Probably the two most popular cuisines in the Maldives – Italian and Maldivian – have been fused by head chef Victor Zanitto of Sun Siyam Iru Veli. Victor has spent 6 years in the Maldives and has explored the local cooking extensively. He says that the fusion is a natural marriage of tastes and flavours. He says that Maldivians love thin pizza with tandoori chicken, and Italians are crazy about raw fish. He has worked how to make the most of limited ingredients, ie reef fish and coconut, and he noted that even ingregients like Sri Lankan tomatoes better than those from Italy.
From our very first visit a quarter century ago received all sorts of aboriginal origami creations from staff, but during our visit to Sun Siyam Iru Veli Samaha and Nuhaz actually taught me how to these palm frond are made. They explained that they grew up honing their palm folding skills. Especially, during Eid is a traditional time for youngsters to show off their skills by fashioning the most elaborate designs. Bodu mas are especially popular during this festive holiday. The first item that Samaha made was a “watch” and a “rose” when she was 8 years old and wrote on it with a needle. She taught me how to make the rose during our tutorial and it came out pretty good if I do say so. The resort also offers these lessons to the younger generation of guests at the resort kids club.
World Food Day today. And the best place in in the world to eat any food was an experience we finally enjoyed at Sun Siyam Iru Veli this summer. We’ve fantasized about dining on a plot of sand ever since we first started visiting the Maldives two and a half decades ago. It epitomised the “plot of sand with a palm tree” isolation caricature. We’ve seen many of (exorbitant) dinners and even lunches such remote venues, but never a breakfast.
A breakfast is actually a great way to enjoy this sandbank location. Unlike a dinner which tends to have courses, the breakfast is more casual with more finger food (eg. pastries, fruit, pots of yogurt) that you can take in hand for a stroll around or wade into the sea to enjoy the sea-life nearby or the dappled azure vista beyond. And the morning has a particularly peaceful vibe to it which suits this indolent sliver of interruption to the gently surrounding waters.
All-inclusive is becoming very de rigeur in the Maldives these days. But not the “AI” with cheap, constrain your budget, drink off-brand booze to your heart’s content stereotype, but “luxury AI” where the quality of the property and the “inclusions” are high. And in the luxury destination of the Maldives, the 5-star properties are regularly including everything under the sunshine to make the package even more appealing. Sun Siyam Iru Veli has gone beyond just “everything under the sun” to include under the water too with 3 dives included in its AI offering:
- “Within the premium all-inclusive package offered by Sun Siyam Iru Veli, up to three dives per person per week are included for certified divers as an alternative to spa credit. Guests must present a valid diving license and medical record if applicable. Boat charges and equipment hire fees do apply.”