The luxury Maldives properties pride themselves on catering to any guest’s whim or need including all sorts of dietary preferences despite being isolated in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Some things can just be flown in, but others require more work on the ground. That is the case with truly kosher foods which are not just about avoiding certain prohibited food, but also about preparing the kosher items in a kosher way ideally removed from the preparation of other food which might taint it. Irufushi is the only resort I have found that offers kosher foods explicitly, but now Soneva Fushi has invested in a dedicated kosher prep kitchen to provide the tightest conformity to kosher requirements. Maldives Insider reports
- “Soneva Fushi is the first luxury resort in the Maldives to have a dedicated kosher kitchen, which also doubles as an allergy kitchen. The kosher kitchen is a separate air conditioned kitchen where the resort’s specialty chefs will produce kosher meals. All the equipment is brand new, and will only be used for the said purpose. The resort carries kosher chicken, beef and sausages which are shipped directly from Holland by a kosher meat producer.”
If the walk from the buffet grill to your table is just too many seconds where your food can cool off. Or if you want to take a hands on control of getting your food grilled precisely to your liking (with the opportunity to conveniently pop it back on for a bit if not quite right), then the “table grill” at Finolhu’s Kanusan restaurant is the place for you.
Not the pokey tea lamp warmers, but a proper mini-grill on your table. The charcoal used is made on the island from waste wood and is accented with sprigs of lemon grass for a bit of exotic infusion.
You don’t get much more fresh or more local than reef fish caught with your own hands a few hours earlier in the ocean just yards away. While many resorts will grill up the catch from your fishing excursion, Park Hyatt Hadahaa lets you take the “by my own hands” vibe a step further with a fish cooking class so you can take it all the way from sea to seasoning yourself…
- “Learn how to create the perfect marinade and discover the secrets behind grinding and mixing traditional Maldivian spices used to prepare local fish. Our chef offers this culinary class amid the Maldivian surroundings of The Island Grill.”
The class is available on request from 3:00 – 4:00 pm at The Island Grill with a $75 USD per person charge.
Nearly every resort has a pasta station at its dinner buffet, but none so homemade as the Italian-rooted Cocoon who not only prepares the pasta sauces fresh in front of you, but also the pasta noodles themselves.
Over two decades I have been to countless “Maldivian Nights” at resort restaurants, but none so extensive as Makunudu’s lavish and authentic spread. Sometimes “Maldivian Night” is primarily little more than a bunch of reef fish curry. But Makunudu’s included all sort of delicacies and ingredients (the photos here provide a sample of the cuisine on offer). My favourite had to be the Fried Tapioca Chips which I had never sampled in all my years visiting despite being a huge tapioca fan.
The ever escalating arms-race for the biggest payload of opulence has tended focus on the venue, namely an underwater room. But Jumeirah Vittaveli’s latest foray onto the battlefield of epicurean extravagance demonstrates that you can have an aircraft carrier scale lavishness of experience even without the subaquatic dining table. This Is Insider reports the details…
- “Those opting for the experience will be picked up from their home by a butler and whisked off to the closest airport to board a private jet bound for the Maldives. A private catamaran will then take you to the resort. Then, on whatever day you choose, a private seaplane will take you to Michelin-starred chef Ollie Dabbous’ [see photo above] island pop-up HIDE restaurant for an exclusive meal. Afterwards, you get to unwind on a private yacht. The experience includes a five-night stay in one of the resort’s new Private Ocean Retreats, which come equipped with winding slides.”
And with a price tag of $50,000, it might just be the most expensive meal “out” in the world. So if the spouse says they don’t particularly fancy cooking tonight, be careful saying “anything you like, honey”.
Malahini Kuda Bandos has its own distinctive bite sized treats at its buffet slider station. One of the problems with buffets is that you eat too much as you simply can’t decide between all the delicacies on offer. Not only can you have a tapas-scale burger, but it is also prepared freshly for you to your liking. Have it your way (#NotSoWhopper)!
When I worked at Microsoft, it’s quite expansive canteen always seemed to be the busiest at its noodle station. I’ve seen noodle dishes prepared to order at Maldives buffets, but none quite so extravagantly as Grand Park Kodhipparu’s The Edge restaurant. Kassandra noodles are prepared freshly in multiple pots with an extensive array of ingredients and spice to choose from to customise them to your own liking.
Dosa is a popular South Indian specialty that we have enjoyed a few times in the Maldives. Made with egg, rice flour and coconut milk it is served with curry. But the main restaurant at NIYAMA features a “Live DOSA” station which makes it fresh and customised to your particular liking.
A meal by a Michelin-starred chef is a thing of beauty. A number of Michelin honorees have visited as guest chefs before, but no resort has assembled quite the Menu Gourmand of variety as Soneva Fushi’s banquet of culinary talent:
“Soneva and the Michelin Guide will be jointly promoting the following chef events, most of which feature chefs from restaurants worldwide with two or three Michelin stars:
- August 26-31, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Kiko Moya, from two-starred Spanish restaurant L’Escaletta
- October 7-12, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Gert de Mangeleer, from three-starred Belgium restaurant Hertog Jan
- October 15-21, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Bruno Oger, from two-starred French restaurant La Villa Archange
- November 5-12, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Yoann Conte, from two-starred French restaurant Bord du Lac
- November 25-December 2, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Pere Planaguma, from two-starred Spanish restaurant Les Col
- December 5-14, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Tim Raue, from two-starred German Restaurant Tim Raue
- December 22, 2018-January 4, 2019 at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani: Ronan Kervarrec, from two-starred French restaurant La Table de Plaisance
- February 14-17, 2019 at Soneva Fushi: Tom Aikens, from two-starred UK restaurant Toms Kitchen
- March 4-9, 2019 at Soneva Fushi: Guillaume Bracaval, from two-starred French restaurant Michel Troisgros
- October 6-11, 2019 at Soneva Fushi: Maxime Meilleur, from three-starred French restaurant La Bouitte
Starry starry delight!