Does the thought of sitting in a restaurant overlooking the beach with a glass of wine in hand and smelling smoked tuna warm you up? Do you think that the main bonus of tourist trips is the opportunity to take a trip to local eateries, arranging tastings of original dishes and drinks? Then this article is for you!

We bring to the attention of gourmets planning a vacation in the Maldives, a list of popular dishes, snacks, the best and most unusual desserts, various drinks - and the addresses of those catering establishments where you can find all these goodies. Believe me, the listed delicacies will delight your taste buds and expand your understanding of the world's culinary traditions! Please note that approximate prices are in local currency i.e. in Maldives Rufiyaa (MVR).

The rate may vary, but usually 1 MVR is about 4 Russian rubles and 30 kopecks. However, for settlements it is more convenient to use dollars or euros - they are accepted everywhere, in cash or electronically (with plastic cards in the Maldives, you can pay almost everywhere, without "bothering" with currency exchange).


1. Garudhiya

A traditional treat of the Maldives, its culinary "calling card". And in combination, it is one of the main dishes in the diet of local residents. Garudiya is a flavored fish soup usually made with freshly caught fish, water and salt. Served with lime, rice, hot chili and onion.

Garudhiya

Garudhiya

Where can I try?

  • Cafe Iberry, Hulhumale (from 8: 00 to 12: 00);
  • Jazz cafe, Male (on Fridays from 14: 00 until noon of the next day, on other days from 8: 00 to 12: 00);
  • Muraka, Mirihi Island Resort (for dinner - from 19:30 to 22:30).

Estimated cost: from 50 to 200 MVR (depending on the specific institution)


2. Mas Huni

A very popular food in the Maldives, which is prepared in most large and small restaurants or cafes. Mas Huni - Shredded smoked tuna served with coconut, lemon and onion. It is imperative to try the dish!

Mas huni

Mas huni

Otherwise, you will never understand how the breakfast of the indigenous Maldivians differs from the usual sandwiches, scrambled eggs or European oatmeal. The islanders eat their tuna exclusively with chapatis - thin unleavened cakes like lavash, or rice cakes, which are called "roshi" here. Where can you try it? Yes, everywhere, practically! For instance:

  • The Sea House Maldives, Boduthakurufaanu Magu (from 4: 30 morning to noon);
  • Crystal Sands, Maafushi (from 6: 00 until noon);
  • in any of their small restaurants in the Male Harbor area (Raaveribe Maizaan).

And simply - in any local "catering" establishment, if you look there in the morning and ask to serve a traditional "Maldivian breakfast". Estimated cost: from 50 to 250 MVR.


3. Masroshi

A very unusual analogue of the familiar shawarma, prepared in accordance with the tastes of the islanders. A chapati leaf is taken, in which the minced meat of smoked tuna and coconut is wrapped. A special aroma is provided by the addition of curry and other spices. The smell is such that it is simply impossible to pass by and not choke on saliva!

Masroshi

Masroshi

Where can I try?

  • Cafe Rio, Male (almost around the clock, from 5: 00 in the morning to 1: 30 the next morning);
  • Findhandi restaurant, Komandoo (from 7: 30 in the morning to noon);
  • Lonuveli restaurant, Hulhulmale (from 8: 00 in the morning to noon).

Estimated cost: 7 - 50 MVR


4. Bis Keemiya

Another culinary must-have for gourmet tourists. Bis Keemiya is somewhat reminiscent of samsa or spring roll. An interesting dish that perfectly suits the role of a hearty snack. This is a kind of "envelope" of dough, filled with tuna, chopped hard-boiled eggs, chopped onions and lightly fried shredded cabbage. Want something 100% authentic? Bis Kemiya is perfect!

Bis keemiya

Bis keemiya

Where can I try?

Absolutely everywhere! In the Maldives, Bis Keemiya is sold in the manner of Russian pies - from every street stall, in any small Male and Hulhulmale cafes (the latter are usually open from 8 am to 22 pm). Estimated cost: 00 - 2 MVR


5. Boshi Mashuni

Boshi Mashuni is a banana flower salad, a cross between spicy Mexican salsa and fruit and vegetable slices. Main ingredients: Shredded pieces of fresh coconut and crispy banana flowers, seasoned with a variety of spices.

