Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Milaidhoo Maldives Opens the Only Maldivian Restaurant in the Maldives



Baa Atoll, The Maldives. 01 February 2017: Exciting news for foodies looking for a new

sensation: Milaidhoo Island Maldives has opened the first modern Maldivian restaurant in the

Maldives, called Ba’theli. Possibly one of the few fine-dining restaurants in the world that

encourages its diners to come barefoot, Ba’theli [pronounced ‘bah-telly’] opens for 2017.

Ba’theli’s architecture reflects its heritage as it takes its name from the local word for a

traditional wooden sailing boat and has been built in the shape of three boats that stands on

stilts over the lagoon. One ‘boat’ is the restaurant, a second ‘boat’ is the bar-lounge and a third

‘boat’ is the kitchen.

Guests can dine either outdoors on the open-air ‘deck’ of the restaurant under a starry night

sky, or inside the boat, which is air conditioned and has glass floors for views of the marine

life below. Facing the west, Ba’theli commands perfect sunset views and is reached on foot

by an overwater wooden jetty. Ba’theli is open for dinner every night from 19.00 and offers a

six-course Maldivian heritage tasting menu as well as an a la carte choice.

The story of Ba’theli boats began over 5,000 years ago when the Maldives became a key port

of call for traders sailing from Indonesia and India to Arabia with cargoes of cinnamon,

cardamom, turmeric, cloves, ginger and pepper. The Maldivians bartered coconuts, sun-dried

fish, cordage, cowrie shells and sails woven from coconut fibre for spice, rice, ceramics and

silks. Locally-made cargo boats, called Ba’theli in the local language, sailed throughout the

archipelago with these goods, spreading knowledge about different lands, their customs and

cuisine.

Inspired by this heritage, the story continues on board the restaurant as the team, led by

Maldivian chef Ahmed “Seabass” Sivath create dishes inspired by local dishes with flavours

taken from the old maritime spice routes, blending local herbs and spices to enhance natural

flavours.

With such a stunning location and design, the restaurant’s food has to live up to the setting and

it’s Chef Sivath’s responsibility to ensure that the food in Ba’theli is every bit as unique as its

architecture. The Ba’theli menu features classic Maldivian dishes such as Garudhiya (a clear

soup with tuna), Mashuni (a tuna salad with coconut, pumpkin and lime) as well as a selection

of regional specialties from around the different atolls such as a beef curry from the north and

chicken curry from the far south of the Maldives.

The menu isn’t limited to local ingredients, although many of the dishes originate in the

Maldives, but also takes on cooking techniques and flavours from around the Indian Ocean, as

does traditional Maldivian cooking. Ingredients from India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia

find their way onto the menu, all giving their subtle influence to the dishes.

The Ba’theli restaurant concept is part of the Milaidhoo ethos to give guests a very Maldivian

holiday with a real sense of island life.
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