You might have booked your upcoming visit to the Maldives because of its impossibly beautiful scenery, flawless Indian Ocean waters, and many luxury services and amenities. Maybe it is due to your love of snorkeling in some of the world’s finest conditions or maybe it is because you just want a remarkably peaceful place to kick back and relax. No matter why you decided to travel to the area, and its 26 atolls and 1,000+ islands, you will also want to indulge in the amazing restaurants found there.
As an article in CNN Travel explained, “the country punches well above its travel weight when it comes to culinary choices, thanks to exclusive resorts where celebrity chefs craft some of the world’s finest and most expensive ingredients — as well as local produce — into show-stopping plates.”
Does it mean that it is only the resorts where world-class dining is found? No, not at all, there are many different cafes and restaurants outside of the luxurious resorts. We’ll explore as many of the options as we can, but first, want to recommend those three premium dining options for travelers heading to the Maldives.
Four Seasons Maldives Dining
The Four Seasons resorts in the Maldives is known as the Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, and it is described as an “innovative island sanctuary in the Baa Atoll,” which is one of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve areas. The region surrounding the resort is described as a place where, “tiffany blues, jungle greens and dazzling whites meet innovation, conservation and wellness with equal, vibrant intensity.”
It offers a long list of luxury amenities and services, as well as all kinds of activities. Additionally, there is a long list of dining and drinking options. They include:
· Blu – This is a light Mediterranean focused restaurant that features daytime dining options created by chef Ciro D’Amico (Blu Bar offers signature cocktails in an appealing setting next to the Blu restaurant)
· Al Barakat – This is a Middle Eastern-inspired eatery and is situated over the water with indoor and outdoor/rooftop seating. It focuses on dishes from Armenia, Lebanon and Morocco
· Café Landaa – This is a restaurant made up of four thatch-roofed dining pavilions. It specializes in regional and Asian cuisine and includes a water garden, teppanyaki counter and an open kitchen where meals are prepared in plain sight
· Fuego Grill – This is a fresh fish restaurant as well as a heartier fare eatery where beachfront grilling is the order of the day
· Seabar – This is a signature nightclub with DJ, tapas foods, and an amazing over the water setting
· Shisha Bar – This is at the lower level of Al Barakat and perches just over the water and is open to the sea, where visitors enjoy signature cocktails and Turkish coffees
There is also the poolside bar with drinks and lighter fare (including sandwiches) available throughout the day.
Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort
As this resort’s website explains, it sits “within the crystal waters of Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll,” and offers “complete privacy and intimate luxury.” It has over-water bungalows, a spa, reef adventures, and specializes in Maldivian cuisine.
The dining options include:
· Blue Salt – This is the resort’s all-day, gourmet restaurant that focuses on local ingredients combined into a European and Asian fusion that emphasizes Maldivian classics. There is a large wine list and menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, Asian specialties, and a children’s menu.
· Nala Rah – This is a teppan grill and raw bar that emphasizes high end and elegant dining. There are Japanese whiskey options, a huge wine cellar, sochu, and sake
There is also poolside dining with an emphasis on bistro foods and Asian specialties, and all served in the open air or beneath tiki huts.
Restaurants in Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani
Of course, the two iconic resorts of Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani are packed with dining experiences. At Soneva Fushi, visitors can enjoy Fresh in the Garden with its plant-based dishes served in an open-air, garden setting near the kitchen. There is also Once Upon a Table, with room for eight and which emphasizes table-prepared dishes and specialties. Out of the Blue offers an Indonesian/Vietnamese fusion restaurant as well as “So Hot – a robata grill, josper grill and pizza area; So Guilty – the chocolate and ice cream parlours; and So Cheesy – our cheese room.” So Hands On is a sushi counter run by a three-Michelin starred chef and is also an option.
At Soneva Jani, visitors will love The Crab Shack with its outdoor dining and its amazing drinks, but it is the setting that earned it the “World’s Most Romantic Restaurant,” in year’s past. Guess Who’s Cooking is a surprise menu prepared in a secret location and in cooperation with the chef. So Imaginative has room for 20 and is a wine-inspired meal where tastings and pairings are the emphasis. So Engaging is a chef’s table where dishes are prepared in front of diners.
And for those not eager to remain exclusively at the resorts, the experts recommend:
· Iberry Café in Hulhumale – A local favorite specializing in fresh ingredients and offering signature juices
· Jazz Café in Haveeree Hingun – Another local favorite it hosts live music and specializes in “yellow chicken curry, roshi, beef and onion stir fry, and roast chicken with barbecue sauce.”
· Palace Sichuan – This is in Nooraanee Goalhi and is a communal dining room specializing in Chinese dishes, including “jumbo prawns, beef and whole fish entreés from the Sichuan province of Western China.”
· Sala Thai – Tucked into a boutique hotel at Buruneege, this restaurant focuses on Asian dishes and its top options include Panang Curry or shrimp in spicy sauce.
· Seagull Café House – Located in Faradhee Magu, it features Indian, Maldivian and Western cuisine, including classics like fish and chips as well as signature ice cream flavors.
If you are hungry in the Maldives, it is quite likely that it is your own fault, and these restaurants are but a few of the great options.