Destination Dining To Travel For – Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

For decades, travellers have been coming to the Maldives in search of sublime sun and unrivalled natural beauty, but now Conrad Maldives Rangali Island gives another reason to tempt holidaymakers to its shores – their taste buds. This year, some of the world’s best chefs and winemakers are descending on the luxury resort to give guests an unparalleled dining experience with their gourmet gastronomy. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island continues to be at the forefront of destination dining with some 12 restaurants and bars all distinguished by the diversity of cuisine and uniqueness of settings.

Conrad Maldives_The OverWater Spa

A food destination of firsts, being the first to understand that a remote location need not prohibit fine dining and good wines, the resort continues to tantalise guests’ taste buds with the best food and wine experiences not seen before in the country. Whether it’s sipping handpicked wine presented by biodynamic burgundy pioneer Vincent Giardin, enjoying a teppan dinner of fresh lobster under the stars at Koko Grill presented by Conrad Tokyo teppan Chef Nobuyasu Kamiko or crossing the bridge of Chinese Art and French Wine at Ufaa by Jereme Leung; these are tempting experiences worth travelling for.

Krug Ambassade at Ufaa by Jereme Leung

The Maldives’ first authentic Chinese restaurant has been handpicked to become the islands nation’s first Krug Ambassade restaurant. Ufaa joins an elite international network of exceptional restaurants including the UK’s iconic Fat Duck and Murano, Dinner at The Mandarin Oriental and l’Hôtel Georges V in Paris. Leung’s carefully crafted authentic and contemporary Chinese flavours featured are a perfect complement to Krug Champagne’s philosophy of quality and timeless taste preferred amongst luxury travellers. Krug Grand Cuvée will be available by the glass and the bottle.

Conrad Maldives_The Quiet Zone (90)

Conrad Tokyo features at Koko Grill

Guests will be treated to the cosmopolitan flavours of Tokyo in a meeting of two hotel greats. Head Japanese chef at Conrad Tokyo’s renowned Kazahana restaurant Nobuyasu Kamiko will showcase his culinary flair from March 2 to 15, 2015 at Conrad Maldives’ beach-front teppanyaki restaurant Koko Grill. Complemented with matching sake by Conrad Maldives head sommelier Kamal Malik, the eight-course menu is a must-try for the gourmet traveller and combines elements from Kamiko’s Japanese cuisine such as scallops wrapped with bamboo leaf and grilled lobster with shiro-miso denaku. The price for this one-off experience is $250 per person including eight courses and a glass of sparkling sake.

Vincent Giardin, producer of fine burgundies

Prepare your palate on March 30, 2015 as top burgundies from fine wine producer Vincent Giardin are showcased alongside a five-course dinner at The Wine Cellar, priced at $295 per person. Another five-course dinner with Vincent Giardin-paired burgundies is planned at over-water restaurant Mandhoo on April 2 for $255. Both evenings will be hosted by Marco Bruno Caschera, Brand Ambassador of the Vincent Giardin estate. With winemaking in his blood after being born into a family who have produced wines since the 17th Century, Vincent prides himself on producing biodynamic fine wines with no pesticides, chemical fertilizers and weedicides. He harvests by hand and demands a high standard which propels him one of the best in the world.

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Chinese Art meets French Wine at Ufaa by Jereme Leung

An artistic marriage of East meeting West, April 18, 2015 will mark Ufaa by Jereme Leung’s first winemaker dinner in collaboration with boutique winery Pont Des Arts, an exclusive, limited collection of wines created with the support of the finest winemakers from France and greatest artists from China. Presented by Thibault Pontallier one part of the duo behind Pont Des Arts, Pontallier, son of Paul Pontallier, Managing Director of Chateau Margaux will present a selection of wine from Bordeaux and Burgundy with vintages ranging from 2010 – 2012. Each vintage features art from renowned Chinese artists Zao Wou – Ki and contemporary artist Yue Minjun. The wine has been expertly been matched to a specially designed menu by Conrad Maldives Executive Chef and Ufaa namesake, Jereme Leung. Cost is $275 per person.

Nightly rates at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island start from US$1,240 (approx. £735), based on two sharing a Beach Villa on a Room Only basis. Rates are subject to change. Prevailing taxes and service charge apply. www.conradhotels.com/maldives

The First Undersea Restaurant in the World Celebrates 10th Anniversary

One decade ago, Ithaa at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island was spectacularly ‘sunk’ five metres into the waters of the Indian ocean and ever since it’s been the mecca for lovers of food, culture and architecture the world over. Sitting like a pearl beneath the waves (Ithaa translates as ‘pearl’ in the Maldivian language of Dhivehi) the curved acrylic walls which give 180-degree panoramic views set the trend for unique dining.

