“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” – Isak Dinesen
You can add Park Hyatt Hadahaa’s “Vidrun” (meaning “to shine” in Dhevehi) spa to that list. Their treatments incorporate a selection of special salt and herb blends based on Maldivian concepts…
- Hoonu – rose and sandalwood (Cooling)
- Fini – ginger, clove and aniseed (Warming)
- Hiki – jasmine and lotus (Balancing)
All massages start with a foot scrub with signature foot salt…a symbol that your “journey has begun”. Then of course, you soak in a soothing bath using your chosen bath salt.
Definitely worth its salt.
“Salt” is not just a thematic name to Anantara Kihavah Villas’ signature over-the-ocean restaurant, also its star attraction. Sort of the Thelma Ritter of the dinner table – a record 6 Academy Award nominations for “Best Supporting Actress”. ‘Salt’ restaurant is sort of salt’s “New Girl in Town” (the lead stage role for which she won the Tony Award).
The restaurant is part of the Sea, Fire, Salt, Sky is a dining concept at Kihvah providing a distinctive perspective on the Maldivian world from the elevated “Sky” roof deck down to the underwater “Sea” spectacle.
When we ate, we were presented the salt range by resident “Salt Guru” Julius (see photo above) on their “salt trolley”. They also have a Himalayan heated pink salt bowl for certain preparation. Out of the 16 varieties from all over the world – Tasmania, USA, Croatia, France – we chose the wild porcini mushroom salt…
- Himalayan Pink
- Jalapeno Pepper
- Szechuan Pepper
- Hiwa Kai-Hawaiian Sea
- Alea-Hawaiian Sea
- Porcini Mushroom
- Salish Smoked Pacific Sea
- Kala Namak
- Lime Fresco
- Murray River Pink
- Thai Ginger
- Cyprus Black Lava
- Sel Gris
- Vintage Merlot
- Bali Coconut and Lime
- Espresso Brava
- Vanilla Bean
You can also buy the salts to take home (see below). They make great gifts that are unusual and more useful than trinkets or t-shirts (everyone loves a dash of salt on their food and if you are worried about your blood pressure eating here, check out this latest report “Pour on the Salt”).
Worth its salt.
If you want a change from vanilla fare for your savory snacks, then you need to be gingerly cumin on down to the the Fuddan Restaurant at Anantara, the epice-ntre of allspices. Fuddan features a seasoning expert – Nasrulla (pictured above) to assist with just the right final touch to your cuisine.
The Times Online has a fun review of the seasoned expert…
“Rubbing salt into the wound…Water sommeliers are so last Thursday week. The latest thing is, drum roll, the salt sommelier. Oooh, yes. With no hint of irony, Anantara, in the Maldives, presents Nasrulla, who will guide you around 11 types, including Cyprus black lava flake, Bali coconut and lime-smoked sea salt. “We’re quite serious,” the hotel says. “Don’t take it with a pinch of salt.” Oh, please. Mindful of the dignity of Nasrulla’s calling, we don’t stoop to puns ourselves. Except in headlines.”
The Eye of Dubai has a detailed report including details of some of the salt varieties on offer (“Smoked Salish salt from Washington State (Nasrulla’s favourite) goes well with grilled food, especially red meats, while smoked salt from Bali is recommended to enhance the taste of tuna prepared with coconut and kaffir lime”)