Fascinating Culinary Journey
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives is an Island sanctuary located in the middle of one of the largest lagoons in the world. Blessed with lush and tropical flora, gorgeous, soft white sandy beaches and endless turquois lagoons. The award-winning resort offers a true hideaway from the hustle of busy cities, offers the world’s finest contemporary amenities and services.
This little island, locally known as Emboodhu Finolhu, is situated just about a 15 minute speedboat ride from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. The resort offers luxuriously designed villas and suites, private plunge pools with personal sundecks and endless views of the breathtaking Indian Ocean, making this the perfect place for a private, romantic retreat.
The island offers exquisite facilities such as the award-winning Jiva Grande Spa, an authentic Indian Spa, offering a blend of ancient Indian wisdom with contemporary therapies. A selection of water sports, diving, and other recreation options makes this a perfect exclusive destination for a rejuvenating holiday.
Most importantly, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa is well known for its amazing culinary experience, with a large selection of carefully hand-picked menu items from all parts of the world. The menu consists of tastes from the rich culinary heritage of the Subcontinent of India to popular Western, Mediterranean, Italian, French and also Eastern cuisine such as Japanese, Korean and Chinese. The resort proudly presents over five hundred different exclusive menu choices for their guests.
According to the Executive Chef, Sheroy Kermani of Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives, Deep End restaurant is an “Upscale Grill and Seafood Tasting” restaurant serving European cuisine coupled with creative presentations, with a talented team of chefs, focusing on procuring the highest quality ingredients, presented freshly from “Farm to Plate”.
The Indian born Iranian Executive Chef of Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives, is gifted with true culinary talent. Chef Kermani started off as an assistant chef, at Taj President in Mumbai 24 years ago. His experience as an Executive Chef in Mauritius, Sydney, Australia and the project of developing and launching the brand “Vivanta” with Taj group definitely contributes to the outstanding food selection served at the exclusive upscale grill & seafood tasting restaurant, Deep End.
Set on Stilts over the turquoise ocean, the Deep End boasts an opening in the center of the luxury dining restaurant, allowing a glimpse of the fascinating coral reef where baby sharks and other species of fish gather to the blue lights lit at night. On calm nights, it is possible to see the perfect reflection of the beautiful chandelier directly hanging above the ocean. This luxury restaurant consists of just 36 covers, carefully placed on hardwood and marble floors. The lighting, ambience, soothing music and the sound of waves make this the ultimate utopia for romantic dinners.
Deep End could be best described as a remarkable culinary journey, where you are taken care of from the moment you step in to the restaurant, till you call it a night. One of the best features of Deep End is the creative “Deep End Bubbles” beverage menu, which consists of Sparkling cocktails and a selection of the world’s finest Sparkling Wine Menu and the Deep End degustation menus which is a carefully selected tasting menu created from the main menu. The main menu of Deep End consists of about seventy savory selections of grills, seafood & desserts.
Unlike most guests who dine at Deep End, our team was honored with a tour of their satellite kitchen, which is the specialty kitchen where the skillful chefs of Deep End prepare the delightful food with their magical hands. It was amazing to see how well organized, clean and fresh the whole food preparation area was on a busy afternoon. The kitchen team was deeply engaged with the Mise en Place for the busy evening ahead of us.
“Taj standards are very high, we pay very special attention to maintain food safety and hygiene standards throughout the process,” said Chef Kermani.
One of the best things about dining at Deep End is the friendly, warm and attentive service. Guests who dine at this luxury restaurant would never have to be confused regarding the food being served as the servers are extensively trained not only to explain the whole menu, but also how the preparation is completed. The service team has excellent knowledge of recommending great dishes and the wine or beverages, which will go best with it. Here in Deep End, you can never go wrong in allowing the servers to assist you in making a choice.
Since Maldives is well known for its beautiful and fascinating ocean, as expected most of the guests prefer a taste of the natural local seafood, which grow in our coral gardens and are extracted using environmentally friendly methods. The very top seller of the restaurant is the Maldivian Lobster. As most guests prefer the local lobsters, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives dedicates every Tuesday and Saturday nights with a tempting lobster menu themed as “Emboodhoo Lobster Nights”; other top sellers include Australian Wagyu beef served with bacon salt. “The beauty of this restaurant is, each food comes with a unique salt. Here at Deep End we do not season the meat,” Chef Kermani added.
The restaurant is well known for its innovative style of food and presentation; Seafood is served in the ocean platter, custom designed for the restaurant, inspired by the Maldivian beaches, crystal clear waters and coral reefs. The ocean platter is a stand designed with food graded glass sheet, for serving the food on. While eating from the ocean platter, at the bottom of the stand, through the glass you could see white sand and shells covered underneath another safe layer of synthetic see-through sheet. The design of the plate makes you feel as if you are eating directly from the ocean.
Deep End serves a total of eleven grills and nine salts. Seafood is served with citrus salt; other grills could be served with a tomato salt or black salt with tarragon. The idea behind the salt selection is, the guest could take their own salt, sprinkle it on their own and season their meat to their own hearts content. Signature dishes are highlighted on the menu as star dishes. The most extravagant selection on the menu includes the two hundred dollar worth massive jumbo lobster and the hundred and fifty dollar worth seafood platter inclusive of scallops, octopus, prawns and lobsters. People who dine at Deep End love it.
Deep End proudly presents “The Opera” a one of a kind, divine dessert which is a live dessert served right on top of the table. This signature dish is named opera because it is orchestrated over the table.
A professional chef, who presents the ingredients on a gueridon trolley, serves the dessert on top of a see through synthetic sheet. From a distance, it looks exactly as the chef is throwing all the tasty, sweet sauces, all over the tablecloth. The whole experience of this dessert unfolding in front of the guests’ eyes is unforgettable. It is a very organized, well-executed set of moves.
Since the dessert is so famous and well-known among the guests, sometimes couples make a reservation at Deep End just to enjoy the opera.
Inspired by the thousand dollar New York Pizza, Chef Kermani came up with the brilliant idea of the two hundred dollar pizza, which became a famous sensation within the whole Taj Exotica culinary experience.
This pizza has captured the hearts of so many guests; people have blogged, photographed and written about it. This four quarters, fifteen inches pizza is filled with the best ingredients hand picked from around the world.
The base of this pizza is completely covered with Philadelphia cream cheese with one quarter topped only with waygu beef carpaccio and kalamata olives. Second quarter of the pizza is topped with roasted French duck and Foie Gras with Italian truffles. Another quarter is topped with Italian Porchinis, white parma ham, completely covered with parmesan cheese. The last quarter of the pizza is topped with jumbo lobster medallions with Iranian caviar topped with a finishing touch of 24-karat edible gold leaves.
This pizza is served personally by the executive chef, Kermani, sprinkled with thirty years old balsamic, trickled right in front of the guest. This is followed by two glasses of champagne and a photograph with the chef. This photograph is gifted to the guests upon their departure as a part of the memorable two hundred dollar pizza experience.
License to Grill is a very unique concept in the Maldives where the guests are provided with a small tableside solo barbeque grill set served with pre-marinated skewers of meat and seafood. Guests are provided with five sets of menus to choose from.
Food is served in the privacy of their villas or at any private dining locations across the island. The menus come with a choice of starter soup shots, breads, dips, salads and sauces.
The idea behind this sensation is that the executive chef is giving the guests a license to grill within absolute privacy. At the end of the dinner, a signed certificate license is provided to the guests by the executive chef, Kermani. Grilling their own food, on an exotic island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, this whole experience is such a delight for the guests.