Ithaa undersea restaurant

It became the world’s first aquarium-style undersea restaurant – indulging diners with stunning views of the surrounding lagoon, reefs and tropical fish. Consistently recognised as the most beautiful restaurant in the world, Ithaa is fast becoming a 21st Century travel icon, so it is no surprise that as one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive places to eat, there is no better place to showcase the finest wines.

Celebratory dining with Chateau Margaux at Ithaa restaurant in the Maldives in April

To coincide with the date the restaurant first opened its doors – April 15 – Ithaa will host a Château Margaux sommelier dinner*. The unrivalled wine estate of Château Margaux dates back to the 17th Century and is renowned for its grapes as its prices. A bottle of 1787 Chateau Margaux was sold for $225,000 making it one of the world’s most expensive wines. This is the first time Château Margaux have been invited to host a at Conrad Maldives.

Kamal Malik, head sommelier says: “Ithaa sets the trend for dining in the Maldives, being the first to understand and truly demonstrate that a remote location needn’t prohibit fine dining and good wines. It’s the obligatory choice for the gourmet traveller and has the most passionate, extensive and exclusive wine programme with more than 1,400+ labels and up to 20,000 bottles on the island. The Château Margaux sommelier dinner will add something extra special.” Past wine-pairing dinners have included Château Latour, hosted by Frederic Engerer, a Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill Verticals dinner and a never-to-be-forgotten Louis Roederer Cristal Verticals event which marked Ithaa’s 5th anniversary, and most recently a Dom Pérignon verticals dinner hosted to mark the 10th year sinking of Ithaa in November 2014.

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Meanwhile, inspirational fine dining is at the heart of the Conrad Maldives experience. Ithaa diners are offered ‘contemporary Maldivian cuisine’, taking local spices, seasonings and traditional cooking methods, but adding a western twist to create an innovative style of cooking that has not diminished in the past years.

Envisioned by Mr. Ahmed Saleem of Crown Company PVT, owning company of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Mr.Saleem was inspired whilst travelling in Bali in 2001 and five years later Ithaa was brought to life by Mike Murphyof M J Murphy Limited in New Zealand who specialises in aquarium technology and at a cost of US $5 million, Ithaa took 85 tonnes of sand ballast (in sandbags) in order to be sunken onto the ocean bed. It wasn’t long before it became a cultural phenomenon and world-leader in beauty and cuisine that continues to intrigue and impress to this day.

*To book the Chataux Margaux Sommelier Dinner contact [email protected]

Nightly rates at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island start from US$1,240 (approx. £735), based on two sharing a Beach Villa on a Room Only basis. Rates are subject to change. Prevailing taxes and service charge apply. www.conradhotels.com/maldives.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island opens brand new restaurant, Ufaa by Jereme Leung

Dining at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is an unparalleled dining experience unlike any other, with the opening of the island nation’s first authentic Chinese restaurant. Ufaa by Jereme Leung, which opened on September 27, is the resort’s 12th restaurant at the resort. The restaurant is a blend of provincial Chinese with western influences in all aspects of menu, décor and wine and tea selection.

Ufaa Restaurant
Ufaa Restaurant

Defined as happiness in the Maldivian language, Dhivehi, Ufaa is an innovative culinary concept, featuring multi-functional spaces, with settings for every mood. The informal ground floor Tea House boasts a purpose-built Yum Cha (Chinese tea) and dumpling counter, offering visitors all sorts of delicacies including succulent Xiao Long Bao dumplings, hand-made spring rolls and freshly baked pancakes stuffed with minced pork and preserved vegetables, and Leung’s signature handmade pulled noodles. In the evening under the starlit sky on the beach, guests can enjoy the iconic reunion hot pot featuring locally-caught seafood and the highest grade imported meats from Japan and Australia.

The Chinese restaurant on the first floor is a playful, modern twist on the traditional Chinese restaurant. Strong Chinese accents offer a sense of heritage, while homage is also paid to the idyllic island location. Ingredients such as caviar, goose oil and avocado are melded with traditional Chinese staples to create the perfect marriage of cultures and tastes. Each of the dishes is influenced by renowned culinary provinces of China including Liaoning, Shannxi, Changsha, Guandong and Zhejiang. The evening tasting menu is a constantly changing menu that updates each month to evolve with the island’s settings.

