· “Always be yourself. Unless You can be a Unicorn. Then Always be a Unicorn”
Happy Halloween! An occasion where all sorts of mystical creatures emerge. After more than 20 years of visiting the Maldives, I might not have seen a whale shark yet, but I have seen a unicorn. Not just once, but twice. At the Hard Rock and SAii Lagoon’s kids club who host an “awesome Unicorn Party”. Then, later at the main restaurant buffer Unicorn Froot Loops not only provided another encountered with this mystical creature, but also satisfied my American-bred addiction to high-fructose corn-syrup.
“We’re gunna need a bigger boat!” – Martin Brody
No, not for thing eating you in the water…for you eating things in the water. And Brennia Kottefaru has delivered with the biggest boatload of breakfast we have seen. (thanks Ibrahim)
My biggest laugh this week was a gem of a line in the bio-pic flick “Judy” (about Judy Garland) which during a visit to London says, “You ever tried a crumpet?…Mm?…It’s like a pancake that’s had the living sh*t kicked out of it” (I couldn’t have put it better…if you visit London, don’t order the “crumpets” no matter how daintily British they sound). As an American by upbringing, we take our pancakes extremely seriously. I have yet to find the level of griddle cake quality in the UK that is standard fare in the USA. And, the same is true for most of the chewy circles serves at some of the resort buffets. Until we came to Joali. They have a special a la carte pancake menu including some savoury versions that are simply delicious:
- Spiced Jaggery, fresh coconut
- Cinnamon, prunes, honey
- Banana, yoghurt, strawberry, mint
- Chocolate, walnut
- Exotic tropical fruit
- Mixed berry, sweet mascarpone
- Savory tuna tapenade, olives, remoulade
- Sweet corn, cherry tomato salsa, crispy bacon
I had the spiced Jaggery (an unrefined sugar in Asia) and it was truly delicious (see photo above). Or as Lori and I would say for recipes we like, “a do-again”. A more-ish classic dish with a distinctly Maldivian twist.
Fruit stations and fruit juices are standard items for most breakfast menus, but Joali adds a selection of fruit purees.
For your yoghurt, pancakes, porridge or whatever. They evoked fond memories of the iconic American restaurant chain “IHOP” (International House of Pancakes) which not only served maple syrup with its famous pancakes, but raspberry, strawberry and blueberry (!) to drizzle over your stack.
At Joali, you have an even more extensive selection of…
- Passion Fruit
Coconut is the classic tropical ingredient. It’s a part of the classic Maldivian breakfast, mas huni. One of my fav breakfasts are yogurt and Joali’s serves a sterling version. Its richness and natural coconut flavour largely coming from the fact that it is made from real coconut milk.
A number of resorts offer breakfast in a boat, but I think Fushifaru is the only resort that offers breakfast in a boat (thanks Paola). A number of resort offer breakfast in the pool, but again Fushifaru seems to be the first to offer breakfast in a boat in the pool. And not just any boat, but a charmingly stylish traditional dhoni.
Whatever floats your boat (that certainly does).
Happy Egg Day. Obviously, not Easter, but the national holiday to celebrate all things EGGY. I love me my breakfasts. Lori often remarks that I don’t just eat breakfast, I eat Breakfast #1, Breakfast #2, and then I top it all off with Breakfast Dessert. I also thorough savour the delicately rich flavour of truffle. So LUX North Male Atoll’s Truffle Egg Croissant was a treat for me.
A bit of fun that reminded me of nearly every resort buffet we’ve been to in the Maldives…
A resort buffet staple are a selection of some nutty bits in the form of muesli or granola for topping ones yogurt. As a bit of a breakfast condiment, it’s not an item with lots of variety…except at Joali. They set out an entire table filled with bowls of nuts and dried fruits of every type imaginable. Aside from people who are just very particular about their legumes, the obvious beneficiaries were the growing number of vegans in the world. Often making do with the scraps of selection, a Joali they have a banquet of choice for one of the few sources of protein in their diet.
The art of the meal.
Next on the buffet table of cross-over croissants is Malahini Kuda Bandos’ Red Velvet Croissants at breakfast (melding in the classic Red Velvet Cake inspiration).