Maldives - Kuramathi Resort
Kuramathi Resort - Rasdhoo Atoll, Maldives
This is not a review of the resort but of the food there in case anyone is thinking of going to this resort and wants a review on something other than the usual things posted on TripAdvisor.
I was at the resort in mid-June, and although this is Monsoon season we had excellent weather the entire time we were there. I was on the "basic all inclusive" package ($40/US/day/person) which included all soft drinks and water in the mini bar, house wine, draft beer, "domestic" liquor, and 3 meals a day in a pre-assigned buffet restaurant. Meals in any of the other 6 restaurants (Indian, Thai, Mediterranean, coffee shop, BBQ and continental) were a la carte and wine by the bottle was also a la carte.
We were assigned the largest of the buffet restaurants called Haruge. I'm not a fan of buffets and have only ever been to one other resort (Mexico) where I was forced to belly up to the trough for a minimum of 2 meals a day. My expectations were not high going in but I hoped it would be tolerable as the restaurant prices at the resort were extremely high. This is not surprising as pretty much everything has to be imported in the Maldives. The buffet was pretty decent for breakfast, eggs cooked your way at the omelet station, lots of different sides (English, Chinese and Indian), a moderate fruit selection and ample breads. They varied their breakfast meats and had a selection of waffles/french toast/pancakes each day. The coffee was very good, not certain what the bean or roast was but it was a welcome addition each morning.
We only went to the buffet for lunch on one day (explanation coming) and it was a decent affair. There were toasted sandwiches, salads, cold cuts, cheese, a few varying hot dishes and a roasted meat at the centre egg station. It wasn't bad, not outstanding either... we just didn't want to eat at the buffet too often hence we normally went elsewhere for lunch. As a part of the basic all inclusive high tea was included daily from 15:00 - 17:00 in the Coffee Shop. This was a selection of tea sandwiches, a few fried fish items and some tea cakes. This was a lighter and more welcome lunch than heaping plates at the buffet.
On to dinner... we didn't have the budget to eat at the restaurants each night so we singled out 3 nights to try 3 different restaurants and otherwise hit the buffet the remaining nights. The buffet was a repeat of breakfast and lunch in that it was solid, standard fare with a variation of international selections each night. There were always a lot of choices, although vegetarians would have had a challenge after leaving the salad bar. The best night was by far the Mexican night, they did a very good turn at tacos, fajitas and their guacamole was really very good.
We did not get our top choices of restaurants as they book up with reservations very quickly, and we didn't know that in advance. We did have dinner at Siam Garden, Palm (Mediterranean) and Reef (continental).
Siam Garden was not the best restaurant choice, the wait staff didn't really have a handle on the size of their fish dishes and we ended up with way too much food. The steamed fish with chili, lime and ginger was very good but huge... we specifically wanted a fish dish for 2 people but they told us our first choice was very small and that this fish was just for one person. We added an extra dish to our order to make up for this and then were swamped in food. In the end we had a Som Tam salad to start, very good but could have been spicier, glass noodle with seafood salad, the steamed reef fish, prawns in red curry and a prawn fried rice (way to Chinese in flavour, no Thai seasonings used). The meal was plentiful but I've had better Thai food in a lot of places, not all in Thailand (see my post on Rim Naam in Bangalore, India).
Palm was very chilled out and relaxed but they put on an excellent meal with very attentive service. The menu was fairly varied on it's Mediterranean theme and we went with a mezes platter for two to start. Olives stuffed with feta, humus, babaganouche, dolmates, couscous and pita bread. A really good starter with a lot of excellent well seasoned flavour. For our mains we each had something with the local yellow fin tuna, my wife the pasta with capers, olives, lemon and yellow fin and myself, yellow fin tuna rolled in poppy seeds, cooked to medium rare and then served with a saffron linguini with scallops. Both dishes were very satisfying, the tuna perfectly cooked to medium rare and the saffron linguini a real surprise.
Reef is right on the beach with a multitude of beach and hermit crabs joining you to watch you eat. A little unnerving for those who don't like to be watched by hundreds of sea creatures while they eat, but definitely entertaining. My wife started with the grilled prawns and I had the fish and seafood soup. The prawns were grilled to perfection and the soup was interesting, and delicious, as it was more of a mushroom base than tomato as I've had in a multitude of other fish soups. For mains my wife had a local fish steamed in banana leaf and I had the grilled lamb chops. I was really happy to discover the resort was actually serving lamb as opposed to the "lamb" we get here in India that is actually mutton or goat, because of that I had to have the lamb. The banana leaf fish was very moist and flavour full and the sides were without fault. My lamb chops were outstanding, perfectly grilled and had to be nibbled right down to the bone. There was a nice sauce with the lamb that could have had more mint in it to meet my traditional taste requirement but it was not disappointing.
All in all the food at Kuramathi was very good, we could have gone with the "select all inclusive" which would have entitled us to any of the restaurants each night and a small selection of bottled wines for $80 US/day/person but we were happy with what we had. This resort is a 4+ star and I've heard the 5 star resorts (like the 4 Seasons) have truly outstanding food and world class chefs but the cost of those resorts is more than double what we paid. I can recommend Kuramathi for anyone looking for a good food spot in the Maldives.