Grilled to perfection on the Lhaviyani Atoll – A review of Raakani, The Best Luxury Dining Award winner
The Maldives conjures up the exotic idyl, and for many, it is top of their ‘must see’ travel lists. Set amongst this tropical background, Raakani has been recognized as The Best Luxury Dining Experience by Luxury Lifestyle Awards.
Choreographing a range of unique dishes for its guests, Luxury Lifestyle Awards panel was impressed with its fusion of style, setting, and understanding of locally sourced ingredients and the engaging theatre of grill cooking from a skilled teppanyaki chef.
Raakani, named after the Spider Conch Shell, is part of the Fushifaru Maldives resort, which consists of 44 beach villas and 19 water villas nestled on their own private island resort. The resort aims is to create the ideal spot where guests can relax and enjoy a journey of self-discovery. Such an exclusive location deserved an equally exclusive dining experience that matched the combination of Maldivian-inspired design and beautifully captured the local cuisines and tastes of splendid ‘surf and turf’ dishes. The siting of Raakani makes the most of its surroundings, with the turquoise seas of the Indian Ocean lapping at the silvered, white sands of the Lhaviyani Atoll.
Long associated with the theatre of cooking, the choice of creating an ocean-side teppanyaki restaurant provides the perfect amalgamation of the key elements that guests expect from a destination, such as the Maldives; the beautiful scenery, unique culture, and fresh locally sourced ingredients. Teppanyaki does not just result in mouthwatering dishes but is a true culinary art form and a source of mesmerizing entertainment for diners. This long-admired cuisine is created using an iron griddle style of cooking. The teppan is the metal plate used to cook on, and the yaki refers to the means of cooking (grilled, broiled, panfried). Raakani uses a variety of fresh ingredients that can be used to create a bespoke dish in front of designers, making it not just a meal but a true dining experience.
Raakani is designed using a contemporary version of Maldivian design elements, which takes inspiration from the surrounding natural materials. Similarly, Raakani has a commitment to creating its dishes from the freshest of local ingredients. Locally caught fish can range from tuna, groupers, dolphin fish, and barracuda, to name just a few. These are then carefully prepared using the best fresh and seasonal ingredients. From seafood caught in the crystal blue Maldivian waters to local vegetables and spices, guests can take their pick from a range of dishes inspired by key ingredients such as fish, chicken, and meats. Each one is then carefully created by the skilled teppanyaki chef, making each dish unique. This tailor-made approach to dining provides the unique ethos that Fushifaru Maldives uses throughout the resort.
Raakani neighbouring Faninhandhi Bar provides the perfect cocktail or mocktail to savour with your chosen dish and to leisurely watch the evening sun disappear behind the blue horizons. The warm welcoming design of the restaurant is only excelled by the restaurant’s staff. Dedicated to creating the perfect destination, they provide a professional, friendly welcome where nothing is too much trouble.
For the ultimate romantic dining experience, Raakani provides a secluded dining platform that overlooks the sea, surrounded by the powder-white sands long associated with this exotic destination. Topped with a palm-covered roof and open to allow for full views across the beach, this unique spot is sure to be a favourite for instagrammable moments. For those seeking the seclusion of in-villa dining, Raakani delivers dishes directly to guests to savour in their own luxury sanctuary.
Raakani has succeeded in creating a luxury, stylish dining experience that discerning guests would expect from such a bespoke destination. It truly represents the resort’s aim to connect its guests with the best of local produce, resulting in a restaurant that truly entices the taste buds while captivating the best in locations that the Maldives has to offer.