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What is the best food in the Maldives?

Mar 20, 2021 Notes from a Chef

The Maldives islands are rich in a culture influenced by mariners sailing and trading in the islands on the spice route hundreds of years ago. This heritage is reflected strongly in Maldivian food and flavours, which are a mix of Sri Lankan, Indian and Arabic spices and recipes. Of course, fish plays a big role in Maldivian cuisine, so does chilli, curry powder and other Asian herbs and spices.

Milaidhoo is upholding and celebrating Maldivian food culture by being home to the only fine dining restaurant serving contemporary Maldivian dishes. These are inspired by the spices, other ingredients and traditions from neighbouring countries.

Here are the five must-try dishes at Ba’theli by the Reef Restaurant on Milaidhoo island, excellent examples of the best food in the Maldives.

Maldives local food garudhiya

1. Garudhiya and Kiru Garudhiya

Garudhiya is a famous soup of the Maldives. It is a clear broth of poached fresh skipjack tuna, perfumed with pandanus (screwpine) heart and curry leaves. For a memorable blend of tropical island flavours, Kiru Garudhiya is one of the best foods in the Maldives. It consists of fresh island coconut milk, poached fish and shellfish in a soup flavoured with island spices and curry leaves.

2. Maldivian Cold Mezze

To sample what Maldivians eat on a daily basis, try this tasting platter of barabo mashuni (pumpkin salad with tuna), coconut mashuni (grated coconut and tuna salad), bashi satani (eggplant mousse) with roshi (flat bread).

3. Kandu Kukulhu

Meaning “Chicken of the Ocean,” this is yellowfin tuna wrapped in a pandan (screwpine) leaf, poached in spices and coconut milk, served with root vegetables and basmati rice.

4. Giyolhu Mas

This coconut-barbecued Jobfish fillet cannot be any fresher as it comes straight from the sea. It is served with mashed breadfruit and curry leaf sauce.

5. Gabulhi Boakibaa

For a typical Maldivian dessert, choose the sweet Maldivian flavours of young coconut cake served with plantain purée and roast banana ice cream.

The flavours and creations of Maldivian cuisine vary from atoll to atoll, island to island and home to home. Dining in Ba’theli by the Reef at Milaidhoo makes the fine flavours of what is the best food in the Maldives easily accessible. At Milaidhoo dishes are tastefully refined for the tourist palate without an excess of chilli.

Discover more about the diverse culinary delights that Milaidhoo has to offer >>

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