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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Eating in the Maldives – Everything You Must Know
Joanna James Joanna James
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Eating in the Maldives – Everything You Must Know

Whether you are batting off of a pre-planned menu or at an all-you-can-eat buffet happening at a communal dining room, the one thing about Maldivian cuisine that you are not going to find at either of these instances is that it is 'subpar'. Here is our guide to your taste of the splendid Maldivian cuisine.


The Basics

The Maldives comes with some of the most amazing dining options, especially if you are hosted at one of the better Maldives Beach resort, for instance, such as The Residence Maldives Dhigurah. However, budget resorts and restaurants on the inhabited islands might not have as much to offer. The upside to this, however, is that such guest who feel like they are not receiving the required level of gastronomic satisfaction wherever they are, can always wander into the local community and explore its many restaurants, cafes and teashops. This makes for a perfect avenue to try local dishes and interact with the locals to your heart's content.


The Staples

If we had to pick out a couple of staples of Maldivian cuisine off the top of our heads, it would go in the following order- coconut, fish, yams and tropical delicacies such as mangoes, papayas and pineapples. Considering these are some of the few key ingredients that they can easily get access to, it is now finally evident how their cuisine has been historically so simple. Having said that, it would only be fair to acknowledge the evolution of the cuisine given the cultural influence of the Indian subcontinent, Africa, Arabia and the far east, given their strong trade ties with each other.


The Specialities

A favourite Maldivian breakfast, needless to say, is one that comprises of a healthy mixture of tuna, onion, coconut and chilli served cold with flatbread (Roshi) and is known as mas huni. It is also generally followed by a cup of tea to top off the scrumptious meal. For the lighter meals and as snacks, the Maldivians like their 'hedhikaa'- a selection of finger foods. Known more commonly as 'short eats' at the eateries that serve them, the selection includes 'fihunu mas' (fish pieces with chilli coating), 'gulha' (fried dough balls filled with fish and spices), 'keemia' (fried fish rolls in batter) and 'kuli boakiba' (spicy fish cakes).


Where to Eat

In budget resorts, there probably wouldn't be much of a choice about where to possibly eat as most cheaper resorts have just a single restaurant. Most midrange places have at least two or more restaurants so you may have a better choice of dining. However, if you are hosted at one of those high-end resorts with at least two or more luxurious restaurants, you and your appetite will be well looked after. However, if you happen to be staying in Male, your best bet for trying out some local foods would be to head on down to a teashop. On the off that you are staying at a smaller inhabited island, guesthouses would be your go-to choice for dining, as any other establishments would be scarce- at least any that provide a comfortable dining experience.

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