Forget Book of the Month Club or Employee of the Month plaques, I want the Ice Cream of the Month subscription thank you. Just another ice cream extravagance at Soneva (both Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani) as Maldives Insider reported at its launch last year:
- “Soneva is developing 10 new and unique flavours at Soneva Fushi, Soneva Jani and Soneva Kiri, for a total of 30 flavours. These flavours are only available for the next 12 months, after which time they will change. This is in addition to the regular rotating roster of flavours at each resort. Guests at Soneva Fushi’s So Cool will get to sample new flavours such as: Soneva Bread Fruit and Maldivian Pine Nuts, Strawberry, Aged Balsamic and Green Olives, and Curry Leaves and Sweet Mango. While at Soneva Jani’s So Cool, Yuka with Garden Basil, Seaweed, and Caramelised Young Coconut join the classic ice creams and sorbets. Soneva will also be introducing one new flavour each month inspired by that month’s Festival of Colour theme.”
Buffets are part of the fabric of Maldives resorts, but I’ve never come across an ice cream buffet like LUX North Male Atoll sundae counter at its ICI ice cream parlour. It took me back to perhaps my earliest memory of personalised, decadent taste treats – Putnam Pantry. Back in the 70s, we would make the half hour drive to “make your own sundae” and their ice cream smorgasbord which was the ultimate treat or birthday party. But, not surprisingly, LUX surpassed even the American penchant for excess with 18 flavours of ice cream, 6 sauces, 8 toppings and a range of other accessory treats.
All you trick-or-treaters out there are having to trudge door to door to get your sweeties today, but at Dhigali the pool attendant comes by your lounge chair regularly throughout the day to deliver sweet ice lollies to each guest. No need for fancy dress as your swimming costume will be just fine.
Epicurean extravagance doesn’t have to be as elaborate as a chauffeured odyssey, but can be as simple as an ever so slightly decadent ice cream cone. Well, really decadent in Kuramathi’s case…
- “Savour our new ice cream cup selections and customized cones at The Palm in #Kuramathi #Maldives. With less #sugar, you can now have healthier ice cream and enjoy them (almost) guilt-free.”
”Guilt free”? Who’s feeling guilty?
Mini-bar to the Max. The mini-bar is a staple to Maldives resorts and many of the luxury properties pack them with all sort of delectable goodies. None bigger than NIYAMA. With a very big treat of free ice creams in the freezer!
If you can’t find gold, then make it. Instead of a pirate, that calls for an alchemist to magically turn ordinary ingredients into the most coveted taste treasure. That’s what NIYAMA has brought to its resort this past week with its pop-up Chin-Chin ice creamerie…
“Chin Chin Labs, the pioneers of made-to-order artisanal liquid nitrogen ice cream, is conjuring up culinary creations and haute cuisine ice cream at PER AQUUM Niyama from 16 – 21 March. Part of PER AQUUM’s PULSE line-up for 2016, adults and mini VIPs alike will be put under the spell of the ice cream magicians, straight out of London’s Camden Market, as they unveil exotic limited-time flavours at the pop-up parlour on the resort’s new island, ‘Play’. With all ice creams made fresh to order, the exclusive flavours will feature ingredients from the resort Chef’s own herb garden ranging from Roasted Sweet Coconut Curry, Mango & Saffron, Banana Blossom & Jasmine to dairy free options such as Passionfruit & Raw Cacao Nib. Guests can also get involved at the hands-on Nitro Workshops at BLU’s Cooking School on 17, 19 and 21 March. Hailed as the ‘Best ice cream parlour in England’ by The Times and the ‘Future of Ice Cream’ by The Observer in the UK, Chin Chin Labs has achieved a cult status amongst chefs and ice cream aficionados – not to mention children – the world over. Shunning traditional techniques and convention, Chin Chin Labs has been creating artisanal ice creams to order, frozen with liquid nitrogen and billowing with clouds of ‘ice’ since 2010. Having pioneered liquid nitrogen ice-cream as a retail concept, Chin Chin Labs uses liquid nitrogen at -1960C to freeze their handmade bases, which then boils away in a vapour cloud creating fresh ice cream.”
Liquid nitrogen chilled ice cream has been a staple of molecular gastronomy popularised by Heston Blumenthal (his Fat Duck restaurant is a few miles from our house and we have been frequenting it since he first started out). I’ve actually wondered when this culinary chemistry would make its way to this epicentre of epicurean luxury (#34 of ‘Haven’t Seen Yet – part 4’).
Nothing goes with sunshine like ice cream. And nobody does ice cream in the Maldives like Soneva Fushi. We have sampled many dairy delicacies over our many trips here, and some particularly scrummy scoops, but no selection as broad and creative as theirs. More flavours than a Baskin Robbins (49 – see below). Not only are the ice creams are made on the island, but some are even invented on the island with some of the resort’s own special recipes like “Eva’s Cheese Cake” and “Soneva Magnum.” Some far-out flavours I had never even heard of like “Pandan” (a cake) and “Gianduja” (a Belgian chocolate).
And if you have your own creative spark, you can also craft your own sundae with are cornucopia of toppings and mix-ins (see bottom) including both multi-coloured and chocolate sprinkles (!).
Never mind the remote Maldives, if Soneva’s ice cream parlour was in London, it would be on a “Best of London” list. The cavalcade of custards includes…
- Almond and amaretto
- Almond milk (dairy free)
- Baileys and chocolate chips
- Brown bread
- Dark chocolate and cocoa
- Eva’s cheese cake
- Fruit and nuts
- Green tea
- Honey walnut
- Mint and chocolate chips
- Orange and Campari
- Passion fruit
- Pistachio milk (dairy free)
- Rum and raisin
- Soneva Magnum
- Strawberry (sugar free)
- Sweet ginger
- Basil and yogurt
- Black currant
- Carrot and ginger
- Fresh coconut
- Green tea
- Lychee rose water and gewürztraminer
- Passion fruit
- Papaya & lime
- Pineapple and chilli
- Rose water
- Watermelon (sugar free)
- Almond biscotti
- Berry compote
- Brownie crumbles
- Chewy meringue
- Chocolate chips
- Chocolate sauce
- Chocolate chunks
- Mixed nuts
- Vanilla sauce
- Whipped Cream
Warning – Definitely contains nuts!
Happy Peanut day! A great taste served two delicious ways. First peanut ice cream. Growing up in New England I have experienced just about every flavour of ice cream including pumpkin, clam chowder and grape nut. But I have never seen nor had peanut. A natural really. And if that wasn’t distinctive enough, Gangehi serves it with homemade peanut brittle.
Nuttin’ but the best!
A recent flurry of Best of the Maldives posts seem to be characterised by a common theme – food. So much so that certain common subjects now merit category tags of their own. Lobster (the quintessential luxury seafood), Ice Cream (the hot weather classic), and Cooking (true foodies love to prepare as much as eat).
The current line-up includes…
You need a cone for that ice cream.
Consulting the expert on all things Maldive Resorts, Adrian Neville, he concurs “I have not come across home made ice cream cones anywhere in the country. There are a couple of places that sell ice creams in a cone but they are the pre-boxed ones.”
But you can even watch a video of them being freshly made at LUX Maldives here. Of course, only the best homemade ice cream crafted right on the resort will do for such an elegant (and tasty) holder.