Boshi mashuni

Boshi mashuni

Among the latter are curry, turmeric, cumin, Maldivian chili, juice and lime slices. The combination is spicy, moderately spicy and very fragrant. You will definitely not find such a dish anywhere other than the Maldives. Where to try it?

  • Cafe Iberry, Hulhumale (from 8: 00 to 12: 00);
  • Crystal Sands, Maafushi (from 6: 00 until noon);
  • Cafe Rio, Male (open from 5 in the morning to 1: 30 the next morning).

Estimated cost: from 50 to 100 MVR.


6. Fried Yams

Yams are one of the few crops grown in this amazing island nation. It somewhat resembles potatoes, but it is richer in the set of minerals and vitamins, therefore, it is much more useful.

Fried yams

Fried yams

All in all, fried yams are a fairly popular food in the Maldives. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, it is usually served with a variety of sauces that perfectly set off the main taste of the dish and make it especially spicy. Where to try it? Any cafe in Raaveribe Maizaan, West Harbor area in Male (all are usually open from 8 am to 22 pm). Estimated cost: from 00 to 10 MVR.


7. Maldivian Live Lobster

Frozen / thawed lobster, which you can buy in any store of the appropriate profile, can not stand the comparison with freshly caught lobster!

Maldivian live lobster

Maldivian live lobster

In the Maldives, everyone knows how to properly cook these crustaceans so that their tender meat literally melts in your mouth. Moreover, they catch lobsters right here, off the coast. The freshest product plus rich culinary traditions - and the end result is a dish that will leave a lasting impression! Where to try it?

  • Sea Fire Salt, Anantara Dhigu (opens at 6: 30 in the morning and runs until 23: 30);
  • Edge restaurant, Niyama (they have dinner here from 19: 30 to 22: 30);
  • Ithaa Undersea restaurant (works from 11: 00 to 14: 30 and from 18: 30 to 22: 30)

Estimated cost: 250 - 400 MVR.


8. Sago Pudding (Saagu Bondibai)

Sago used to be a fairly popular product in Russia, and then suddenly disappeared from all counters. The fact is that this "artificial" cereal is prepared from the cores of flowering palm trees (which, of course, are not cultivated in our country).

Saagu bondibai

Saagu bondibai

Residents of the Maldives are more fortunate in this sense, so sago is one of the most popular foods on the islands. To understand why it is so in demand, it is enough to just try sago pudding once. The semolina is boiled in sweet coconut milk, additionally adding condensed milk, cardamom and rose petals. The dish turns out to be absolutely vegetarian, but amazingly tasty and nutritious! Where to try it?

  • Sea Fire Salt, Anantara Dhigu (opens at 6: 30 in the morning and runs until 23: 30);
  • Epicure, Niyama (open from 7: 30 AM to 23: 00);
  • Lighthouse Restaurant (from 11 o'clock in the morning to 11 o'clock in the evening)

Estimated cost: 200 - 500 MVR.


9. Reef Fish Cutlets

Reef fish is very popular in the Maldives and is prepared in many different ways. One option is spicy coconut-breaded fish cakes, served with chutney sauce, papaya, and cucumber. In general, it is better to taste once than to see a hundred times in the picture.

Reef fish cutlets

Reef fish cutlets

Where to try?

  • Ufaa Maldivian restaurant, COMO Cocoa Island (lunch - from 12:00 to 15:00, dinner - from 19:00 to 23:00);
  • Sea Fire Salt, Anantara Dhigu (open from 6: 30 AM to 23: 30)

Estimated cost: 300 - 500 MVR per serving.


10. Gulha

Gulha in the Maldives is what is called a "short meal" or "evening snack". It is usually served alongside freshly brewed tea or coffee. The dish looks like small dumplings the size of a nut. A "one bite" dough ball is stuffed with tuna, onions, chili and grated coconut pulp.

