As one of the top luxury travel destinations in the world, Maldives boasts a host of superb and expensive resorts that offer the finest accommodations, sports facilities, spas – and of course restaurants & bars.
Maldivian cuisine itself centres around fish, coconuts and rice and visitors to Maldives can expect this plus cuisine to suit international palates. From pizza and pasta to sushi and sashimi, from beef bacon to chicken sausages and of course vegetarian, pescatarian, ketogenic and Atkins, everyone is catered for. Now, resorts are even offering ice cream shops, barista-prepared coffee houses and juice bars. While bringing alcohol into the country is not allowed, the hotels all provide the best wines and spirits on the planet.
The BusinessClass.com guide to some of finest, and fun, dining experiences in Maldives:
This is the first destination spa island in Maldives. The facilities are superb. If Michelin awarded stars in the Maldives, Executive Chef Kuntal Kumar would hold three. You will not find pizza, breads, sugar, coffee, fizzy drinks, chocolate - basically anything unhealthy – on JOALI BEING. Instead, Chef Kuntal conjures up the most amazing and delicious cuisine imaginable. The four dining destinations all follow an earth to table initiative, with traceability for every ingredient, with fresh and locally harvested foods supporting sustainable small farms. Every dish is devised alongside the resort’s nutritionists, combining taste and texture with healthy wellbeing.
The restaurant space, with its tall domed ceilings is a cathedral to cuisine, combines into an open plan interactive format called Flow which is serviced by three restaurant kitchens – those of Plantae which focuses on vegetarian and vegan cuisine; Su serving pescatarian dishes and B’Well which features a signature JOALI BEING menu. The lobster curry and tuna tataki is truly memorable. Wine is served – and of course – its organic! You could ask the delightful Staff for “naughty food” but you will find that they have bought into the island experience and live a healthy way of life too!
Baraabaru Restaurant at Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa:
Due to its close proximity, Maldives is very much influenced by Indian cuisine. The Baraabaru Restaurant at Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa transports you to India and serves up superb cuisine that tingles the taste-buds. The restaurant overlooks a lagoon and inspired by the south Indian state of Kerala.
Dishes that need to be sampled include the thali, the tandoor tapas, the naan breads and the desserts are healthily unhealthy i.e. delicious! A fresh mint tea to round off your meal is a must.
5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawahli Island Resort:
The world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant, 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, the resort’s fine dining venue, has to be one of the most unique restaurants in the world. Sited 5.8 metres below Hurawalhi, eat comfortably and shoe free on the coral reef whilst watching some of the Maldives’ most interesting marine life swim by. Accommodating no more than ten couples at a time, this restaurant opens for both five course lunches and seven course dinners. There is also a seafood free and vegan dinner menu available.
Even if you are on all-inclusive rate at Hurawahli, a visit to 5.8 is extra but is so worth it. One of the most memorable dining experiences in the world!
Guests at Hurawahl's sister fully-inclusive ultra-luxury Kudadoo resort have access to all the dining facilities at Hurawahli including 5.8, but they too have to pay for it!
Private Chef at Kudadoo Resort Maldives:
A sister island to the adult-only nearby Hurawalhi, Kudadoo is fully-inclusive. Dining is available 24/7 anywhere you want to sit on the island, in your residence, on Dream Island, the beach or of course, in the resort’s restaurant located in the island’s hub, The Retreat. There is also access to the owner’s own Wine Cellar for a Cheese and Wine tasting with a difference, together with unlimited consumption of seven different premium Champagnes and a wine list of over 80 wine marques. Every one of the fifteen villas is offered private chef-prepared meals. Breakfast - floating on your pool is a morning delight!
The resort does have a rather lovely restaurant with views and access to a fine cheese and meats cave! Guests staying at Kudadoo have access to 5.8 at Hurawahli - at a charge. But Hurawahli does feature some lovely restaurants - especially JFK - the Junk Food Kitchen - complete with yummy pizzas and burgers.
Umami at LUX* South Ari Atoll:
With a range of eight restaurants and five bars, Lux* South Ari Atoll has to offer the widest selection of dining opportunities for the size of resort of any in the Maldives.
Umami, also open for dinner only, enjoys a contemporary design to fit a menu of gastronomic Japanese dining at its best. With chefs entertaining with their knife skills, enjoy fresh sashimi, nigiri and maki at the cobalt blue bar, Kobe beef and Australian lamb at the robata grill or speciality teppanyaki. To accompany the meal, choose from over 30 sakes or fine Japanese whiskeys. This restaurant serves some of the finest Japanese cuisine in the Maldives - especially if Chef Alan is wearing his toque!
