10 Best 'Farm-to-Table' Dining Experiences in the Maldives
Best Maldives Farm-to-Table Restaurants
Today, the luxury resort fare in the Maldives is far from the traditional hamburgers or homemade beach BBQ lunches; the island resorts all around the country have become hot spots for the michelin starred chefs to hone their chops and show off their skills. Mixing more ‘primitive’ products with haute cuisine to create succulent dishes is a challenge which many culinary artists find intriguing and the results are always pleasantly surprising.
Health-conscious foodies know that the key to gourmet cuisine is sustainably sourced, fresh, organic ingredients. As an unique gastronomic experience, 'farm-to-table' concept in the Maldives is not a new exciting fad – but a way of life. A way of living and eating that has been passed down for generation.
On the island resorts an executive chefs work directly with local fishermens and with local farmers who bring in fresh catch and organic daily. Following the global trend that pushes for total traceability and transparency of the dinner table’s ingredients, many luxury resorts are also dedicating sizable portions of their property to growing food for their guests. Everything is local and seasonal.
Below are 10 of our favorite 'farm-to-table' restaurants in the Maldives, that have incorporated innovative concepts, championed sustainable farming and gained cult followings for their exceptionally fresh, and not to mention delicious, 'wine and dine' concepts and cuisines. From the romantic to the family-friendly, these culinary adventures capture and lift the cheerful spirit of a day in the Maldives.
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Best Experience: for Couples and Families, Water Villas, Beaches, activities, spa
Before stay there, Reethi Rah for the island resort seems a bit conservative. Smooth, majestic, but perhaps lacking some details of the bounty in Maldives rural style (call it what you like) that are in fashion today. Going ashore, you will realize that refusal to follow a fashion trend is the same point: you simply do not need it when you are the best. One of the Maldives most luxurious award-winning resort, Reethi Rah adheres to his own One & Only style. Purposefully not 'trendy', in the development stage to the top level of luxury, specializing in high quality service to its guests, such an experience you would have hard to find somewhere else in the Maldives.
An atmospheric, outdoor ‘Botanica by Brent Savage’ restaurant set in the heart of the island. With one-of-kind 'garden-to-fork' concept, the dining space has a jungle-like feel as it is surrounded by established organic vegetable and herb garden where guests can enjoy candle-lit al fresco dining – alongside the blooms in the neighbouring Orchid House. The menu is carefully curated by chef Brent Savage, renowned for his original vegetarian and contemporary cuisine, while sommelier Nick Hildebrandt oversees the extensive wine list. A really exciting place to eat, the Botanica's menu exemplifies the best in fresh, wholesome, organic food bursting with fresh vegetables, fragrant herbs and aromatic spices. In addition to the garden’s harvest, guests can expect to see the likes of wild, hand-caught Maldivian rock lobster, pickled wakame, buttermilk, sea succulents and finger limes on the plate. Seafood featured on the menu is sustainably sourced from local fishers, including lobster, octopus and reef fish. Read Full Review
Best Experience: Family holiday, Couples, Dining, Diving, Spa
Featuring more flexible approach to tropical island luxury, Amilla Fushi offers a luxurious 'island home' for both couples and families in the Maldives. Younger, hipper, with a fresh and contemporary accomodation, the resort has so much to offer, from high design and inventive dining options, to stylish villas and amazing snorkelling and diving. Located in the Baa atoll, UNESCO Biosphere reserve, this might just be the most family friendly resort in the Maldives. In 2018, Amilla Fushi has been recognised as the leading family resort in Maldives.
These days Amilla Maldives is becoming even more eco-friendly by expanding the amount of fruit, vegetables, and herbs grown on the island rather than imported from overseas, thereby reducing its carbon footprint. Various vegetable gardens around the resort have been cultivated thanks to the islanders’ hard work, which ranged from planting fruit trees to experimenting with hydroponics and aquaponics. These initiatives were created in recognition of the fact that the Amilla's team feel the definition of luxury resort cuisine today should encompass fresh, organic ingredients and a range of dishes to suit every dietary requirement or ‘eating lifestyle’. It’s part of the luxury resort’s 'garden to table' projects, Homegrown@Amilla and Homemade@Amilla, as well as its pioneering Wellness Your Way programme to suit every ‘eating lifestyle’, from comfort food to vegan and low-carb. The best dining venues to try this experience: new The Chill'd café and The Nanu, the famous seafood restaurant. Read Full Review
Best Experience: Over-water Villas, for couples and families, gourmet dininig, Spa, Beaches, activity
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is an exclusive 5-star resort that's bringing a “next level” to the luxury holiday experience in the Maldives. Opened July 1st 2019, the resort raises the bar in modern luxury travel catering to the individual needs of its discerning guests.
