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Eating on Maafushi Island

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Since this trip was by no means a honeymoon, as much as I labelled it a second honeymoon - we wanted to experience the cheaper island and its activities as well as the resort. Maafushi island was chosen because it was so highly raved about online. And like all the other reviews say - food, is not one of those things you go to Maafushi for. If sea sports ranked tops, this would be at the bottom.

We pulled through meal times with cup noodles curated from Hong Kong, Johor Bahru and even locally before we went which explained our larger than life luggage. And with that many meals reduced, we still had time to try a couple of places on the island.

Breakfasts are usually inclusive in hotel stays - from Hulhumale to Maafushi, they range from 3-4 dishes excluding cereal and milk. There is none of the continental buffet spreads that hotels in South East Asia have spoilt us rotten with. Time to get the expectations managed.

Lunches start at 2pm across the island and there are only a handful of places offering this service - and truly, it is a patience testing exercise which can range from 30 minutes or more.

Dinners offer more variety as most restaurants within the guest houses and hotels swing open their doors for ala carte menus or buffets.

The rule of thumb is - eat seafood or avoid Maldives. The locals eat fish every single meal and apart from price being the main reason, the rest are sourced externally. So decide between fresher fish or imported meats.

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Arena House

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USD 9 for a dinner buffet sounded too good to miss and we were attracted by the grilled fish aromas wafting out of the open window. Led by our nose, quite literally. The spread was wider than breakfast with at least 15 dishes from various cuisines, a grilled fish and even a pasta station. Top marks for trying to impress on an island!

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The reason for our visit.

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Grilled fish on the spot.

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The rest of the spread which by Maldivian standards is extensive.

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Dessert corner!

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There was a choice of having my pasta with either spaghetti or penne and with cream or tomato sauces.

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Pirini an Indian dessert made of rice pudding and food colouring was a strange sweet ending. Not my favouritest dessert to date but it was interesting to try.

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Clearly a rip off at USD 3 - and this is what I called being at the mercy of the island. Nowhere near my favourite Thai coconut.

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Blunch

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I had my misgivings about this restaurant somehow and turned out to be the longest we ever waited for a hot and cold entree. 40 minutes, can you even beat that?

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First, the server took our order and left for the day before leaving three tables unattended for a good 40 minutes. Someone else strides in and serves us the dishes.

The so called reef fish soup tasted straight out of a can and green salad was a thinly sliced green apple, green capsicum and lettuce salad. Tragically green and so not worth the while. All for USD 7 and we scooted to our next appointment.

Oh and the only thing that entertained us during that 40 minutes was a mutated eel with an overly large body and head - looking completely like a python don't you think?

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Night Fishing and a home cooked meal

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At a supplement of USD 10 each, we had our catches grilled and served alongside a number of homecooked dishes. While we were not expecting a beach side dinner but it turned out it was just two of us with the spread of food and waves crashing. I mused about this being potentially the best meal of the trip - the fish curry was truly the best ever eaten with a certain mouthwatering lingering spiciness that saw me conceding defeat halfway.

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Hooking our bait.

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Caught within minutes, I was an unfortunate case of squeals and shrieks.

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And another.

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The hubba with his more juicy catch.

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By the end of the night and a release of a reef shark, this was all we managed to catch. An experience for sure and a newfound respect for fishermen.

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Our homecooked meal comprising of our day's catch and a few other dishes.

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Next to the amazing fish curry we had, these grilled fish were really delicious, in an out of world manner. I even joked that this could very well be the closest we get to authentic Maldivian food.

The spice rub and right down to the freshness of the fish, an incredible meal.




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So out of the 5 meals, we skipped one, ate four outside and opted for cup noodles for another, we survived eating on Maafushi Island!

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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