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COMO Cocoa Island opens first ever pop-up dining experience, The Konro Grill and Bar

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The Konro Grill and Bar, a special pop-up restaurant serving delectable yakitori and an exquisite sake bar is now open on COMO Cocoa Island.

Available from now to April 10th 2024, the pop-up brings together the art of yakitori and a remarkable sake bar. Nestled on Faru Beach, this unique dining experiences promises a fusion of Japanese flavours amidst the picturesque backdrop of the island’s powder soft white beaches.

Experience the tantalising aromas of fresh vegetables, meats, and seafood skewers, expertly grilled on a traditional Konro grill right before your eyes. Designed to delight the palette, guests can savour premium Tajima Wagyu with beautiful marbling that gives the meat a rich, buttery flavour; Glacier 51 Toothfish, sometimes referred to as the wagyu of the sea, with its delicate sweetness; and brussels sprouts with miso and dancing bonito for extra umami.

Enthusiasts of Japanese spirits can indulge in a curated selection of premium sake, including the illustrious IWA 5 Assemblage 2, Junmai Daiginjo crafted by Richard Geoffroy, former Chef de Cave at Dom Pérignon. Additionally, Japanese beers and inventive cocktails, such as The Green Konro signature cocktail, featuring Shirataki “Pink” Jukusei no Jozen Mizunogotoshi, Midori liqueur, pineapple juice and Scrappy’s Bitters, promise an unparalleled sensory experience.

Open from afternoon until late, enjoy stunning views of the beach, especially during sunset or under a star-studded sky. Immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of this purpose-built pop-up restaurant, crafted entirely from local materials, aiming to bring the quintessential Japanese food-cart experience to life amidst the tropical paradise of COMO Cocoa Island.

For more information on COMO Cocoa Island or to book your next stay, please visit https://www.comohotels.com/maldives/como-cocoa-island

Food

Love Takes Flight: Michelin-Starred Space Restaurant Offers Proposals Among the Stars

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In a groundbreaking move that redefines the meaning of “romantic getaway,” ApoteoSurprise, a Parisian agency specializing in extravagant proposals, is launching a unique service: an intimate dinner for two in space, culminating in a breathtaking proposal at an altitude of 35 kilometers.

Starting in 2025, lovebirds can embark on this unforgettable experience aboard a specially designed space capsule lifted by a stratospheric balloon. This futuristic capsule boasts top-notch amenities and a central table elegantly set, reminiscent of the finest Parisian restaurants.

Upon arrival at the spaceport, the couple will be greeted by their pilot and ushered into the capsule. There, they’ll be introduced to StellarEmbrace, an AI-powered robot designed to enhance their experience. Equipped with advanced technology, StellarEmbrace will personalize their journey, addressing the woman by name and presenting her with a bouquet of roses before announcing their gourmet space dinner.

As the helium-filled balloon gently lifts the capsule, the couple will be treated to breathtaking 360° views of our planet through the panoramic windows. Reaching an altitude above 99% of Earth’s atmosphere, they’ll witness the curvature of the Earth, the mesmerizing blue halo, and the vast expanse of space, experiencing the profound “overview effect” that astronauts often describe.

Throughout their three-hour journey, StellarEmbrace will serve a delectable five-course meal prepared by a renowned French Michelin-starred chef, accompanied by specially chosen wines and champagne. A curated playlist featuring iconic space-themed songs will further elevate the experience.

Adding a touch of playful anticipation, StellarEmbrace will “interrupt” the meal before dessert, reminding the man of a forgotten item. A luminous box requiring a secret code for access will appear, prompting the man to unlock it. Inside, nestled in a luxurious case, lies an engagement ring. With the breathtaking backdrop of space as his witness, the man can then pop the question, sealing their love story under the starry expanse.

As the capsule gently descends back to Earth, the newly engaged couple will be presented with a recording of their entire adventure, capturing every special moment from their arrival to their emotional farewell.

This extraordinary service, priced at 750,000 euros, offers an unparalleled opportunity for couples to celebrate their love in a truly out-of-this-world setting. ApoteoSurprise is poised to redefine the landscape of romantic experiences, allowing love stories to take flight among the stars.