There are numerous food and beverage offerings that cater to a diverse culinary palette. The resort boasts a total of 11 exceptional, world-class dining options — the variety of which is a first in the Maldives. A garden-to-table concept most clearly visible in the greenhouse ambience of Glow. Well-being cuisine made with fresh ingredients from the island's edible garden is complemented by a range of organic, biodynamic, sustainable and natural wines, as well as healthy, detoxifying drinks. Read Full Review...
Best Experience: beach houses and residences, for couples and families, gourmet dininig, Spa, Beaches, house reef snorkeling, activity, swimming with mantas
In 1995, the award-winning luxury resort Soneva Fushi set the standard for all desert island barefoot luxury hideaways in the Maldives. Located in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Soneva Fushi pairs Robinson Crusoe fantasy with intelligent luxury. If the experiences are magical, the philosophy is simple: No news, no shoes. No pretensions either. Sixty-two private villas with their own stretch of beach are hidden among dense foliage within touching distance of a pristine coral reef. Intuitive service is provided by Mr./Ms. Friday butlers. Highlights include the open-air Cinema Paradiso, counting Saturn's rings in the high-tech Observatory, the home-made chocolate and ice cream rooms, five hundred wines to choose from, six different restaurants and countless destination dining options.
Very few properties in the Maldives can boast as large and functional a garden like the one on Soneva Fushi, which is used daily to provide fresh produce to guests and staff. Even better? Settled above all the beds of edible greens and vegetables is the Fresh in the Garden dining outlet. Open for dinner, this treehouse restaurant is accessible via rope bridge (yes, it’s a good place to channel your inner child — there are a few opportunities on the island to indulge). The menu offers a selection of healthy options, many cultivated from the garden below. Vegetarian diners should be quite happy.
If you want to dine this way every day - book the five-bedroom Villa 37. Set on the island's sunrise side the five-bedroom Villa 37 is a huge beach house with main highlight is the 11 metre tall viewing tower, reached by a winding staircase, with a dining table called the Moonlight Table at the summit. This viewing tower is now the tallest point on the island and the ideal spot to take in the panoramic views, sunrises, sunsets, dining experiences and stargazing. READ FULL REVIEW
Best Experience: for families, gourmet dininig, beaches, activity, swimming with manta rays, water villas
Vakkaru Maldives is a brand new luxury resort located within the crystal clear waters of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Baa Atoll. Vakkaru is a lovely island combined with a real Maldivian atmosphere and offers many high-end accommodation options in a comfy ambiance. Surrounded by lush, vegetation, beautiful beach and stunning lagoon, the 5-star resort offers an extensive selection of luxury accommodation, with 125 beach and overwater villas and suites catering for couples and families alike, all come with butler service. A great choice of indulgent dining choices allow guests to enjoy flavours from Europe to Asia in four restaurants and two bars, all offering a delicious culinary experience and an amazing, talented, professional team of friendly staff. With an array of energetic or relaxing indulgent activities in and around this Maldives resort, it’s an ideal place for both couples (romantic and idyllic with an adult-only area ) and as well families (kids club, family villas beach & overwater and nanny service). The island, with its pearl shores and ambundant marine life is just a 25-minute seaplane ride from Malé Airport.
Vakkaru Maldives is home to The Organic Farm where they grow and produce some of the freshest fruits, vegetables and herbs for the resort's restaurants and bar. To make the most of your culinary adventure on the idyllic island by visiting the Organic Farm before you start your ‘Farm to Table Experience’. Let the resort's chef and head gardener guide you to discover and learn more about an array of organic vegetables, fruits and herbs they grow in the garden. Combine the harvested ingredients with other produce to create wonderful dishes from your preferred menu that made with organic and natural ingredients have full of vitality and it makes you to healthy from the inside of the body. For full sensory experience, try their cooking class by personal arrangement. Read Full Review
Best Experience: OverWater Bungalows, Honeymoon, Beaches
No news, no shoes: this is the main rule in Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, where the only thing you worry about is whether the dolphins will appear when you go diving. Here the relaxation is taken very seriously: the magician "Friday", a quiet spa and delicious food. This is one of the main reasons why this place in the Maldives is the choice of many of the world of the rich and famous. In the Maldives there is no other such resort, and only a little in the world, I think, is better than Gili Lankanfushi.
With spectacular ocean view, Kashiveli is the resort's main restaurant that opened for breakfast and dinner. Set right on the beach, Kashiveli embodies locally-sourced, nutritious ingredients and vibrant flavours through a marriage of land and ocean. Gili Lankanfushi’s vast organic garden, which is amongst the largest in the Maldives, provides an abundance of fresh produce for Kashiveli, from herbs and spices to fruits and salad leaves. Additional fresh, seasonal produce, including reef fish, meat and vegetables are sourced sustainably through local suppliers, fishermen and farmers. Epicureans who are adventurous with food may consider the existing Gili Vegan Experience. The vegan experience is not only interactive dining with the chef, it also allows you to be exposed to different combination of ingredients you may not have discovered before as well as to understand that the vegan experience is not just for vegans and vegetarians but for the meat lovers too. Read Full Review
Best Experience: Couples, Families, Activities, Beach, Nightlife, Value
Kandima is a "new look" of the Maldives combining wild parties in the beach club, extensive dining options and even a chance to see the dolphin from the bathroom. It's about genuine hospitality with a human face and clever solutions that use the latest innovations, not to mention the playful spirit of a private island. Kandima was a late-comer to the Maldivian tourist market and is markedly different to the classic honeymooner resorts. It's aimed at sports-loving, party-going groups as well as couples and active families, and has a range of accommodation options, from affordable studios to luxury pool villas.
