The inspiration for the “Community Street Food Festival” dates all the way back to 5,000 years ago. Located at the heart of the spice route, Maldives was a key port of call for traders sailing from Indonesia and India to Arabia with cargoes of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and pepper.
Paying homage to the flavourful voyages embedded in our history, Nova Maldives invites you on a dining experience unlike any other. Imagine strolling on the pristine beach, feasting on authentic, exquisite dishes and delights of various countries. Take in the mesmerising views of the Indian Ocean as you enter a foodie haven. The decorated food stalls deliver delectables from eight different countries, starting with Maldives and travelling on to Mauritius, Thailand, India, China, Morocco, Indonesia, and, finally, Sri Lanka.
Celebrating Local Flavours
The local Maldivian cuisine brings forward an array of unique flavours. From dishes embodying the spices traded several millennia ago, to recipes passed down through generations, each dish presents a new adventure.
With abundant marine life in the surrounding waters, fish and seafood are staple ingredients in the local cuisine. And in addition to being aesthetically pleasing, the Maldivian palm trees provide copious amounts of milk and oil used in traditional dishes. Coconut and fish play an integral role in the Maldivian culinary experience, as seen at the festival.
Whether you want to explore the traditional recipes or enjoy the vegetarian and vegan options, there are countless ways to feed your soul, from Fihunu Dinga, a grilled prawn with sweet coconut and lime juice, to the classic Mas-huni, the famous tuna salad with fresh coconut. For those craving a sweet filling, we have Kiru Boakiba, a milk pudding, and Dhonkeyo Kaju, banana fritters with coconut.
Exploring International Cuisines
Your culinary journey in Maldives continues with the exploration of international cuisine. Starting with East of Africa, we explore the sweet, sour and spicy notes blending African, Indian, Chinese and European culinary influences in Mauritius. From salads to slow-cooked beef and curry, the African and Mauritian cuisine does not disappoint.
Moving on a bit East, at the Thailand stand, you will sample the traditional dishes which are famed for using fresh herbs, spices and ingredients. Renowned for their balance of spicy, sour, sweet and salty flavours, the dishes feature lemongrass, limes, chilis, peppers and fish sauce. You can satisfy your sweet and savoury cravings with plenty of choices, from salads, and curries to classic Khao-Neow Mamuang, fresh mango with sweet sticky rice, or Khanom Ba Bin, grilled coconut pancakes.
The journey continues with Indian cuisine, renowned for its use of spices and herbs — often blended to create complex and delicious flavours. The Indian stand will offer mouth-watering Paneer, Tikka Masala, a selection of veggies and meats, and top it with delicious desserts such as Saffron Phirni, a rice pudding, and Maal Pua, deep fried sugar dipped bread.
At the Chinese food stand, you can indulge in a popular cuisine with a rich history. Known for its bold flavours and intricate cooking techniques, the dishes range from spicy to delicate dim sums. The key ingredients include soy sauce, ginger, garlic and various types of rice and noodles. For an unexpected, sweet sensation, top off your adventure with fried sweet sesame balls with red beans.
The Moroccan stand, on the other hand, incites you to explore the North African flavours. This rich and vibrant cuisine brings a mix of spices, herbs and fruits. Featuring Moroccan Harira soup, couscous, and hummus, the selection is topped with sweet pastry, Basboussa, orange cake, and Baklava.
Moving on to Indonesian cuisine, the stand features aromatics, herbs and spices with key ingredients such as turmeric, chilli, lemongrass, rice, noodles, and tofu. The true magic, however, lies with the sweets; including Pisang Cokelat, fried bananas with chocolate sauce, and Kue Cubit, a sweet cake with chocolate and cheese.
As a final destination on your culinary voyage, we bring you the tastes of Sri Lank. From a selection of seafood to meat, curry, rice and vegetables, each dish represents the rich history and culture of the island country. The cuisine features cardamom, curry leaves, and coconut milk. Relish in the sweetness of the traditional cream coconut custard, Wattalapam, and Bibikkan, the classic coconut cake.