Luxury gourmand: the very best Maldivian cuisine

Picture the Maldives: transparent blue seas, glittering sandy beaches and, best of all, peace and quiet. However, the Maldives also has fine cuisine and it's renowned as one of the most luxurious holiday destinations in the world. Some of the best places to eat on the islands are listed below:
Aïoli in Male is heralded as one of the best places to eat in the Maldives' capital. The décor is sleek, with the interior emulating a boutique hotel, in dark wood and cream furnishings. This restaurant offers an extensive menu, with plenty of seafood and local recipes. Diners can choose from dishes that include Wagyu rib-eye steak, spicy aioli crab or chilli prawn linguini.
Anantara Kihavah is a resort with 78 villas, with each residence featuring its own private pool, high ceilings and marble floors. Dining at this resort is an experience not to be missed, as options include dining under water, over the water or in the shade of a coconut palm tree.
There are five restaurants, all operating to the highest standards of cuisine. The menu is extensive as is the wine list, and for those who fancy trying some of the recipes, cooking classes are available.
Also in Male is the Sala Thai Restaurant. This venue is aesthetically delightful, with a very impressive interior, wreathed in mint infused scents that create a fresh atmosphere. Thai cuisine is extremely popular in the Maldives, and the menu at this restaurant includes dishes of fresh vegetable soups, curries and noodles.
The Deep End restaurant is found at the Taj Exotica Resort on the South Male Atoll. This is an immersed dining room, with sharks, jack fish, and stingrays circling roundabout.
This does not detract from the cuisine, with dishes on the menu that include Moroccan-spiced spiny lobster medallions and fresh-caught barramundi in Seville orange and honey mustard fizz. Desserts are equally appetising and range from from healthy beet-raspberry sorbet to Turkish delight chocolate soufflé.
Raw restaurant is found in the Huvafen Fushi Resort on the North Male Atoll and comprises a wood and thatched-roof bungalow over a translucent lagoon. Organic cuisine is the only choice on the menu, with no dish cooked above 107°F. Favourites includes chilled beet soup with goat cheese, Maldivian lobster ceviche with yuzu and quinoa tabbouleh, and black rice pudding with sweet mango purée.
Finally, Baan Huraa in the Anantara Resort is a free-standing Thai restaurant serving authentic dishes like rice-paper-wrapped marinated white prawns with sweet mango chilli, and green papaya salad with marinated flame-grilled chicken.


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