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.
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!
Grill stations at buffets are often pretty standard fare. And Japanese-style Tepanyaki grills, that inject a bit of show into the prep, can be found at a good number of properties. But we were enchanted by what is probably best described as “Maldivian Tepanyaki” at Makunudu’s Maldivian Night. The chef was preparing “Maldivian Flat Bread Strings”, itself a dish I had never sampled in twenty years of coming to the Maldives.
The chef chops flat breads into very thin “strings” and fries them on the grill. Then some veg and spices are tossed on…with more rhythmic chopping. Finally, the whole mixture is topped with a fish or chicken. It was delicious and all prepared with a rhythmic show.
Planted in the middle of the Indian Ocean, there is never any shortage of subcontinent inspired dishes on the Maldives buffets especially the ubiquitous curry. Reef fish is the obviously the more local staple. But I have never seen such variety in curry variety than I did at Medhufushi. Each night they had no less than 3 different curries. Our first night was beetroot curry, cucumber curry and chicken curry.
- “Select from our special menu and design your own set lunch to be enjoyed under the glorious Maldivian sun while lounging by the main pool, on the main beach or at The Bar.”
Price: US$49 per person, Time: 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm.