Easy to reach by boat, no booking required, dress comfortably, enjoy the atmosphere...the pic shows this particular "restaurant" I had the pleasure to eat at in the moon light...
Favorite Dish: Fresh fish was served sitting on the beach on comfortable green leaves, drinking from coconuts' mugs and other local food...dancing barefoot on the sand following...
This restaurant is the more casual of the 2, although it is by no means casual if that makes sense!
The restaurant is open air, with a lower and upper tier, and intricate vaulted ceiling. The floor is a mix of marble and dark polished wood. It serves a pan-Asian & International fayre, the food was ALWAYS excellent, with service that would be hard to beat. All meals were always beautifuly presented.
In additions to the menus, you could have asked for anything and they would prepare it for you.
As soon as you sat to breakfast a bowl of breads and pastries with butter & preserves was placed on the table. The menu consited of things such as, eggs any style with sausage, bacon, basil topped tomatoes, herb focaccia. Omelettes with a number of filling. Egg white only omlette with roma tomatoes and basil (there were always several 'healthy options' at all meals). Banana hot cakes, with cream & wild berries (yum) Mint crepes filled with vanilla bean rice and pistacio coulis, exotic fruits, many Japanese options, lentil cakes with chilli sauce - the list goes on. And of course juices, smoothies & milkshakes of many different falvours, although my favourite was the vanilla milkshake.
Dinner was an equally delightful treat, we tended to have a main meal and dessert. Main course had a large selection, such as pasta, duck, veal, steak, chicken, lots of fish/seafood, curries, Japanese. I tried the home style chicken curry, as well as the vegetable curry, each was delicious & more details below. I also tried the chicken with tomato polenta, spinach & mushroom sauce. My husband had several times the pepper crusted tuna in a herb and butter sauce - highly recommended.
We always enjoyed dinner with a bottle of red or white wine. Wine by the bottle ranged from U$40 upto $1200!. Starters were from $9 - $20, main courses from $15 - $40, and desserts from $10 - $20. On average for us, 2 courses each and a bottle of wine would vary between $100 - $140 including service charge.
Favorite Dish: Desserts were a dream. Passion Fruit Brulee was a favourite of my husbands, and I enjoyed the baked lemon grass tart with vanilla beach ice cream.
Another treat was the duet of chocolate parfaits with macerated fruits, again further pictures below.
If I were to walk into 24 degrees tonight, I would have........
Vegetable curry followed by vanilla been ice cream with raspberry coulis.
My husband said he would have the confit of duck or pepper crusted tuna, with skinny chips on the side (!) followed by passion fruit brulee.
At Taj Exotica, there is an Ocean Pavillion/Snorkelling point, about 1/2 a mile off shore, completely stand alone. A daylight picture is below.
It's about 15 ft x 15ft, with a thatched roof, and decked floor. You have to catch a boat to get to it.
They offer a private dinner on this Pavillion, so I decided to surprise my husband with a meal there. Obviously due to it's location, the food is a specially made cold buffet (for want of a better word because the food was delicious!)
There are 2 menus available, one is U$350 + service charge & whichever wine/champagne you want to choose from the cellar (at extra cost). The other menu is $450 + service/wine.
At 6pm, I took my husband to the lobby area, are we walked to the jetty. The boat was waiting for us, and we headed to the Pavillion. What was waiting was beyond words, but I'll try to describe it!
Each of the four pillars supporting the thatched roof had billowing white curtains attached. 2 low lying sala day beds with comfy cushions scattered on them awaited us. A low lying table with beaded runner, candles, lanterns, and flowers was laid out with fine cutlery. Crysanthenums were scattered all over the pavillion. A huge rustic wooden barrel/bucket acted as a champagne cooler. It was the most romantic, isolated and special place to have dinner.
The In Villa dining manager, Rajwan, served our first glass of wine for us, and gave us a mobile phone, telling us to call when we wanted the boat to come pick us up. He and the boat crew left, leaving us alone to enjoy this magnificent experience.
Favorite Dish: I chose the $350 menu. The $450 had a big wow factor, but included much more seafood, caviar, oysters etc, which sadly we wouldn't have enjoyed as much.
On my 'wining and dining' travelogue is a picture of the spread of food & dessert we had, all presented on stands of various heights. The menu had included lobster, but as we weren't keen on this, I asked for some homestyle chicken tikka, which came with with nan, breads, pickles and chutney. I told them we love cheeses, so they had a plateful with walnuts, apricots and olives.
The other dishes included salmon, king prawns, australian grain fed beef, vegetable rice, dips (houmous, tahini, etc, 4 in total) cold cuts of meat - pastrami, chorizo, hams etc, salad with olives and feta cheese - all top quality considering is was cold foods, and absolutely delicious.
Dessert consisted of a huge exotic fruit platter, a couple of fruits I'd never seen before, trio of creme brulee, and chocolate torte.
Pictures can be seen in my 'wining & dining' travelogue.
We couldn't move by the end of it! But at around 9.30pm, called for the boat to collect us, returned to our room, and found the bed beautifully decorated with flowers, and a hot bath waiting, with flowers in the water and candles on the marble ledge - you get the idea. There is a picture in my travelogue somewhere.
A highly recommended experience.
I was lucky enough to be given a wonderful surprise dinner by my husband. Taj Exotica has several Private Dining Experiences available, and I had commented that I'd like to see the wine room.
One evening, expecting to dine in the main restaurant, we arrived at the bar for Martinis, and had our usual chat with Rajan, the bar manager. As we got up to go to dinner, Rajan invited me to look at the wine room. Great, I thought.
The room is great, white washed rough stone walls, candles slots, with an amazing medieval feel to it. There was a table set out, beautifully presented with candles and beaded placemats. I didn't want to be so rude as to immediately assume it was for me, so I glanced around the wine room until the look on my husbands face meant this was all set up for us.
2 scrolls, tied with gold twine, with burnt edges were on the table, titled "Dinner in the Wine Room - Personalised Menu for Mr & Mrs Jackson". It listed 7 exquisite courses, each accompanied by a different wine appropriate to each dish.
This was the best meal I have ever experienced. Each individual dish was like a masterpiece. We began with Veuve Clicquet champagne and it got better from there.
Below are some more pictures of the dishes.
I can't describe how 'out of this world' the whole evening was. When we surfaced, chocolate dipped strawberries and petit fours were waiting for us in the bar, and we had a nice chat with Rajan and watched some of his many card tricks!
A slip up by my other half meant I discovered the cost of the experience, and later thanked the Lord for husbands and credit cards ;-) Yes, it was that expensive, but the life long memories I have from this will made it worth it.
The is the more formal restaurant, serving Mediterranean and International dishes.
There is a very wide range available, a few examples.......
Tartare of yellow fin tuna
Champagne & Fennel risotto with victorian brie
Chefs exotic Mezze, seafood or vegetarian
Moscovite duck breast
Wild Mushroom Spaghetti in a cream sauce
Seared tournedos of beef with roma tomatoes
Truffled stew of mediterranean vegetables
Penne in home made tomato sauce with kalamata olives
Rack of australian Lamb
Garlic & herb rubbed fillet of angus beef
Catch of the day
There is lots more, but you get the idea!!!
The restaurant is at the far end of the island, approached via a torchlit plankway. Inside the restaurant, is a large gallery, where you can view the water and sealife below, and see the ocassional shark go by. The whole restaurant is over water.
It is romantically lit, marble and polised woods, and tables spread out a nice distance from eachother. Service is exceptional, with Vivek heading a brilliant restaurant, and all of his staff are a credit.
When we left, we were always given 2 small jars of lovely ground coffee, to enjoy the next morning, wrapped in sellophane and tied with gold twine.
Favorite Dish: Champagne & Fennel Risotto to start, and I couldn't choose between the Truffled stew of mediterranean vegetables, in skin of potato with mushrooms, and a red wine treacle, OR,
Wild mushroom spaghetti with cream sauce, aged parmesan, and thyme infused olive oil.
My husband would have the tournedos of beef.
2 course meal, with wine would be in the region of $150 - $180 inc. service charge.
The first night we arrived, I ordered the homestyle chicken curry and rice. I expected to receive one plate with a serving of chicken curry and rice, but my my I was wrong.
An empty plate was placed in front of me. One waiter served rice onto my plate, another approached with the curry and served me. The the first waiter returned with a lentil dahl. Then a bowl of nan. Then 2 spicy popadums, then a pretty platter with mango chutney and pickles. All of the above was squeezed onto the table, and each time I reached to serve myself (happlily) some more rice or curry, one of the waiters would quickly stop me, take the bowl and say 'No Maam, let me do that for you'. They really did treat you like royalty, add to that the fantastic curry and I was happy as Larry.
The duet of chocolate parfaits was so beautifully presented that I photographed it. The smug look on y husbands face is actually embarrassment.
Having had the pleasure to spend an unforgettable experience in Maldives I would suggest you to enjoy a saphari boat, which offer you the possibility to have your meals on board, in a relaxing atmosphere and ...what a panoramic view!
Favorite Dish: We bought something in Male before starting this saphari boat, but most of the time the guys on the boat cooked some fresh fish.
This is the only Thai restaurant in the city...well there're other restaurants that can prepare Thai food too but this is the only one that only makes Thai food. The owner is a Sri Lankan guy who got married with a Thai woman. This woman's sister is the one who supervises in the kitchen so the food tastes very Thai :)
Favorite Dish: All is great!
I had quite a trouble getting something to eat for a lunch on Friday as most places open late. This was the only place I could find that day. This restaurant is in Nasandhura Palace Hotel. They offer many kinds of food and the price is very reasonable...For example, spaghetti meat sauce costs 50 Rufiyaa.
This is the restaurant you will be going to for breakfast, lunch or dinner if you are on full board. When you arrive for the first time, you will be assign to a table and you are expected to sit at the same place for every meal. The same waiter will be at your service. I find this a good idea, it makes the tipping easier. You can tip after every meal, at the end of every day, at the end of the trip on your last meal there or every other day. I suggest you give at the end of every day or every other day so that the waiter feels motivated and is not kept waiting... Minimum tip is $1 per meal...
The waiter waiting at my table is Muzey. Seems shy at first but opens up when you start talking and ask about Maldives and life and work. The waiters can tell you much about the country...
Food... well,not bad.. but can get very boring after a week especially breakfast as it tends to be the same thing every day and not much varieties...
Breakfast :7:30am - 9:30am a bit to short a time, i think, since its an island and you are on a holiday and some people tends to sleep late, I think they extend it till 10am. I have no problem being there at 7:30am, as we arealways ready by 7am..
Lunch: 12:30pm - 2:30pm
Dinner: 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Lunch menu - Kurumba
The pizzas are big enough to share so only order one!
The toasted sandwiches come with bread rolls and salad and we found sometimes just sharing those were enough after a big breakfast!
The garlic bread they do is gorgeous but not on the menu (you need to ask they dont mind)
They do most things in a sandwich if you ask what you want!
The ice creams are lovely too! dont miss them!
Favorite Dish: The Pizzas!
We are the happy couple in the Farivalhu Restaurant which was the main place for meals, buffet style (breakfast/lunch/dinner). Half board, obviously does not include lunch but instead, gives the chance to dine in one of the other restaurants.
A large circular restaurant with sand floor and high roof giving a spacious feeling and never crowded. The central buffet station, was repeated around the room. Attentive waiters looking after you to clear used crockery & serve drinks.
Breakfast was the usual selection of fruit, cereals, Continental Breakfast selection & Full English Type selection. Plus do your own toast and any type of omelettes made to order by the chefs in no time at all.
Lunch & Dinner were of a similar style. Starters of soup, salad followed by a choice of meat/fish/pasta (but with a changing theme) then a dessert selection of cakes, fruits. Half Board option did allow you to get a change of meal type in the other restaurants and not a feeling of eating more because it was there.
An excellent restaurant, never rushed, and high quality of food and service.
Favorite Dish: Favorites were Omelettes for breakfast and Lasagna for Dinner (when it was the pasta choice) along with fresh Pineapple every meal.
If u wanna save money, u can purchase meal package, as follows:
- Breakfast only
- Half board (breakfast & dinner)
- Full Board (3 meals a day)
- All inclusive (full board + drinks)
If u have meal at one of the restaurants, it cost u min. USD 10/meal, but full board cost only USD 10 for 3 meals.
Favorite Dish: They always have buffet with international food.
I have to admit I was a little weary when booking a 2 week holidays on the same (small) island, that only has one restaurant.
They do offer buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Once a week they make a barbeque for all on the beach, and at another time they do serve from a (small) menue list.
I am not a big fan of buffet - it tends to get boring after a short time, especially when the dishes are being repeated.
Not so on Helengeli. They make a big effort to have all kinds of variations.
Yes, there is always the reef fish (or tuna), and yes, you can also have pasta prepared for you with every meal - but it was always a different sauce to these and the rest of the dishes changed every time.
Things were super fresh and very well prepared.
Since we did not do much else that lie on the beach, go snorkeling and have the odd excursion during these 2 weeks - is it a wonder, that I gained about 7 kg? (Ok, the pregnancy sure has its part in it, too, but I can't blame it all on that :-)
Favorite Dish: Choose from the buffet what you like.
I loved the Pasta and the desserts were always a dream!
This is the only restaurant at the airport. expect to pay from $7 upwards. We had fried rice here $7 and fried noodles at $9.. taste wise, quite good. Most of the people waiting for their flight will be sitting here to watch the tv. You can just sit and watch tv without buying anything.
More Regions in Maldives