[Maldives] LUX* South Ari Atoll (III): Fine Dining Restaurants

April 15, 2018 0 Comments A+ a-

For those who have been following us on our Maldives travelogue, here is the final post of our 3-parter on the various food options available at LUX* South Ari Atoll.


A quick background before we continue the series on our whirlwind 12-day trip, we stayed at LUX*, a highly-rated Travellers' Choice resort on Tripadvisor after reading the excellent reviews, extensive choice of 12 dining establishments and photos of what we saw was paradise from the Internet.

Despite our expectations, LUX* certainly did not disappoint. The food quality exceeded our expectations, the pristine waters and wildlife were like nothing we had seen in Singapore (we spotted an octopus and baby shark just outside our water villas!) and the staff were so friendly and sincere, they seemed like family.

If you have not been to the Maldives before, you must visit it at least once in a lifetime (before it gets completely submerged in 50 years' time!).

In our 1st post, we shared an overview of the dining establishments along with our thoughts of the LUX* Seaplane Lounge, Cafe LUX*, ICI Ice Cream Parlour and Beach Rouge (click here), while our 2nd post was on the buffet options at MIXE and East Market (click here).

In this very photo-heavy post *yes, you have been warned! :)*, we will share about the fine dining establishments at Senses and Alligeria. Unami, which serves Japanese food, is another highly-rated fine dining option if you would like to experience what's off the full-board package.

An important tip for would-be guests is that the fine dining restaurants are very popular. Hence, we will highly recommend that you make all the reservations for your lunch/ dinner at the Celebrations Desk (located right next to the main lobby) on the first day of your trip!

A Peek of the Next Posts

In our next post, we will cover the various activities at LUX. Despite the 12 days there, there was never a dull moment. In fact, we were so sad to leave paradise! The whale shark hunting was definitely a highlight, along with other activities - from fishing, sunset cruising (see the view below) to classes such as yoga, latte art and even craft. So, stay tuned!

The gorgeous villa will then be shared in our final post, because we are sure you have already viewed them elsewhere on the Internet already - and as cliche as it may sound, the best is always kept at the last!

1) Senses

Inspired by Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine, Senses, which is located by the beautiful infinity pool facing the beach, was one of our favourite places to dine at as it was in close proximity to our water villa and offered a wonderful ambience with breathtaking, panaromic views of the Indian Ocean.

To be honest, we have never had a strong desire to try Indian food and our experiences with Indian cuisine tended to be limited to the likes of hotel buffets like Colony at Ritz Carlton and Triple Three at Mandarin Orchard. So we would consider a visit to Senses to be a learning journey that exposes us to what Middle Eastern/ Indian cuisine could be.

Call it a leap of faith if you like, but our faith was certainly rewarded and this is undoubtedly the best Indian food we have ever tasted and it has left an indelible impression on our minds.

Well, first things first, a basket of Papadam (below, left) would be offered while our main courses were prepared. Served with mint chutney and mango salsa, the crispy crackers was delicious and were an excellent start to the meal.

Each main course on the menu came with Basmati Rice and/ or Naans (Indian flatbreads) with an assortment of curry dipping sauces.
To our surprise, the Basmati Rice smelled so fragrant that we've never really tasted anything like this in Singapore. It was like food for the gods and we are not exaggerating. The sets were simply irresistable because there were so many premium ingredients. The standard and quality was certainly top notch. 

For those who may find curry to be too spicy, my suggestion would be to pair it with some cold Fermented Buttermilk (below right) to balance the spicy flavours.

The Mixed Tikka Seafood Skewers were also wonderful, and various spices were used to enhance the flavours of these meats. With the seafood so fresh, we wondered if they were just caught from the surrounding Indian Ocean.

Our favourite dish was the Chicken Coriander Soup, which we were told takes 8 hours to prepare. The tangy, sourish dash of lemon added an interesting twist to balance the warm aromatic sweetness of the chicken soup. Mind blowingly good.

Chicken soups tend to leave behind a trail of oil on the surface as chickens are inherently oily by nature but this one was without oil somehow, and this soup, well balanced with the tender shredded chicken tasted warm, soothing and nourishing at the same time. We used to think that only the double boiled chicken soups made by chefs helming acclaimed Chinese restaurants were the standard bearers when it comes to chicken soups, but this one is without a doubt on another level. Arguably at the pinnacle of excellence. Food for the senses indeed.

Another item, which we would consider uniquely Maldivian, which we have not found in any other part of the world, would have to be the Tonka Bean Ice Cream (bottom left). We highly recommend this. It tastes a bit like vanilla but somehow you could tell it wasn't just plain vanilla. The taste is unique for sure and certainly does placate and appease the senses. What more could one ask for in life when the food is this good? This is certainly a fine introduction to Indian food at its finest.

Below is a glimpse of more Middle Eastern/ Indian food served at Senses:

2) Allegria

The perfect setting for a romantic occasion, Allegria, which means happiness in Italian, is the island resorts fine dining Italian restaurant.

Dining al fresco under the stars by the beach with the cool winds from the soothing ocean certainly makes for a surreal, once in a lifetime experience which should not be missed.

With sensational views of the Indian Ocean, this elegant restaurant offers world class Italian degustation dining using only the freshest and highest quality local and imported produce and never fails to disappoint. Imaginative and seductive, the food treated our tastebuds to a myriad of exotic tastes which never fail to capture the imagination.

Overall, every dish was so intricately crafted and immaculately presented, we suspect that the masterchefs at LUX* must have taken inspiration from the likes of Joel Robuchon, Guy Savoy and Alain Ducasse, and infused Italian authenticity with their own identity within the dishes.

The ambience was just so immersive and enchanting as you listen to the tranquil sound of the waves and delight at smell of the fresh burrata, enjoy the cool soothing sea breeze or just gaze at the stars in the sky with a sense of wonderment with your partner while you share an excellent meal.  Enthralling indeed.

In our opinion, these 3 dishes were divine and simply the must-tries:

a) Fresh Burrata with Heirloom Tomatoes

b) Grilled Tiger Prawns 

 c) Butcher's Cut

Fine Italian food can be found in Singapore for sure, with the likes of Garibaldi Restaurant, Osterria Mozza and Basilico. But what makes Allegria so special and memorable is that the place magically just teases your senses.

If Beach Rouge was the place for all the party goers, hipsters and trendsetters, then Allegria is the pinnacle of elegance and excellence in the island resort and caters to the refined aristocrats.

Below were the other dishes we had from Allegria:




3) Unami

With a lot of good food available, we didn't dine at Unami - the only restaurant that is not within the inclusive package. But we heard that it offers very fresh sashimi and Japanese food, and is a wonderful option for a more private dining experience.

Meanwhile, below are some of photos to keep you drooling:


And those seafood and Japanese fare just got to be paired with some sake, of course. Cheers!

If you have dined at Unami or just stayed at LUX* before, drop us your comments in the section below! 

For more information of LUX* South Ari Atoll and the dining options, please refer to the official website here.

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