Beyond food, Ufaa presents various experiential options for guests to enjoy. The ground floor tea house features a number of communal and private spaces where guests can catch up and mingle over a game of Mahjong or a spot of karaoke in one of the restaurant’s custom-designed karaoke and Mahjong rooms.

The creative mastermind behind Ufaa’s cuisine and dining concept is the pioneer of contemporary Chinese cooking, Jereme Leung, a hugely successful chef-restaurateur. Renowned in China and honoured by twice The American Academy of Hospitality Science, to rank among one of the world’s best chefs. Citing his inspiration as traditional Asian recipes and home-grown cuisine, Jereme creates an exciting combination of classic Chinese cooking technique and innovative presentation. Leung’s cooking career spans decades, starting at the age of thirteen in Hong Kong, his expertise covers all four schools of Chinese cooking from barbecue, to dim sum, and wok cooking to knife-work with further inspiration drawn from his many years of cooking and developing restaurant concepts around the world.

Conrad Maldives is a one-of-a-kind dining destination in the Indian Ocean, offering guests a blend of cultures and entrancing marriage of tastes, providing an unforgettable gourmet experience for guests.

Nightly rates at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island start from US$1,240 (approx. £735), based on two sharing a Beach Villa on a Room Only basis. Rates are subject to change. Prevailing taxes and service charge apply.

For more information about Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, visit www.conradhotels.com/maldives

Coco Palm Resorts, Maldives launches New Global ‘Chef in Residence’ Programme For 2012

Coco Palm Resorts, Maldives is launching a new global ‘chef in residence’ programme for 2012 at its five-star Coco Palm Bodu Hithi.

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Mr. Tom Aikens, one of the most exciting chefs working in the UK today will bring a slice of the world’s culinary and be serving bespoke dishes in the a la carte Aqua restaurant. The culinary master classes will offer a once in a lifetime experience for guests to learn tips / lessons and recipes from one of the world’s best chefs and to enjoy his Michelin star cuisine in the most magical setting possible. Tom will be using local Maldivian ingredients to create unique dishes bringing his outstanding culinary skills to the Maldives.

The Aqua restaurant, where he will be based offers the utmost in elegance and is set right on the Indian Ocean. Tom will be on the island between the 14th and 24th March 2012. www.cocopalm.com

Coco Palm Bodu Hithi

Coco Palm Bodu Hithi Maldives Resort

A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the captivating Coco Palm Bodu Hithi is located just 40 minutes by speedboat from the capital Malé. Oozing barefoot, luxury chic with traditionally Maldivian flashes, the resort is situated on a stunning, lush private island where sandy paths snake between the mangroves and coconut palms along with over-water wooden walkways to connect all the resort’s fabulous offerings. There are just 100 ultra-hip villas, a diverse selection of contemporary restaurants and bars, a totally indulgent Coco Spa, first-class land and water-sport facilities as well as a portfolio of memorable ‘Uniquely Coco’ experiences.

Kihavah Maldives Underwater Dining

Sea restaurant

Sea, Fire, Salt, Sky, are words that may bring many things to mind. However, these words at the Anantara Kihavah Villas realize the signature culinary experience at this underwater/over water restaurant and wine cellar. Not only will diners be able to delight in a variety of different culinary creations, but they will be able to choose from four different venues. Check out the different menus and locations for the Sea, Fire, Salt, and Sky venues to determine the one you want to try first. Of course, if you are adventurous and enjoy fine dining try a different venue each night! Each venue corresponds to its name in some way so you can imagine that “Sea” is underwater with amazing views of marine life while “Salt” offers diners 19 salt varieties and a Salt Sommelier to help them choose to right seasonings.

Resort

At the Anantara Kihavah under and over water restaurant diners will be treated to amazing culinary feats with each course that is served. There is also an underwater wine cellar that will please any wine connoisseur with its 250 wine varieties from more than 14 countries. Enjoy wine by the glass and bottle.

If you are planning a holiday to Maldives then make sure a visit, or more, is on your itinerary to this restaurant. You want to experience all that Sea, Fire, Salt, and Sky have to offer and your taste buds will thank you!

Two Bedroom Over Water Pool Residence tanning deck