500
Glace au gingembre et miel sauvage 7000
Sorbet au Letches 6000


A small, focused wine menu, with 3 French reds and 2 Malagasy and 1 Chilean white(s). She also has wine en pichet from South Africa and France.

We had the Cahors for Ariary 42.000

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