Dinner under the stars? Yawn. It's time for dinner under the sea. Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, an international conversation piece on the Maldive Islands, serves guests 270-degree panoramic views of blue waters and technicolored marine life from 16 feet below sea level. We hear the food is pretty good too.
Ithaa, which means "mother-of-pearl" in the native Dhivehi language, is the world's first restaurant to share its living quarters with the Little Mermaid. A 16' x 30', predominantly acrylic structure with seating for 14, a transparent roof, and a spiral staircase leading below grade from a thatched pavillion, the luxe eatery was designed by M.J. Murphy Ltd. of New Zealand, and opened in April 2005. It is part of the Conrad Rangali Island Maldives resort on the private island of Rangali, which has twice been voted the best hotel in the world.
Ithaa Undersea Restaurant Cuisine
Though the cuisine at Ithaa has evolved over the years, the restaurant seems to have settled on a contemporary fusion of Maldivian cuisine with hints of Western European and Asian flavors. Seatings are available for a cocktail hour, lunch, and dinner, with prices in the $85 range for cocktail hour--which includes a drink and canapes--and moving upward to plus or minus $300 (before alcohol) for dinner.
Ithaa is committed to seasonal menus of fresh catches and chefs' whims, so the menu frequently changes. Sample dishes from a recent undersea culinary collection include:
- Button mushrooms velouté with sautéed morels and crème fraiche
- Rock lobster accented with leeks etuvé , snow pea salad, and a sauvignon blanc cream sauce
- Seared line-caught barrier reef fish accompanied by palm heart and garnished with fresh coconut & apple
- Seared milk fed veal tenderloin topped with aubergine caviar and lime & caramel jus
- 57% dark chocolate wtih rice crispy & valencia orange parfait
- Malossol oscietra caviar kissed with sour cream over potato blinis
- Raw yellow fin tuna cubes drizzled with lime & sesame oil, served with crispy wonton
- Pan-fried duck foie gras with Thai mango and caramel jus
- Seared line-caught reef fish with palm heart, fresh coconut, and apple
- Floating island egg white with Mandhoo garden passion fruit & finger banana milkshake
The Conrad Rangali Island Maldives Resort
The Conrad Rangali Island Maldives houses ultra high-end beach and water villas across two private islands enveloped in miles of fine white sand beaches and unspoiled reefs. A destination for romancing couples and whole fam damilies alike, the resort is a captivating vacation unto itself with its handsome private accommodations, a host of drinking and dining options, world-class pampering, and adrenaline-boosting activities for its guests.
Choose from overnight abodes perched on the beach and surrounded by elegant courtyards and fountains, or get your shut-eye and solo time in a water villa lolling on stilts above the Indian Ocean. Laze about outside the room in one of the resort's two spas, or burn off your Ithaa fare windsurfing at its Watersports Center. Those who can't get enough of the underwater experience may also take a cruise along coral reefs in the Conrad's three-person submarine.
- Ithaa Undersea Restaurant: http://conradhotels3.hilton.com/en/hotels/maldives/conrad-maldives-rangali-island-MLEHICI/amenities/...
- Conrad Rangali Island Maldives resort: http://conradhotels3.hilton.com/en/hotels/maldives/conrad-maldives-rangali-island-MLEHIC...
- Conrad Rangali Island Maldives Accommodations: http://conradhotels3.hilton.com/en/hotels/maldives/conrad-maldives-rangali-islan...
- Conrad Rangali Island Maldives Restaurants: http://conradhotels3.hilton.com/en/hotels/maldives/conrad-maldives-rangali-island-M...