Review — The vast majority of the world population may have just discovered the numerous health benefits of coconut, but for people living in the tropics this is old news. The coconut palm has sustained communities in the tropics, including Maldives, for centuries. There is a reason why the national emblem of Maldives features this versatile palm. It is the national tree and has played a vital role in the livelihood of Maldivians. They depended on the coconut palm for everything from transportation and housing to food and medical purposes. It may not be used as extensively today, but coconut is still a popular fruit and the base of most Maldivian cuisines.
The very first resort opened in the Maldives was named ‘Kurumba’ meaning young/tender coconut in Maldivian language. No surprise there. Nearly four decades later, the resort is one of the finest in the country.
Kurumba Maldives is well-known for the rich dining experience offered to its guests. There are 8 different restaurants on the island offering a vast array of cuisines from Maldivian, Indian, Arabic, Asian, and Japanese to international and contemporary seafood. Having tried the food here, I came to the conclusion that the resort has hired a bunch of magicians instead of chefs. That is the only way food could taste this good.
Another wonderful aspect of the resort is that it stays true to its name with the extensive use of coconut, from spa treatments to several delectable cuisines you probably have never tried in your life, but must definitely try. Coconut is the newly deemed “superfood” that has taken over the world by storm, so I assume this is a huge advantage for the resort.
If you happen to visit Kurumba Maldives these are some essential orders:
There is nothing like the sweet water of a tender coconut straight from the palm to quench your thirst and give you instant energy which, might I add, is also available at Kurumba Maldives. But when you’re lounging on the beach in the hot sun, this coconut colada is just the thing you need. The sweetness of coconut against a hint of tangy freshness is the ultimate taste of paradise.
Rice and Curry
Both, rice and coconut milk, have very subtle flavors so you may think that cooking rice in coconut milk may not make a big difference. This bowl of rice is testament to the fact that it does make a huge difference-the texture is better and the taste is creamier.
Moving on to the curries, the massaman curry (on the left) is, hands down, the best beef curry I’ve had in my entire life. The beef cubes were so tender they just melted in my mouth. The prawn curry (on the right) was equally good. Again, organic pure coconut cream gave the curries a very rich creamy taste and was perfect against all the wonderful spices.
This is a traditional Maldivian salad packed with nutrients. Coconut, onion, chili and lime juice is mixed together to make a very mild dressing which goes really well with the kale. The salad is great on its own, with rice and curry or with omelet.
Roasted coconut chips
Although I’m familiar with the taste of coconut chips, this took me by surprise. A little salty on the outside and a little sweet on the inside, I could snack on this all day. It may not look too appealing but trust me, this is good health and taste in disguise. You must try this.
Coconut chutney is well known in South India, mostly taken at breakfast time. It goes well with breads, curry and even rice. This is the kind of food for the person whose taste buds are not made for the strong Indian curries and spices. Chutney is mildly spicy and easy on the stomach.
Coconut Yoghurt and honey
Having never tried coconut yoghurt before, I absolutely fell in love with it. I’m not a big fan of yoghurt but this was so light and fresh. It tastes heavenly with the coconut honey, they go so well together. I was told that that the yoghurt is a breakfast-time favorite at Kurumba and the honey is one of the most popular among 8 other types on offer. It would be perfect with pancakes and toast too.
This a popular item among Maldivian short eats. Grated coconut is used both, in the dough and in the filling, which is made my mixing together, smoked tuna, grated coconut, onion, chili, curry leaves and lime juice. Even if you don’t like sea food or Maldivian food, you are bound to like this one. Kurumba’s masroshi tastes as delicious and as authentic as those made in traditional Maldivian kitchens.
This coconut layer cake is a great example of innovative use of traditional Maldivian flavors at Kurumba Maldives. The creamy coconut glaze and sorbet are light and perfect to cleanse the palette after a meal. The screw pine and pandan layers have very distinctive tropical flavors so they give a nice kick to the cake.
This beautiful black coconut cake gets a ten on ten for presentation and for taste. Sweetened grated coconut topped with meringue and coconut cream. A mouthful of this and you will be in coconut heaven.
Finally a cup of coconut milk coffee brewed to perfection-another favorite for guests at Kurumba Maldives. Who knew coconut milk could make coffee taste so great? Now this is the way to end a great meal in tropical paradise.
Kurumba Maldives is set on a tropical island in the North Male Atoll, conveniently located a brief 10-minute speedboat ride away from the airport and Male, the Maldivian capital. Dotted with coconut trees that are the island’s namesake, Kurumba was the first private island resort in the Maldives. Lush tropical gardens, white sandy beaches, and a vibrant house reef are the hallmarks of this classic Maldivian resort.