For a more aboriginal broadcast, Rihiveli Beach has a nightly tradition of announcing dinner with a call of the conch shell. I could get a recording of it myself, but I did find this enchanting tribute to the “Call of the Sangu” on YouTube commissioned by Dusit Thani. Come and get it!
The rain in the main drains plainly down the chain…at Dusit Thani’s Devarana Spa. Their buildings are fitted with decorative rain chains. Instead of boring pipes to channel the rain water of the roof and away from the structure, the rain chains provide a colourful cascade. They become a soothing water feature during the infrequent rain showers in the Maldives providing a bit of a sliver (or copper) lining to such passing storm clouds.
If you prefer relaxing on top of a palm tree – rather than under it or *on* it – then Dusit Thani’s treetop Devarana Spa is perched just right for you…
“The spa encompasses six deluxe treatment pods which sit elevated amongst the island’s palm trees and for those who prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground; the spa has also developed two stunning ground level treatment rooms. Manicure and pedicure-dedicated area, private outdoor pool, steam and sauna are exclusively available for spa guests.”
Eight treatment rooms are found in the 6 treetop pods nettled atop of the tropical lushness. All treatments guaranteed to leave to feeling floating on air.
“Dusit Thani Maldives takes pride in launching the first official and internationally approved free-diving centre in the Maldives, an incredible addition to the selection of water sports available at the resort. Free-diving is a form of underwater diving that relies on the diver’s ability to hold his or her breath until resurfacing without the use of scuba gear. Besides experiencing the tranquillity of underwater kingdom, there are various health and fitness benefits attributed to this unique diving activity. Dusit Thani Maldives’s free-dive centre has joined forces with Apnea Total, a globally renowned free-diving organisation. The Apnea Total Free-diving Education System and Standards are followed at the centre and guests will be provided Apnea Total certifications that are recognized worldwide. Resort guests will train under the supervision of highly experienced free-dive instructors who have themselves worked and trained under record-holding free-divers. Additionally, the centre boasts world-class CRESSI equipment and the rental cost of these is included in the course price. The center offers all levels ofApnea Total courses:Free-Diver Basic, Advanced Free-Diver, and Free-Diving Master, each lasting 2 days, 3 days and up to 5 weeks respectively. The Basic course will equip guests to dive safely and comfortably down to 20 meters on a single breath and the Advanced course equips guests to dive down to 40 metres below sea level.”
I love attention to detail and during my tours I am always on the scrounge for those little touches that make the experience a bit more distinctive. One of my favourites was Dusit Thani’s butter patties wrapped with a little bow of greens. No balancing on the edge of your knife or unwrapping cafeteria-style packages. Just pick up the patty by the sprig and put it on your plate.
In our household, we have a family saying from Lori’s home turf in The South of the USA – “Everything is better with butter!” And a Dusit Thani, even the butter is better.
Soup always my first dish at a gourmet restaurant.
I shy away from the basic grilled, broiled and fried because I can do that at home. When I go out, I want some that takes more prep than I typically have time to invest. I favour the interesting casseroles and sauces, but the quintessence are the soups. Furthermore, their delectable broths are live savoury wines with heat instead of alcohol bringing a complex bouquet of flavours alive.
The tropical Maldives is really the setting for the piping hot stodgy side of the soup spectrum, but there are still plenty of possibilities especially among the chilled varieties. Lobster bisque and gazpacho are fairly common classics found in most of the 5-star resorts. But Dusit Thani not only had the most extensive array of soups on their menu, but they were all Michelin-star gourmet quality…
Iced Tomato Consommé
Veloute of White Bean
Chilled Avocado Soup
Peking Duck Consommé.
In honour of Homemade Soup Day today, I am adding a “Soup” tag to the blog.
Here’s a little bit of Maldivian culture for the little ones. I love checking out the resort kids clubs whether they have all manner of items shrunk down to tyke size. You will find these Maldivian classic seats throughout the Maldives, but Dusit Thani’s “Baan Sanook” kids club was the only place I’ve seen a tiny tyke version adapted for the little ones.