Gulha

Gulha

Where to try?

  • Faruma Restaurant, Diffushi Island;
  • Lighthouse Restaurant (open from 11: 00 to 23: 00);
  • Sunset Corner, Thoddoo (open from 6: 00 until noon)

Estimated cost: from 2 to 10 MVR.


11.Kulhi Boakibaa Fish Cake

Kulhi Boakibaa in the Maldives is a festive dish. In the families of the islanders, it is prepared for special occasions, but in restaurants and cafes you can find this fish pie any day. Such a "cake" is collected from layers of smoked tuna, coconut pulp, onions and ground rice.

Kulhi boakibaa

Kulhi boakibaa

Where to try?

  • Cafe SeaLaVie, Ukulhas (opens at 9: 30 in the morning, open until 23: 00);
  • Cafe Salathai, Male (from 15: 00 until noon the next day);
  • Findhandi restaurant, Komandoo (from 7: 30 in the morning to 12 in the afternoon)

Estimated cost: from 50 to 100 MVR.


12. Aluvi Boakibaa Sweet Cake

This delicate cake that truly melts in your mouth in the Maldives is made from sweet cassava and coconut. The dish is completely authentic, enjoys great success among local residents, so visitors to gourmets should pay attention to it without fail.

Aluvi boakibaa

Aluvi boakibaa

Where to try ?:

  • any City Bakery, "city bakery" (they work from 6 am to 23 pm daily);
  • Cafe Salathai, Male (from 15: 00 until noon the next day);
  • Fine Bake by Suzi (works with 8: 00 to 18: 00 and from 20: 00 to 22: 00)

Estimated cost: 50 - 70 MVR.

13. Fish Curry

Most popular dishes in the Maldives include fish. Local curry is no exception. It turns out creamy, aromatic, spicy. The main ingredients used are striped tuna, small tuna, yellowfin tuna, frigate tuna, big-eyed horse mackerel, mackerel and mahi-mahi fish. The dish is served with boiled rice, special rosha rice cakes and various local flatbreads.

Fish curry

Fish curry

Where to try?

  • Sunset Corner (works with 6: 00 to 12: 00);
  • Kaalamaa, Maafushi restaurant (from midnight to 14: 30 and from 19: 00 to 21: 30);
  • Cafe Sea Breeze, Bandos (here guests are greeted 24 hours a day)

Estimated cost: from 15 to 75 MVR.


14. Rihaakuru

The local culinary specialty is another fish dish made with a very unusual recipe. Rihaakuru is a spicy thick pasta beloved by the indigenous population, prepared by stewing fish for a long time. How is it eaten? You need to tear off a piece of Roshi bread, dip it in rihaakura, and then put it in your mouth - repeat with great pleasure until you are completely satisfied!

Rihaakuru

Rihaakuru

Where to try?

  • Cafe SeaLaVie, Ukulhas (from 9: 30 to 23: 00);
  • Cafe Iberry, Hulhumale (from 8: 00 until noon);
  • Jazz Cafe, Male (open on Fridays from 14: 00 until noon the next day, on other days from 8 in the morning until midnight.

Estimated cost: 50 - 150 MVR.


15. Maldivian Vegetable Curry or Tharukaaree Riha

Tired of different fish dishes, try the vegetable curry. This dish is clear proof of the influence of Indian and Sri Lankan culinary traditions in Maldivian cuisine. Vegetarian curry is made with sweet potatoes, pumpkin, beans, carrots, and other vegetables, flavored with local spices. The result is an amazingly tasty and healthy combination.

Maldivian Vegetable Curry

Maldivian Vegetable Curry

Where to try?

  • Amore, Guraidhoo (from 8: 00 to 23: 00);
  • various street cafes in the West Harbor, Male area (usually open around 8: 00 and work up to 22-00 daily).

Estimated cost: 25 - 50 MVR.


16. Tea (Sai, Tea)

The Maldivians hold sacred to British tea traditions. Here, kalhu sai (black tea) or kiru sai (milk tea) are consumed in large quantities, which are served with sweet and savory snacks.