Why import something from thousands of kilometres away when with a little extra effort it could be produced locally at almost the same cost and by doing so bring numerous benefits to local communities and the environment. The Fresh Labs is a new farm-to-table initiative launched at Kandima Maldives that will provide guests with the freshest local produce. Under The Fresh Labs program, the culinary team at Kandima will have the opportunity to source the freshest Maldivian produce from the green island farms located at the resort and its surrounding islands. It will reduce Kandima’s dependence on imported produce and instead support local producers to ensure resort guests always have the greenest and freshest salads as well fresh seafood on their table. Read Full Review
Best Experience: Couples, Families, Water Villas, Spa, Luxury Surfing, Diving, Activity
Six Senses Laamu is the only resort located in the Laamu atoll. Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the island resort prides itself on its commitment to sustainable operations and development as outlined by Agenda 21 and Green Globe Benchmarking. At Six Senses Laamu, most of the villas and facilities are built overwater. However, beach villas and on-land dining is an option. Six Senses Laamu offers a wide range of dining options, with cuisines from around the world, a swimming pool with a sunken bar, an ice cream parlour, an overwater wine cellar and a signature Chill bar. Many activities, excursions and options are available for everyone to enjoy, both overwater and underwater, in addition to the Six Senses Spa.
Six Senses Laamu has an organic garden where 40 different herbs, vegetables, salad leaves and micro-herbs are grown. The resort's chef and his culinary team have team with the gardeners to create a daily-changing menu, entirely based on fresh and organic ingredients, served by the pool at Sip Sip. Expect a different starter, salad, pizza and dessert daily to choose from. The 'Farm to Pool' idea is to offer guests an additional healthy set of light dish options to enjoy by the pool with locally sourced ingredients. Everything is prepared simply with no addition of processed or modified foods.
Six Senses' Laamu signature restaurant, the Leaf, installed above the organic garden, offers to dine privately or at the shared Chili Table. The talented chefs work closely with Maldivian fishermen and farmers to source the freshest and finest local ingredients for the inventive dishes. Read Full Review
Best Experience: Couples, Families, Water Villas, Spa, Diving, Activity, Golf
Located to the south of the equator on Addu Atoll, Shangri La's Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives is an ultra luxury resort. A very unique 5*-star hotel in the Maldives, a private hideaway in a world of its own, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort is the perfect setting for couples and families, with its secluded location as part of the Maldives southernmost atoll. Shangri La's offers many options, and something for all kinds of travel, where there is plenty to choose from. Beyond luxury villas the resort offers many options for water adventurers, such as turtle-quest snorkelling, diving to a unique shipwreck site, surfing with half a dozen great wave setups or parasailing for a bird’s eye view of the island. Couples can also enjoy a range of cultural experiences like no other in the Maldives, with guided tours of the neighbouring islands of Addu atoll, visits to the local farms and samplings of Maldivian cuisine.
Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa has four exceptional bars and lounges to discover a complete sensory journey. Head to Shangri-La Chef’s Garden to collect your own fresh organic fare, before heading to nearby Meedhoo island to join local farmers in picking seasonal produce. Complete your journey and set sail on a traditional Maldivian night fishing experience. The resort's expert chefs will prepare your catch with the ingredients picked during the day. Enjoy your handcrafted, organic gourmet feast under the atmospheric pagoda in the Chef’s own garden. Read Full Review
The One&Only Reethi Rah is the all-villa ultra-luxury resort in the North Male atoll, accessible by a short luxury yacht jorney from Malé. From extensive outdoor adventure options, including snorkelling and diving in the exotic underwater world, to the mesmerising One&Only Spa, guests are spoilt for choice. Sleek and spectacular, with unprecedented privacy this award-winning resort, a favourite among A-listers, is perfect for couples and families in search of privacy and the ultimate in laidback luxury.
The new Tree House set high above the tropical canopy serves a delicious seven-course menu to discover world-class gourmet cusine, personalised for a perfect moment. Wrapped in the treetops and serenaded by the sounds of the forest, an incredibly private location to enjoy romantic evenings and intimate celebrations, offering one of the most spectacular settings to watch the sun set overlooking the Indian Ocean. READ FULL REVIEW
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