For seasoned travellers, Maldivian cuisine will at once taste amazingly familiar and wildly exotic. A delightful blending of flavours borrowed from places as disparate as Thailand and the Middle East help give the island’s food its signature taste. For a long time the cuisine here consisted of seafood (primarily tuna) and tubers (such as sweet potato and taro) which grew in abundance on the island. However, as more and more travellers visited the country, bringing in new vegetables and seasoning, the local cuisine started to evolve. Keeping whatever flavours that pleased local palates, Maldivian food has developed its own unique character. Thus the food found here artfully melds Indian, Sri Lankan, Oriental and Arabic cuisine into one delicious and exotic gastronomical experience.

When it comes to dining in Maldives, seafood is obviously the top choice. The sheer diversity of aquatic species in the waters around Maldives means that there is a great variety of fresh seafood available. While the food here is spicy it is not as fiery as the food in some of the neighbouring Asian countries. Local cafés are called ‘hotaa’, and are a terrific place to start. Visitors to the country will get an opportunity to feast on savoury tuna fish, tempting jumbo prawns and decadently buttered lobster. Try the ‘keemia’ (fish rolls), ‘kulhi boakibaa’ (fish-cake), ‘masroshi’ (a type of pancake with a fish filling) and ‘gulha’ (fish balls).

Alcoholic beverages are generally prohibited and are only available in tourist resorts. All cafés and restaurants are heavily regulated by the government, and have to adhere to strict standards when it comes to food preparations. While most restaurants do not insist on formal attire, one is expected to be appropriately dressed when dining out.

There are a number of popular restaurants and eateries on the island, but travellers who choose a Maldives resort with a first-class restaurant do not have to go far to satiate their taste buds. Anantara Dhigu, Maldives is one of the best Maldives luxury hotels around. It has several restaurants, serving a variety of local and international dishes that let you sample the exotic and unique tastes of delectable local cuisine as well as those from other countries.