Any writer appreciates a good theme. And I’ve been a bit more focused on “themes” recently with the new WordPress blog platform (both for Maldives Complete and one of my other blogs, “Dynamic Work”). The “themes” specify the look and feel of the layout with a dazzling array of choices from technical experts who concoct an expansive buffet to pick from.
Dusit Thani has also assembled a collection of dinners with some of the most luxuriously delectable “themes” – Asparagas, Foie Gras, Lobster, Truffle. One of Lori’s and my most memorable meals was a lobster themed menu at The House of Elliot in Ghent, Belgium. It’s a great way to combine variety with consistency. I have to say that I would have been even more delighted to see “Lobster Ice Cream” as Dusit’s lobster dessert instead though.
The menus also have the option for specifically suggested wines to accompany each which is a typical option for menus degustations. But the twist I love by Dusit turns the “accompaniment” notion on its head. They have a “Champagne” menu where you have a different champagne with each course and the dish is specially selected to go with the champagne! That’s getting priorities right.
Asparagus, courgette and tarragon terrine with seared scallop
Poached asparagus and slow cooked egg with bernaise sauce
Slow roasted beef eye fillet with a warm salad of asparagus, celeriac and parsnip
Toasted Brioche with aged goats cheese and asparagus espooma
White asparagus and raspberry, rhubarb with chocolate soil
Foie gras with sauterne jelly and sour dough
Game and foie gras terrine with pickled vegetables
Tartlet of seared foie gras and chocolate soil with truffle vinaigrette
Slow cooked fillet of beef with foie gras
Foie gras ice cream with poached prunes and short bread crumbs
Lobster bisque flavoured with cognac and truffle cream
Cold lobster jelly with lobster and citrus salad beer tuile
Warm lobster tart with creamed leeks and fennel and dill salad
Lobster parfait with poached lobster tail with baby carrots braised fennel
White bean and truffle cappuccino
Ballotine of quail stuffed with truffle mousse with salsify and truffle dressing
Spaghetti linguine tossed with fresh truffle, parmesan and olive oil
Slow cooked fillet of beef with foie gras pithivier jus borderlaise
Dusit Thani puts the “infinity’ into the infinity pool? 52 metres I length (over half a football pitch) and 32 metres wide, it is the longest infinity pool I’ve found in the Maldives. It also features a faux-beach (see photo below) which provides a graduated entry. Very appropriate to have its own “beach” since the pool is big enough to be its own mini-ocean.
Bonjourno! Italy Day today is the occasion to celebrate all things italiano. And the best place to start is the cuisine. Many people think of Italian meal as heavy with the pastas and pizzas (and if you have ever sat through a Sunday family meal in Italy, then you indeed will know the true meaning of “stuffed”). In a hot tropical destination, one might not think of Italian. Usually, it seems that the Italian resort offerings are for the (a) unadventuresome, or (b) the kids (see #a). But Dusit Thani’s Sea Grill restaurant brings an inventive gourmet touch to some true Italian mainstays…
Seafood Lasagna (see photo above) – Why don’t more resort restaurants do more seafood pastas (instead of the ubiquitous bolognaise)?? It’s a winge of mine that crops up regularly in my “Haven’t Seen Yet” series (eg. Lobster Mac and Cheese).
Light Gazpacho (see photo below)– A twist on Gazpacho made from blanched tomato and garlic and force through cloth for a pure, clear essence of tomato served over tomato and soy garnish.
Now Lori and I go to Italy several times a year and eating are a big part of our visits not to mention that our hometown of London has its own sampling of Italian high cuisine. Gazpacho and Lobster Bisque are my two most favorite soups…and I love soup. I have gazpacho everywhere. And yet, never had never sampled anything quite so delicately exquisite as these two classics with almost ethereal twists.