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Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives Unveils Mediterraneo by Jeffrey Vella: A Culinary Oasis Redefining Luxury Dining

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Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives is poised to elevate the culinary scene with the inauguration of Mediterraneo by Jeffrey Vella on February 18th, 2024.

Mediterraneo by Jeffrey Vella at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives exudes sophistication, authenticity, and timelessness. With meticulous attention to detail, from the culinary offerings to the ambiance, the restaurant promises a dining experience tailored for aficionados of life’s finest pleasures. Embracing the beauty of nature, Mediterraneo infuses its space and cuisine with a raw essence that transcends mere ingredients.

Chef Jeffrey Vella shared his enthusiasm, stating, “We are passionate about food. Mediterraneo will tantalize your senses, combining the beauty of our surroundings with exquisite artisanal creations.”

The restaurant merges ancient traditions with modern flair, creating an enduring experience that goes beyond gourmet dining. Rooted in earthy tones and warm textures, the ambiance fosters a deep connection to nature, enhancing the sensory journey of each culinary creation. Infused with The Taj’s renowned hospitality, Mediterraneo promises warmth, comfort, and exceptional experiences for guests.

The launch event on February 18th, 2024, promises an evening of gastronomic delight amidst the picturesque setting of Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives. Guests will indulge in Chef Vella’s signature dishes, meticulously crafted to reflect the essence of Mediterranean culinary artistry.

Chef Jeffrey Vella’s extraordinary menu features standout dishes such as seared scallops with smoked lemon gel, classic risotto with pecorino pesto, and pan-seared tuna with smoked cucumber velouté. These offerings, alongside a carefully curated selection, ensure an unforgettable dining experience that redefines luxury in the Maldives.

Mediterraneo by Jeffrey Vella invites guests to embark on an unforgettable journey of taste and indulgence, where the azure waters of the Indian Ocean meet the flavors of the Mediterranean. This culinary venture promises to be a beacon of gastronomic brilliance, setting a new standard for luxury dining in the Maldives.

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Gili Lankanfushi Maldives goes gourmet with a new look overwater bar, menu, F&B Manager

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Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, the pioneer of sustainable, barefoot luxury in the Maldives, is serving up a series of gourmet additions in time for the New Year. From a delicious new menu for the recently refurbished Overwater Bar to the appointment of F&B Manager Shawwaf Ismail, epicurean adventurers are in for a treat at Gili this season.

Gili Lankanfushi enjoys an unspoilt island location in the Maldives’ North Malé Atoll, just 20 minutes by speedboat from Malé airport. Perfectly suited for couples, families, solo travellers and groups alike, the resort combines rustic eco-design, unparalleled service and stunning natural scenery with a laid-back-luxury, ‘no news, no shoes’ philosophy.

The new gourmet offerings have been spearheaded by Gili Lankanfushi’s esteemed Executive Chef Hari Govinderaj.

The Overwater Bar Enjoys a New Look

Occupying an enviable position perched atop the calm turquoise waters of Gili Lankanfushi, the Overwater Bar is one of the island’s signature dining destinations. New for 2024, the bucket-list-worthy restaurant has enjoyed a full refurbishment, featuring the rustic eco chic interiors for which Gili is renowned and an extended outdoor decking area which provides the perfect spot to watch the sunset, cocktail in hand.

Beloved by guests for the opportunity to spot reef sharks and rays drift through the lagoon below as they dine, the all-day-dining spot offers panoramic views across the Indian Ocean. As sunset turns the sky afire, the Overwater Bar becomes the perfect setting for sundowners: delicious cocktails freshly crafted using local flavours and served with light and flavoursome canapés.

A New Menu for the Overwater Bar

The 2024 season sees a brand-new menu for Gili Lankanfushi’s beloved Overwater Bar restaurant, created by Executive Chef Hari and his talented brigade. A fusion of international cuisine, traditional Maldivian dishes and beachside classics, the menu provides the ultimate relaxed yet refined all-day-dining option.

The new offering includes the introduction of a new ‘Gili Grandma’ curry menu, which draws inspiration from cherished family recipes that have been passed down through the generations across different regions in Asia.

