Salt- A Little Bit Of Haven
The small island Male’, the capital city of Maldives is well known as the most densely populated city in the country. Male’ is a heavily urbanized island, with the built-up area taking up almost it’s landmass, which is also frequently described as a concrete jungle.
Finding a small hideaway, a place to relax and soothe your mind in the middle of this congested city has been almost impossible. The main fashion and trend in the city is the famous “coffee culture” which began in the late 90’s, where most young adults would gather with friends to socialize over a coffee at least once a day. Open-air café’s serving the basic selected items became the next big thing over the last decade.
Opening of “Salt,” a fusion international cuisine restaurant was like an answer to the prayer of finding a small peaceful haven within the hectic city of Male’. From the location to the taste of its food, the restaurant brought a revolution to the concept of dining within the city.
Salt is located on the northern waterfront of Male’, on the 6th floor of Shinetree building which is right next to Male’ fish market and the local market which are famous tourist attractions within the city. Even though it is located within the heart of local trading hub of Male’, right in the middle of all the hustle, once you get to the 6th floor of the new building, the restaurant will not fail to surprise you.
According to Ms Ushva Fairooz, commonly referred to as Ushy, the name of the restaurant “Salt” was derived from the inspiration of it’s surrounding ocean as well as the idea regarding the use of salt on all kinds of food served within the restaurant.
Salt consists of the 6th floor indoor dining area and a beautiful outdoor dining deck on the seventh floor terrace. Once you enter the indoor dining area, the full glass windows surrounded by the whole restaurant will not fail to surprise you as you could see endless miles of deep Blue Ocean. At first glimpse you will not fail to notice the attractive graphical art hanging on the walls, pieces by local artist Ika. The artwork portrays the historical fishing village, Male’. This restaurant consists of seventy covers of which thirty-five covers are placed at the 7th floor open deck where the diners could enjoy the amazing view. Modern square plates handpicked from Singapore are used to serve the food. The attention to details on every single aspect of this restaurant is amazing. For instance the turquoise napkins inspired by the Maldivian blue skies and lagoons are used for the day and red napkins are used by the night.
Ushva Fairooz and Ahmed Hashmath commonly known as Ushy and Hahthu, manages Salt along with a great team of twenty staff members. They are open every Saturday to Thursday from morning 8:00am till 12:00am and on Fridays from morning 8:00am till 11:00am and then 4:00pm till 12:00am.
One of the main reasons why Salt is popular among it’s customers is because of its overall ambience and breadth taking view. Even though Maldives is a well-known destination for luxury boutique hotels, to enjoy the same level of luxury within the city was almost a distant dream before Salt was opened. The restaurant’s 7th floor open deck has become one of the trendiest hangouts during late afternoons with the soft sun rays beaming upon their attractively designed terrace, where couples, friends and business partners enjoy the gorgeous view of sun setting over a cup of coffee and delicious finger foods.
The main menu of the restaurant consists of eighty menu items and twenty chef specials. The diverse selection includes delicacies from Mexican, Italian, Indian, Indonesian, Thai, Japanese, European and American cuisine. The unique selection of food offered at Salt gives a vast variety of selections for its customers to choose from.
The day begins with a beautifully placed buffet breakfast, seven days a week from morning 8:00pm to 11:00am. Salt Breakfast is an opportunity to sit and make decisions for business discussions and a great bonding time for families specially over the weekend. A la Carte Breakfast is served upon order till 12:00pm. After breakfast hours, the restaurant calms down and this is an ideal time to grab a mid-day coffee or snack and enjoy some precious time for work meetings. Free Wi-Fi coupons are provided to all customers upon request.
The tropical heat around Male’ definitely makes you thirsty and hungry after a full morning of work, a Special Lunch Express menu is served six days a week from 12:00pm noon till 3:00pm. This menu offers three choices of main-courses to choose from, served with bottled water and a mouthwatering dessert at the end of the meal. The best thing about the express menu is the value for money. The fully air-conditioned 6th floor dining area is perfect as a hideaway to cool off from the heat and to grab a thirst quenching drink from the Salt “Coolers” menu. The soft lounge music, a delicious ice blended drink, great food and a view to die for, what more could you ask for in a city like Male’?
Once the heated rays start to cool off in the late afternoon around 4 o’clock, friends start to gather around the open deck. Salt offers the perfect package, Tea for Two at this hour from 4:00pm till 6:30pm. Tea for two is inclusive of standard tea or coffee, three types of savory pastries and sweet pastries along with a good discount for all illy products.
Once the sun sets, when the deck cools off, regulars flock at the open deck. Friends, couples and families gather to enjoy coffees and dinner under the twinkling night sky. The cool breeze with a pinch of salt fragrance coming directly from the ocean provides a sense of relaxation to the people who dine on this deck. Buffet dinners are served every Sunday and Wednesday nights from 7:30pm till 10:00pm.
Salt believes in providing its customers with fresh food. All types of bread served at the restaurant are home baked right at their very own bakery and fresh local greens are used throughout in their food items.
Some of their recommended dishes are the seafood feast, which is a selection of seafood served in a large platter, their Mexican Chili Con Carne with Spanish rice and the Green Salad, a mixture of beautiful green asparagus, avocado, green leaves, green peppers and cucumber. Top sellers include the all time favorite fish and chips, cashew chicken and steamed reef fish. Their most recommended drink is the pomegranate passion.
The restaurant proudly caters for all markets including expat communities, tourists, and business groups and for friends and family. Their private dining room is ideal for a small dinner group of ten who prefers their privacy. The restaurant hosts special occasions such as birthday parties, weddings and business meetings, and upon advance request, buffets are customized for groups larger than twenty people. From the design and atmosphere to the food and service, Salt is a little bit of haven to the people of this crowded city. From spending quality alone time working on creative ideas to socializing with friends this place has it’s magic to bring upon a smile on you.