Best of the Maldives: Kids Buffet – Lily Beach

Lily Beach - kids buffet

International Childrens Day today is the time to cater to the needs and interests of our younger generation. And Lily Beach does this literally every day with its special “Kids Buffet. (thanks Paola) Lily Beach has one of the more sumptuous buffets of the resorts we have visited. And most fine buffets will have plenty of selection for the spaghetti-and-hot-dog set, but Lily’s lay out is the first we’ve seen where an entire section is devoted to the puerile palate.  Items include such kiddie classics as chicken nuggets, french fries, mini sandwiches, pasta, and sweet donuts.  .

Best of the Maldives: Table Decorating – JA Manafaru

JA Manafaru - table decor 1

JA Manafaru doesn’t just use painted grains of sand to make a stunning tableau, but also painted grains of rice to make a stunning table. And not just on the sand itself, but on the tables on the sand (of beach dinners). Actually throughout the resort too (eg. dining rooms, bars, other places of celebration). A meander through the #jamanafaru Instagram account brings up a whole gallery of masterpieces.

JA Manafaru - table decor 3

JA Manafaru - table decor 2

JA Manafaru - table decor 4

Best of the Maldives: Fish and Chips – Amilla Fushi

Amilla Fushi - fish and chips

Lillian Gish and hairy nips.

If molecular cuisine is the epitome of epicurean epiphanies, then the opposite end of the spectrum would be good old fashioned fish and chips. But in the Maldives, even this austere staple can have an artistic twist.

Amilla Fushi’s has taken a page from one of London’s top eateries, The Ivy, famous for both its celebrity clientele and for serving luxury fish and chips. The Fish & Chip Shop venue is located in the Baazaar eaterie run by leading Aussie chef and restaurateur Luke Mangan on the resort. They serve favourites such as battered or crumbed cod, haddock and scampi, as well as some of the more exotic local fishermen’s ‘catch of the day’.  Complete with newspaper wrapping (though I hope it is The Times or the International Tribune).

Chic Chippie.

 

Best of the Maldives: Dine Around Tour – Park Hyatt Hadahaa

Park Hyatt Hadahaa - culinary treasures

Happy Easter! If the Easter Bunny didn’t bring you enough eggs, then maybe you need to go hunt for them. When our kids were younger, we not only organised treasure hunts on our Maldives visits, but we organised Easter egg hunts at our house or church before we tucked into our traditional Easter dinner of roast lamb and Lori’s famous carrot cake.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa offers a gastronomic treasure hunt every day (including eggs, though not the chocolate version), with their “Culinary Indulgence”. For $670 per couple, you are treated to 5 meals (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, evening cocktails with canapés, and dinner) at assorted special locations around the island.

Fortunately, I pilfered a treasure map about from a scallywag rogue indicating where the culinary treats and treasures can be found.

Happy hunting.

Best of the Maldives: Butter – Dusit Thani

Dusit Thani - butter

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.

Best of the Maldives: Decorative Dessert – Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli - ornate dessert

A treat for women on International Womens Day (though men will like it too) by Jumeirah Vittaveli – Aloe Vera Baked Yogurt with Berries. Created by their Executive Sous Chef Francis Cornelious (see photo below)…

“The life of a modern woman is very stressful and busy, filled with a multitude of tasks and duties that we take on willingly but that also tend to deplete our energy reserves.  To counterbalance our stressful routine, we need to ensure that we take care of our body and mind, through healthy food and moments of rest and meditation. At Jumeirah Vittaveli, our creative Executive Sous Chef Francis Cornelious has created a tantalizing dessert that will assist your physical wellbeing, while utilizing unique yet commonly available ingredients.”

The focus of the creation was the health benefits (and of course the taste), but I was enchanted by the colourful artistry of glassy sweetness on top. May women around the world be treated with the same care, consideration and respect as Vittaveli’s tribute to them.

Jumeirah Vittaveli - ornate dessert 2

Best of the Maldives: Green Eggs and Ham – Kurumba

Kurumba - green eggs and ham 2

I am an aficionado of all forms of egg benedict. I have had just every variation imaginable, but I have never had “Green Eggs and Ham”.  Today is the birthday of the legendary writer Dr. Suess who own trailblazing creativity and whimsy would be right at home at Kurumba.  Their regular menu item is a gourmet delicacy that Sam-I-am (no relation to Will) would be just as enthusiastic about.

I also find it a bit prophetic that the recalcitrant narrator has his epiphany sitting in some shallow water (see below). I too would like them in a boat.  Maybe he was at Kurumba too.

I *DO* like green eggs and ham, Sam I am. Pesto with ham.

Kurumba - green and ham I like them

Kurumba - green eggs and ham 1

Best of the Maldives: Pancake Characters – LUX Maldives

LUX Maldives - pancake whale shark

The Maldives is full of colour and that includes colourful individuals. At LUX Maldives, you can get these characters on your plate, and I don’t mean in a Sebastian “Under da’ Sea” way. Their pâtissier du pancake Rahmat has taken griddle art to a new level of virtuosity. To celebrate yesterday’s Pancake Day, his portraits included Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (directly below) and Iron Man (next photo down). At bottom you can see him working on Flipper. But, especially being LUX, the big star of the show was Whale Shark (see above).

Flippin’ fine fritter critters!

LUX Maldives - pancake Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

 

LUX Maldives - pancake Ironman

 

LUX Maldives - pancake dolphin