Maldivians’ traditional cuisine is a blend of Indian, Sri Lankan, Arabic and Thai tastes. Asian influences can be seen in the curries and incorporation of coconut in dishes. Not surprisingly, fish is part of the staple diet, with steamed, fried or curried fish meals whipped up at the island’s restaurants and resort kitchens. From tuna, red snapper and swordfish to rock lobsters and groupers, the seafood spread is delectable. Maldivians add curry leaves and chilli to literally all their dishes. Their fiery pork, fish and lamb dishes are robust, delicious and full of spices (you can also request for milder flavours).
Among the popular local delicacies are kulhi boakibaa, a spicy tuna fish cake eaten as a snack; deep-fried fish balls known as gulha; bajiya, a twist on the world-famous ‘samosa’, complete with a dried fish or chicken filling; and bambukeylu hiti made from breadfruit and served as a standalone snack or curry. Resorts serve a range of international cuisine, so you can stick to Continental or experience Oriental or Middle Eastern flavours on your holiday. Coffee shops on liveaboard vessels and resorts meet your snack and light food needs.
While you may not find alcoholic beverages on inhabited islands, you can get your fill at well-stocked resort bars. The choice in red and white wines – usually sourced from New Zealand, South African and Australian estates and presented at resort buffets – is excellent. When you’re at the bar, don’t miss out on interesting cocktails prepared by the island’s creative bartenders. Fancy a quiet nightcap? The mini bars in your room are topped up everyday.