15 Apr 2019
Way out in the Indian Ocean, many miles from the southern coast of Sri Lanka, you’ll find the archipelago nation of the Maldives which comprises 26 atolls. Discover white-sand beaches, stroll like Robinson Crusoe beside swaying palm trees or plunge into lukewarm lagoons. Here's our guide to the best open-air restaurants in the Maldives which have become a huge draw for tourists from around the world.
THE OVERWATER EXPERIENCE
It’s a combination of the relaxed ambiance and simple décor that relaxes diners and unshackles their senses. In B4R Bar a resident band plays live music through stunning Maldivian sunsets, deep into the humid night. This is then followed by the Vittaveli night cap – a chance to soak-up the supine atmosphere and drink under island starlight.
Sitting over the azure lagoon, looking out onto jetties that jut into the deep blue you'll find the French restaurant Fenesse. Experience superbly crafted flavours and extensive cocktail lists while you dine in exquisite surroundings over the water. Look out for the mesmerising sunsets which perfectly compliment your dining experience.
The MU beach bar and grill offers up a similar laid-back overwater experience, only they take guests down onto the sand for a spot of beachside dining, while mouth-watering local seafood is turned over a nearby grill and cooked on a bed of hot lava stone.
MENUS INSPIRED BY THE NATURE
One thing all the best Maldivian overwater restaurants have in common is their dedication to fresh and delicious seafood. Fenesse serves a sophisticated al fresco menu of classic and contemporary French dishes and fresh seafood. Expect oysters freshly plucked from the seabed and the contemporary cuisine from the French culinary regions. At retro-chic B4R Bar, where satellites of signature cocktails, complimentary canapés and Friturier bar snacks appear stacked on wooden platters, alongside cheese and charcuterie plates.
Great vegetarian choices are available at the MU beach bar and grill, alongside delicious salmon fillet and Asian ravioli is spun out with refined precision, complemented by expertly mixed cocktails and the slow crash of breaking waves as they roll onto the shore. There’s fresh fillet steak, Maldivian tuna, fresh sashimi and seafood curry to be found at Samsara – a local favourite for all-day beachside diner, with an a la carte menu of Maldivian delicacies and foreign flavours. Samsara specialise in large spreads and buffets, serving a mix of Asian and international cuisines, from fresh sashimi to prime Angus beef burger to deep fried Snapper – the perfect location to enjoy the gentle sea breeze.
Lovers of Indian cuisine can explore Swarna which is set in a lush garden with open-air dining cabanas. Swarna creatively interprets traditional Indian recipes to create a special dining experience. True to its name, which translates to 'gold' in Sanskrit, the restaurant is exclusive in its décor and ambience. Recognized as the "Best Indian Cuisine in Asia" by the World Luxury Restaurant Awards in 2016, 2017, and 2018, the restaurant’s menu features hand-picked ingredients from around the world. The signature Swarna Thali represents a journey through the rich heritage of Indian cuisine, all served on an oversized copper plate.
Choose the luxury Jumeirah Vittaveli resort to experience the very best food in the Maldives.