“Everyone knows that grandma’s cooking is best, and we wanted to provide our guests with a refined take on the authentic South and East Asian home-style curries that grace the tables of our own chefs, and their families”, commented Chef Hari. “For the Gili Grandma menu, each chef presents their favourite family recipe from back home, which range from Chef Samiu’s Maldivian reef fish curry to a spicy Sri Lankan pumpkin curry by Sri Lanka native, Chef Isuru. Delicious!”

Elsewhere on the menu, a selection of inventive salads and healthy soups provide the perfect lunchtime pick for breezy beach days, featuring home grown ingredients from Gili’s very own organic garden. Meanwhile, lovers of international cuisine can travel the globe from their dining table with Indonesian nasi goreng, locally caught reef fish sashimi, teriyaki chicken and more. For those in search of a laid-back bite, a delicious pizza and ‘Gili Breads’ sandwich menu is sure to delight, while a delectable dessert offering including homemade ice cream and indulgent treats such as Gili’s famous hot chocolate lava cake is the ideal way to finish up the meal.

Alongside the all-day-dining offering, guests can also book an unforgettable ‘Seafood Under the Stars’ dining experience at the Overwater Bar. The perfect pick for honeymooners, a special anniversary or a birthday dinner, diners will enjoy a four-course tasting menu crafted with freshly caught local seafood, as they sip on some sparkling and spot the constellations above.

The Seafood Under the Stars dining experience at the Overwater Bar is available to book for $220 per person.

Shawwaf Ismail Appointed New F&B Manager

Gili Lankanfushi has announced the appointment of Shawwaf Ismail as the resort’s F&B manager.

Leading the F&B management and managing a team of over 30 staff alongside Executive Chef Hari who oversees the culinary vision at Gili, Shawwaf will oversee day-to-day operations across the island’s numerous restaurants and bars.

Returning ‘home’ to Gili after four years spent in various managerial positions at several of the Maldives’ finest luxury resorts including Milaidhoo, LUX* and Fushifaru, Shawwaf brings a wealth of experience back to the island.

Commenting on his appointment, Shawwaf said: “Gili Lankanfushi has played a crucial role in my professional journey, guiding me from a line-level position to a managerial post during my previous seven-year employment here. Returning to Gili as part of the senior management team is particularly rewarding, underscoring the company’s unwavering commitment to talent development. My dedication goes beyond professional growth; I am committed to nurturing our staff by providing motivation, fostering development, and ensuring their overall happiness. Looking ahead, my objective is to play a pivotal role in the continuous success of Gili Lankanfushi and provide guests with unparalleled experiences on island, while naturally giving the utmost attention to the needs of our resort team.”

Gastronomy at Gili Lankanfushi

Gili Lankanfushi’s gastronomic vision harnesses the bounty of the surrounding waters alongside carefully-sourced seasonal ingredients and produce from the resort’s very own organic garden. Three restaurants provide unique culinary experiences while an overwater bar and underground wine cellar offer ample opportunity for refreshments.

Located directly on the beach, Kashiveli serves breakfast and dinner, playing host to a series of themed ‘market experiences’ (the Asian Street Market, Mediterranean Spice Souk, Passage to India and Churrascaria BBQ) on four nights of the week. The rest of the week sees the restaurant serve up the ‘Gili Culinary Journey’, a tantalizing rotating menu of signature dishes taking guests on a gastronomic adventure through nine regions inspired by the heritage and talent of Gili Lankanfushi’s culinary team.

Open five days a week, By the Sea offers delicious Japanese fusion dishes created with local seafood paired with an extensive sake collection and signature cocktails such as the Wasabi Martini. Imagine the new bento box lunch offering paired with freshly caught sushi and sashimi overlooking a sensational view of the Indian ocean. For a more casual affair, the Overwater Bar’s open kitchen delights guests with an inventive take on international cuisine and laid-back light bites. For special celebrations, a variety of destination dining experiences await, ranging from secluded, lantern-lit feasts to private sunset cruises with Champagne on ice.

Nightly rates at Gili Lankanfushi start from £1,070/$1,440, based on two adults sharing a Villa with breakfast included. For more information or to book please visit www.gili-lankanfushi.com.

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