Soneva Jani opens newest restaurant, The Crab Shack

Soneva Jani has unveiled the latest addition to its culinary offerings, the Crab Shack.

The 32 cover restaurant and 14 seat bar is located on Soneva Jani’s southwest beach, on the opposite side of the island to Cinema Paradiso, and is comprised of two levels. The ground floor is taken up by the restaurant, kitchen and bar area, with the first floor deck designed especially for guests to relax on tiered daybeds and enjoy the Maldivian sunsets while sipping on rosé wine or other beverages.

The Crab Shack is open for lunch and dinner with an á la carte menu. Upstairs serves only drinks and light snacks. While no local crabs will be on the menu (watch The Mangrove Network video from the Change-Maker Series), Sri Lankan mud crabs, Alaskan crabs and Kamchatka crabs (all Marine Stewardship Council certified) are the highlights. Each day the Crab Shack will only serve one type of crab on a rotating basis. The dishes that can be ordered include chili crab, crab curry (both Thai and Sri Lankan varieties of curry), garlic crab, black pepper crab, Szechuan spicy wok-fried crab, Vietnamese wok-fried crab with tamarind, ginger and black pepper.

The menu is also supplemented with Mediterranean dishes, including marinated sardines, mussels meunière, crab and seafood bouillabaisse (subject to availability), spicy seafood salad, and a ceviche of the day. There will also be a seafood platter that includes soft shell crabs, calamari, scallops and more. This platter can be ordered cold or warm (steamed, wok-fried or barbecued). A number of vegetable based side dishes will also be available, using organic greens from the resort’s gardens. Dishes include broccoli with caramelised garlic and marinated artichokes. When it comes to drinks there will be a focus on rosé and Sauvignon Blanc, while there will also be a selection of red wine.

Guests will get to dine barefoot, with toes in the sand, in line with Soneva’s ‘No News, No Shoes’ ethos. The Crab Shack is open-air, allowing for the cool sea breeze to flow through and uninterrupted views out across the lagoon, towards the sunset.

The design of the restaurant and bar uses reclaimed wood and driftwood timber to offer guests a rustic shack experience, while also giving a nod to how Maldivian’s traditionally built their homes before they had conventional building materials. Diners will sit around repurposed tree trunk logs that incorporate recycled glass plate supports and reclaimed barrels. There is a central communal table, while around this there are tables of four, which can all be rearranged depending on party numbers. The main support pillars are made out of entire tree trunks.

Opened in December 2016, Soneva Jani is Soneva’s newest property and the world-leading luxury hotel group’s second resort in the Maldives.

Soneva Jani is located on the island of Medhufaru within a 5.6 kilometre lagoon in the Noonu atoll, and has uninterrupted ocean views in all directions. The lagoon is 35 minutes by seaplane from Velana International Airport and one hour by speedboat from Soneva Fushi.

Meaning ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani currently comprises 24 overwater villas and one island villa, with additional villas to be built in phase two. Five islands encircle the lagoon, each one with soft white sands and covered in rich tropical vegetation. Four of the five islands will remain untouched, making Soneva Jani the lowest density development in the Maldives. The overwater villas are spaced across the expansive lagoon, offering privacy and extensive views over the Maldives’ turquoise waters. The island villas will be tucked into the lush greenery, providing the ultimate privacy, and all within steps of the beach.

Soneva Jani’s main guest facilities are located at The Gathering, the heart of the overwater villas. This dramatic three story structure is home to the main dining outlets, in addition to the Soneva Spa, library, retail area and wine cellar. It is located next to the Maldives’ first overwater Observatory.

Facilities on the island include the overwater Cinema Paradiso, the Eco Centro Waste-to-Wealth centre, organic gardens, tennis courts, water sports champa and Zuhair’s Beach on a desert island in the lagoon.

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