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Ithaa Undersea Restaurant

It was truly an amazing experience to dine 16 feet below sea level at Ithaa, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island’s undersea restaurant. The restaurant is designed to provide a 180° overhead view of the surrounding reef and marine life. Ithaa, which means pearl in Dhivehi, is the world’s first all-glass, undersea restaurant. We were served a seven course meal of Maldivian-Western fusion seafood cuisine that was as pleasant to look at as it was to eat.
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As an appetizer we were served a variety of Maldivian flat breads called Roshi along with brewed Maldivian Sai tea. Some of the roshi were made with coconut, some were made with bananas, and one had chopped chillies which made it quite spicy.

The cold starter course consisted of three large hors d’oeuvre style creations decoratively arrange on a long narrow plate. From left to right, we had a crab tower with thin chiabatta and truffle mayonnaise along with grilled scallops stacked on a filo pastry with red caviar, followed by an arrangement of yellow fin tuna sashimi with wasabi soy sauce.
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The next course was soup degustation. In keeping with the theme of the meal we were served three small helpings that consisted of Pandan leaf flavoured double reduced duck broth, along with chilled gazpacho soup, followed by roasted Maldivian pumpkin soup with sour cream.
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The next course involved lobster! We each we served a complete broiled lobster tail seasoned with tarragon along with bite-sized lobster pieces wrapped in thin dough.
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For the main course we were offered a choice of either beef or fish. Given the fact that we were sitting fifteen feet below sea-level on a coral reef it only seemed natural to choose fish. We were served braised jack-fish that was covered in a grape, almond and saffron reduction. To compliment the fish, we were served a side dish of truffle green pea mille-feuille.
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Dessert involved three small servings arranged side-by-side on a narrow plate in a similar fashion to earlier courses. We had hot and cold chocolate with passion fruit, along with Maldivian banana and chilli mascarpone cream with crushed basil, followed by stuffed coconut pane cake with balsamic reduction
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The meal concluded with handmade chocolate treats and our choice of coffee or tea.
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At the end of the meal Tanya and Fatima were each presented with a pearl to take home as a souvenir as if the meal and the setting wouldn’t have been memorable enough.

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