The Unique Culinary Concept of Anantara

Maldives Promotion House – World famed powdery sands, deserted pearl strung islands, and one of the greatest diving destinations on the planet, are charms which naturally catapult the Maldives to the top of most people’s holiday hot list.  At Anantara Kihavah Villas guests are just as likely to be attracted by the unique gastronomic experiences – an unmissable highlight being the resort’s exclusive underwater wine cellar and restaurant.

Anantara is passionate about bringing story collecting travellers closer to the natural, cultural and historic allures of each destination, and nowhere is this more deliciously articulated than at Anantara Kihavah Villas’ one-of-a-kind dining experience.  Here, diners are spoilt for choice with six restaurants and bars, each offering a distinctive setting, menu and ambiance that divulge a different view of the world’s most envied utopia, as well as a diverse culinary journey.

Highlighting the resort’s idyllic location in the dazzling Indian Ocean is the exclusive “Sea. Fire. Salt. Sky.” signature dining experience.  This unique under-and overwater gastronomic concept features four remarkable venues, each offering a different type of cuisine that is as unique as the perspective.View and savour the Indian Ocean’s abundance of marine life by descending into a connoisseur journey at the underwater wine cellar and restaurant, “Sea”.  Situated at the edge of a reef, the primary view windows are poised next to a channel which provides spectacular displays of fish and sea life all around.

Here guests are indulged with a rustic Mediterranean buffet lunch or exquisite degustation dinner menus of classic creations and tempted by the resident Wine Sommelier’s perfect accompaniments from a vast array of new and old world selections. Oenophiles will delight in the impressive underwater wine cellar with view windows, featuring one of the most balanced and diverse wine collections in the Maldives with 250 labels from 14 countries.  Some 22 labels are available by the glass and regular tasting sessions offer guests a tantalising journey through the vineyards of the world.

At “Fire” diners’ visual and taste senses are astounded with dramatic Teppanyaki cooking displays as chefs prepare fresh local rock lobster, Wagyu beef or the catch of the day.  The restaurant has a subtle Japanese expression and a live cooking station to showcase its sizzling theatrics.  Inspired by the surroundings and cuisine, the roof of “Fire” has an iconic form, shaped to resemble the bone of a cuttlefish and an ancient Japanese Edo period helmet.

The Asian inspired “Salt” offers unique depth and complexity of flavours such as a Red Snapper infused with lemongrass, ginger and coarse black pepper, baked to perfection on a Himalayan salt brick.  Here a simple request to “pass the salt” gets a new meaning as a Salt Sommelier helps diners to pair their food with the perfect seasoning.

“Sky” is a double storey lounge bar in Thai style with over scale rocking chairs, perfect for taking in the awe inspiring view of the Baa Atoll island archipelago or stargazing on the open rooftop deck.  As a golden sunset unfolds an ambience of mellow music invites guests to unwind in the refreshing evening sea breeze with exotic cocktails and succulent cuisine presented on tempting skewers.

In addition to this tantalising quartet, “Plates” all-day dining restaurant serves a lavish breakfast selection and international and Maldivian cuisine.  It comprises a main sand floored sala and an alfresco deck on the beach with the promise of spectacular sea views.  By night, candlelit tables ensure the prefect romantic dinner for two.

An adjacent glass enclosed sala houses an open theatre kitchen where guests are invited to learn the art of cooking Maldivian dishes, a diverse and tantalising cuisine of fresh seafood and bold aromas.  A giant flower shaped buffet in the centre of the cooking sala converts to a dining table seating up to 24 guests.

At 49 metres, “Manzaru” pool bar and restaurant boasts the longest swimming pool in the Maldives and Jhoola swing beds that hover over the water, facing a relaxing view to the Indian Ocean.  Sunshine Butlers are always on hand with fruit skewers and cold face towels to cool sunbathers down.  Casual lunches of crisp salads and traditional pastas are served poolside, or at a communal table set against an Islamic motif backdrop of a Thickri glass mirror feature wall on the restaurant’s lower level.  An Olive Oil Sommelier helps guests select from the finest olive oils in the Mediterranean, served with freshly baked bread.

A dramatic slatted timber staircase connects the upper level which, by night, transforms into a leisurely Italian restaurant, offering regional specialties skilfully crafted from traditional ingredients.

As the day slowly drifts away with the setting sun, guests can indulge in the ultimate romantic dining with personalised “Dining by Design” experiences, where a specially devised menu is prepared by a personal chef, and served at a table for two in dreamy locations, from an isolated sandbank in the Indian Ocean to the deck of a private yacht – anywhere of the guests’ choosing.

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