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Destination|Experience|Lifestyle, 17.Jul.2022

The Maldives’ best restaurants boast local cuisine

We believe that the best restaurants in the Maldives should have Maldivian cuisine on the menu. Not just because it’s fresh, sustainable and authentic – reflecting a sense of place and cultural pride – but also because it’s, quite simply, delicious.

This is why, at The Nautilus, our recipe for exquisite gastronomy is a blend of local cultural heritage and global influences, with a generous helping of world-class creativity. And of course, it’s a recipe we’re continuously perfecting.

Read on for a taster of what awaits you on our shores.

1. An aromatic taste of place

The Maldives is not just picture-perfect; it occupies a unique geographic location. Lying on major trade routes in the Indian Ocean, its connections to both East and West stretch back centuries, and its traditional dishes reflect these multicultural, diverse influences. This is fusion food at its finest, drawing on flavours and traditions from the Middle East, India, Sri Lanka and East Asia. Imagine spices both fragrant (cardamom) and fierce (Maldivian chilli), juicy lime, coconut in all its forms, and an endless medley of tastes comingling and complementing one another. And then imagine The Nautilus’s masterful chefs cooking up something sensational, creating new twists on heritage meals, pushing the envelope to create the ultimate culinary journey.

2. The freshest catch from the richest seas

Naturally, the ocean – ever-present in this archipelagic piece of paradise – also plays a huge part in the region’s cuisine, with the freshest, most succulent of seafood an enticing feature of island fare. Tuna, in particular, is central in Maldivian cooking – and also in culture, with the centuries-old tradition of pole-and-line fishing a source of sustenance, income and pride. At The Nautilus, we work in harmony with community and planet, sourcing our tuna from local fisherman who use these sustainable, traditional methods – a strategy that preserves the Maldives’ history and marine ecosystem, and also protects livelihoods. With direct access to this delicacy, our tuna is the freshest you’ll find, and you can expect a myriad different takes on this premium ingredient, from carpaccio to steak, from pastas to curries.

3. The finest dining, island style

Luxury meets laidback: that’s the style of dining you can expect at our signature restaurant, Zeytoun, a gorgeous overwater venue serving refined cuisine in a relaxed, magical atmosphere. Here, the Executive Chef and his award-winning team concoct masterpieces inspired by Mediterranean and Middle Eastern infusions, bringing together exotic spices and fragrances and indigenous Maldivian specialities, creating one-of-a-kind dishes tailored to your exact tastes. Zeytoun’s dining areas are cleverly designed to offer blissful privacy, but for the ultimate in private dining, meals can be enjoyed in your very own space, whether at your lodging or hidden away in a secret island spot. Our floating Maldivian breakfast, for example, is best enjoyed in the exquisite luxury and comfort of your private infinity pool.

4. Immersive foodie experiences

For the foodie eager to engage all of the senses, there’s nothing like an immersive, guided experience in cooking – or even catching! You can learn the art of gastronomy from the world’s best by taking a Maldivian cooking class at The Nautilus, where you’ll learn tips and chef secrets, have a good laugh, and finally, enjoy the mouth-watering results. Another unique experience on offer is a fishing expedition with the local experts. These seasoned Maldivian fishermen will guide you through crystal-clear waters, sharing the skills of traditional methods as you explore the bounty of the sea. And, because nothing tastes as good as your own catch of the day, you can look forward to tucking into the fruit of your labours once back on land, where we’ll prepare your fish to your own particular liking.

A world of culinary discovery awaits you at The Nautilus: start the journey by getting in touch at