Niyama Private Islands / Per Aquum Niyama - Part 2. Food | Dhaalu Atoll, The Maldives

Niyama is a food lover’s dream come true. I know that might be a big statement to make, but I genuinely feel that not only was the food delicious on the islands, the ambience of each restaurant was stunning and unique as well. Here’s what we tried during our time spent at this tranquil paradise: 

Situated on the sandy beach on the Play island, Blu is a chilled restaurant that offers all-day dining. We loved having breakfast here. A scrumptious buffet spread of breakfast options would be on display each morning and we would eat till our hearts’ content. I was introduced to Sri Lankan hoppers here - made with rice flour and coconut milk, the hoppers were golden and crispy around the edges, yet soft and doughy in the middle. I always had mine with an egg baked in the centre then topped with Sri Lankan curries and sambals; always so delicious and satisfying. 

Epicure is the resort’s main restaurant which offers an extensive breakfast buffet, as well as a la carte lunch and dinner. We enjoyed an Asian inspired dinner buffet here which included hot pot!!! Never ever had I dreamt of having hot pot in the Maldives, but they made it happen. We had breakfast here twice. There was something so relaxing about having breakfast overlooking the dazzling infinity pool as well; but personally, we preferred having breakfast at Blu for its exotic options and more open air feel.

Located half a kilometre away in the ocean is the resort’s modern fine dining restaurant, Edge. We had my birthday dinner here and enjoyed a decadent three-course meal (with predominantly seafood options to choose from). I would definitely recommend having dinner here instead of lunch as there was something absolutely magical about heading back to the resort in a speedboat under the twinkling stars. Not to mention that the venue lights up in some amazing colours against the darkness of night.

Nest was without a doubt one of our favourite restaurants on the islands. Nestled amongst the treetops six metres in the air, dining at Nest was like a fairytale come true. A spiral of wooden stairs led us to our table, perched next to tree branches where leaves and birds created a whimsical duet. The menu offered an array of Asian avant-garde cuisines as well as teppanyaki, so we had a hard time choosing, but trust me, the food was so delicious and on point, it transported us to South East Asia. Expect the freshest ingredients and intense flavours here all served by the friendliest of staff.

Okay, if there is only one restaurant you are going to try whilst staying at Niyama, make it Subsix. There are only a handful of underwater restaurants in the world and Niyama has one of them. Accessible only by speedboat, Subsix is a destination in itself. Walking down the three-tier staircase to the restaurant, my heart and mind were filled with excitement. I had drooled over photos of this underwater restaurant many times but there was nothing quite like seeing the restaurant in person, six metres below the waterline. The setting at the restaurant was extremely intimate and incredibly amazing. We were told that our Thakuru had asked for the best table in the house and indeed, I don’t think the view could have gotten any better as schools of tropical fish swam past us right in front of the table. I literally screamed for Minibun George’s attention when I spotted Nemo (otherwise known as a clownfish). At $200USD ++ per person, lunch wasn’t exactly cheap, but there was just something so magical about the whole experience. Sitting beneath the soft waves of capiz shells draped from the ceiling and listening to the delicate clinking sounds of those shells, I felt extremely blessed and so, so lucky to be able to experience something like this in my life. It was just magical.

Tribal is cool. Hands down, without a doubt. Walk through a narrow path lit by bamboo fire torches, there you will see hidden in the walls of the boma, Tribal. Drawing rich inspiration from South and Central American and African tribal cuisines, ethnicity and sensations, we enjoyed a buffet here and it was unbelievably good - think grilled ribs caressed lime wedges, margarita salt and chipotle, peri peri coconut chicken cooked to its tender perfection, or grilled reef fish served with plantain to the beat of tribal drums…  

“The fire rages. Flavours sear. The memories crackle.” That’s how Niyama describes Tribal and I couldn’t agree more.  

The Deli
Of course, there’s The Deli as well; for those times when you’re feeling peckish.

So there you go. I told you Niyama is a food lover’s dream come true. 

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