Leaves

Leaves

Where to try it? Again - anywhere! Well, for example:

  • Tea House, Furanafushi Island (open from noon to 21:00 - except Wednesday);
  • My Maldives, Male Cafe (from 7: 00 until noon);
  • Cafe The Royal Garden, Male (from 8: 00 until noon);
  • Family Room, Male Cafe (works from 9: 00 to 23: 00)

Estimated cost: from 10 to 35 MVR.


17. Cocktail "Maldivian Lady" (Maldivian Lady)

Alcoholic cocktail Maldivian Lady is freshness, tropical aroma and bright fruity taste. A drink is prepared from white rum, apricot brandy, grenadine, orange and pineapple juice. Just imagine: you are sitting under the night sky, in the cool wind, sipping on this wonderful nectar. A real paradise!

Maldivian lady

Maldivian lady

Where to try?

  • Raabondi Restaurant, Horubadhoo Island;
  • a bar in the Kakuni restaurant, Meerufenfushi (open at 8 in the morning until one in the morning);
  • Sea Fire Salt, at Anantara Dhigu Hotel (from 6: 30 AM to 23: 30)

Estimated cost: from 200 to 350 MVR.


18. Biyadhoo Special Cocktail

The drink owes its name to one of the popular Maldivian hotels. The Biyadhoo cocktail is a tonic combination of strong alcohol and freshly squeezed juice. Served in a traditional glass with a straw. It contains one part vodka, one part pineapple juice and two parts melon liqueur - plus a piece of pineapple. The most fragrant recipe for a great mood!

Biyadhoo special

Biyadhoo special

Where to try?

  • SIP Sunset bar (from 10: 00 to 23: 00);
  • Moodhu bar or restaurant (open 24 hours)

Estimated cost: 200 - 350 MVR.


19. Cocktail Lucky & Al

The premium cocktail is one of the most expensive in the Maldives. It is said to be a symbol of the Prohibition era in the United States. Lucky & Al is a combination of elite spirits (Lero Cognac of the 30s of the last century, Vieil Armagnac Armagnac and Salon champagne). It is clear that such a cocktail cannot be cheap - it is a kind of legend, nectar for the elite.

Lucky & Al

Lucky & Al

You can try Lucky & Al only at the Avi Pool bar, on the Velaa island, which is a private property. The cost of one glass is about one hundred thousand MVR - a little less than half a million rubles.


20. Gulab Jamun

But this dessert, originally from India, is available to everyone. The dish consists of delicate balls of powdered milk and flour, fried in oil and then soaked in pink sugar syrup. The delicacy is popular in the Maldives - it is worth ordering if only to better understand the tastes of the islanders!

Gulab jamun

Gulab jamun

Where to try?

  • Tandoori Flames, Hulhumale (from 11: 00 to 23: 30);
  • Belle Amie Bistro (from 8: 00 to 23: 00);
  • Samsara Restaurant, Bolifushi Island

Estimated cost: 50 - 70 MVR.


Finally, a few important culinary tips for tourists. Despite the fact that alcohol is available to vacationers in almost all resorts in the Maldives, alcohol is actually prohibited for the local population living under Sharia law.

It is considered good practice to tip the waiters in restaurants, but it is not necessary as a 10% service charge will always be added to the bill. The best time to satisfy your hunger between lunch and dinner is at the end of the afternoon prayer (around 16 pm). At this moment in cafes and restaurants the freshest snacks are served to the table.

In the Maldives, it is recommended to consume only bottled drinks, as tap water is simply desalinated sea water. The consumption is small, a standard 1,5-liter bottle will cost only 10 MVR. Although most of the Maldives' population speaks good English, you may encounter a language problem in some of the smaller cafes.

Just in case, it is worth learning the name of the dishes and drinks listed above - in order to be able to order them. And finally - what could be better than reading about culinary masterpieces? Of course - try them personally! Even newlyweds on their honeymoon in the Maldives should remember that there is no love more sincere than the love of food!