After supper, head to Café Lux* and enjoy barista-made coffee, morning, noon, and night. The resort roasts its own beans on-site in special roasting rooms which can be explored in special tours.
One of the most favoured and sweetest outlets on the island – and arguably the Maldives – is ICI – the ice-cream shop! From ice lollies to fresh ice cream it’s all here and open for consumption all day! Lux* South Ari Atoll is the first resort in the Maldives to be recognised as a “Vegan Friendly Hotel” by Vegan Welcome - with plant-based vegetarian and vegan “keen on green” dishes available at all the food and beverage outlets.
For those looking for a lunch or dinner and night disco - head to Beach Rouge! It's a beautiful room and when it gets dark, the beautiful people hit the floating dance floor!
Aragu – Velaa Private Island
The fine dining over-water restaurant, Aragu, celebrates the wonder of the ocean with a shoal of porcelain fish swimming under its thatched roof, the room open to the elements allowing the soft murmur of the ocean to accompany the delicious European menu. Chef Gaushan de Silva is a culinary magician. One minute he is juggling with lobster, then tuna or oysters! His meals are all personalised – as expected on this ultra-exclusive “private island”. His menus could feature produce including Gillardeau oysters or pigeon from France, local lobster and Japanese tuna.
This incredible building houses the most expensive wine collection in the Indian Ocean and also features a delightful Japanese teppanyaki restaurant at its base and viewing platform at its peak.
Zuma at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
The Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi boasts eleven bars & restaurants!
One of the highlights is Zuma – part of the international restaurant group that has outposts including New York, Hong Kong and Dubai. Famed Chef Rainer Becker has brought delicious Japanese cuisine using local ingredients to create a memorable izakaya-style meal.
Terra is where there are private dining nests crafted from bamboo up in the treetops, Glow - the garden to table concept, The Ledge by Michelin-starred chef, Dave Pynt and Amber, the signature Champagne bar for a perfect sundowner.
But for a touch of authentic Shanghai, head to Li Long, the resort’s Chinese restaurant offering Peking Duck roasted in The Maldives’ first classic wood-fired oven and a menu of contemporary classics accompanied by a range of speciality Chinese teas.
Botanica at One&Only Reethi Rah:
Botanica by Brent Savage is an atmospheric outdoor restaurant with outdoor cooking with garden-grown fresh ingredients. The menu is curated by Chef Brent Savage known for his original vegetarian and contemporary cuisine, sourcing much of its ingredients from the chef’s garden and the surrounding ocean.
A very special place to enjoy an evening meal at the resort is in the Treehouse - which is set in the middle of the "jungle". A memorable experience....
TAI at COMO Maalafushi:
This excellent Japanese restaurant has an unfair advantage over restaurants in Maldives as it has its own resident stingray – Aki-san – who swims by every day to enjoy only the finest sashimi provided by his friends – TAI’s excellent itamaes (chefs).
Aki-san should not take diners away from the delicious dishes – expertly prepared with the finest local, fresh ingredients - from aburi rolls to the signature Tai – red snapper. The sunken sushi bar is a delightful location to gorge on tasty food and toast premium sakes.
The Manta Ray Treehouse – JOALI Maldives:
There are six dining options at JOALI Maldives that offer cuisine from South East Asia, China, Japan, the Mediterranean and the Levant.
Private dining options abound here but one special experience with sunrise and sunset views includes a treetop experience for eight people at The Manta Ray Treehouse with artist Porky Hefer’s Manta Ray sculpture high up in the canopy. Alternatively, dine on a luxury yacht, take out a picnic to a desert island – whatever your dining pleasure, the culinary team will deliver.
Read the BusinessClass.com review and find the best rates for JOALI Maldives
Maldives is an oenophile’s dream!
Most resorts boast an excellent wine collection with Siyam World featuring a gorgeous underground wine cave – filled with delightful vintages. The resort offers wine tastings and specially prepared meals served in the cellar.
The Tavaru Tower at Velaa Private Island is quite special. It is 23-metres tall and features a teppanyaki restaurant at the base, viewing platform at the peak and bottles & bottles of wine! The collection is – apparently – worth in excess of GBP1 million – and features the likes of Cristal, boutique and organic wines . The wine list is 30 pages long!
Kudadoo features a special collection of wines, spirits and cigars. These are all included in the full-inclusive rate. The whiskies are superb!
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