Best of the Maldives: Largest Underwater Restaurant – Ailafushi/Lobigili

While I’ve already highlighted Aiafushi/Lobigili’s underwater treasure hunt at their underwater restaurant, Only Blu, our recent visit allowed us to see all of its spaciousness which also makes it the largest underwater restaurant in the Maldives. And with lots of restaurant real estate come lots of windows to see the vibrant aquatic life. Especially with every panoramic portal packed with fish frolicking corals. The most vibrant fish life of any underwater restaurant we have been to. Probably because (a) there is limited coral elsewhere in the area, and (b) they were drawn by the light of the diners.

Best of the Maldives: Honey – Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani - honey

Honey, I didn’t shrink the selection of…

Soneva Jani has seen Gili Lankanfushi’s range of mellifluous spreads number a dozen (back in 2013) by doubling the ante to TWO dozen honeys including…

  • Bio Waldhonig
  • Bio Ulmohonig
  • Rapshonig
  • Bio Marmeleirohonig
  • Baumheidehonig
  • Lavendelhonig
  • Leatherwood Honig
  • Erdbeerbatch Honig
  • Kirschbluten Honig
  • Bushhonig mit Manuka
  • Manukahonig
  • Bio-Eukalyptus Honig
  • Kornblumen-Honig
  • Yukatanhonig

And honey comb on offer to boot…

Soneva Jani - honey 2

Best of the Maldives: Dedicated Diet Menus – Amilla

Amilla - diet menus

The dining life of a special diet scanning the menus for codes like “V” for “Vegetarian” (or it is “Vegan”?). I was at a restaurant and they had a leaf icon for “vegan” and a carrot icon for “vegetarian” (go figure). Then there is all of the interrogating the server for the options. Amilla Maldives has eliminated this confusion by providing special menus printed with all the options for “Your Way” of eating, including:

  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Low Carb / Keto / Paleo
  • Vegan / Vegetarian

Best of the Maldives: Female Staff Restaurant – Cora Cora

Cora Cora - female staff dining

Cora Cora has turned the dining tables on the testosterone balance in the kitchen with Maldives’ only all-female staffed restaurant:

  • “Ginger Moon at Cora Cora Maldives provided a platform for Chef May to showcase her culinary abilities and following this, she sought to create an all-female team, the result is delicious Asian food, made with love and passion that soothes the soul…Chef May is empathetic and compassionate and…[is]changing the way the Maldivian hospitality industry operates. Male-dominated kitchens can be intimidating and aggressive, however, Ginger Moon operates in a calm and measured manner, and this creates a wonderfully positive environment to work in. ‘Cora Cora Maldives is leading the way for female chefs and women in the Maldivian hospitality overall, they are creating equality in what is traditionally considered a male-dominated sector. It is so exciting and rewarding to oversee an all-female restaurant team and I do hope other resorts follow in the footsteps of Cora Cora Maldives to create opportunities for women.’ Enthuses Chef May.”

We can speak from experience, the delightful experience of dining at Ginger Moon ourselves, that the result in terms of the service, ambience and cuisine is exquisite.

Best of the Maldives: Vegan Seafood – Amilla

Amilla - vegan seafood

We marvel at our daughter’s vegan discipline as that culinary lifestyle seems so limited. It seems all pulse and veggie stews. But Amilla Maldives features gourmet vegan “seafood” that would tempt us omnivores. The ingredients are based on a soy and meal recipe which with creates both the flavours and feel of range of seafood specialties.

Amilla - vegan seafood 3

Amilla - vegan seafood 2

Best of the Maldives: Kulhi Boakibaa – RIU Atoll

RIU - Kulhi Boakibaa

I came across a nifty piece in National Geographic “Five Unmissable Dishes That Define the Maldives”. I’ve sampled 3 of them, but Kulhi Boakibaa, not yet. But if I wanted to, I would head to Riu Atoll where their chef Aritha Fernando not only serves it, but even shares his recipe for you to try at home – “Cooking with love in the Maldives with RIU”:

  • “This is a very special dish for our chef, who usually prepares this for her family and she says she has chosen to tell us how to prepare this dish that she is proud to cook on a regular basis for our guests “because it is the perfect blend of traditional Maldivian food and a dash of love. This is not just any old dish but rather one that she learnt from her mother who would cook it for her and her siblings when they were young and it was only once she became a chef that she managed to discover its secret ingredient: a sprinkling of love.”


Best of the Maldives: Mangosteen – Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani - mangosteen

Part of the adventure in an exotic destination like the Maldives is sampling some of the unfamiliar fare. Not just different recipes, but also different, often home grown, ingredients. Our visit to Soneva Jani featured many less familiar (but not unknown) fruits on their breakfast buffet (like dragon fruit, jackfruit, fresh figs), but it was the first time we came upon a mangosteen (see photo). It is a bit like a lychee and very tasty on some yogurt.

Best of the Maldives: Vegan Popup – W Maldives

W Maldives - vegan popup

With its cultural culinary connections to the Indian subcontinent, it has never been difficult to find plenty of great vegetarian food, but veganism is growing in popularity and the removal of dairy ingredients (milk, eggs) considerably narrows one food options further. At least for a period, vegans (and “vegan curious”) at W Maldives can sample cow/chicken-friendly fare

  • “W Maldives has launched a vegan pop-up menu by celebrity Chef Priyanka Naik that will be available for its guests till October 2023. The initiative in collaboration with Chef Priyanka, a prominent champion of sustainable cooking, will boost the resort’s culinary offerings. The Go W-egan menu was introduced on the occasion of World Vegan Day, a day that invites global communities to embark on conscious gastronomical journeys.”