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Velaa Private Island – A celebration of the senses

By Sophie Demetriades on 17th August 2016

Velaa Private Island in the Maldives is synonymous with luxury. It is also one of the world’s premiere destinations for gastronomy; each and every moment offering a new sensation for gourmet lovers and connoisseurs alike. An island paradise replete with a curated selection of stylishly appointed luxury villas and offerings that are nothing short of spectacular, Velaa is an ultra-luxe haven for the world’s most discerning holidaymakers.

Under the spectacular leadership of Chef Gaushan de Silva, whose passion for research and flavour combinations ensures that each and every taste is teeming with intensity, all whilst set against panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and the Maldivian sun, Velaa Private Island is the ultimate celebration for all the senses. Chef de Silva brings a wealth of experience to the palate of Velaa Private Island, having worked with some of the most notable Michelin starred restaurants in Europe including Noma, (regularly voted best restaurant in the world), as well as Le Domaine de Capelongue Maisons Edouard (alongside Edgar Loubet, a two star Michelin Chef). Chef de Silva was also the Private House Chef to the Royal Family at the Royal Palace in Jordan.

Aragu Restaurant & Cru Lounge - Chef Gaushan De Silva.
Aragu Restaurant & Cru Lounge – Chef Gaushan De Silva.

With a twist of Modern European Cuisine, Velaa’s signature restaurant, Aragu takes the fine dining experience to a new level; combining the Chef’s passion for culinary art with awareness and sustainability. Using fresh and local produce, Aragu highlights Chef de Silva’s commitment to creating culinary art alongside awareness and sustainability. Aragu means ‘essence’ in the local Dhivehi language, and offers a diversified, original, creative and innovative cuisine designed to tantalise the palate. Chef de Silva, explains “I like to surprise my guests with flavour combinations they have never experienced before and perhaps they have not even imagined are possible. All tasting menus at Aragu blend the finest produce with molecular gastronomy – the level of clientele we have on Velaa expects no less than the very best. Hence, we use the best quality ingredients from all corners of the globe.”

Diners may wish to begin their repast with delicately sliced duck foie gras lightly smoked with vanilla infused Tahitian tangy peach and citrus Puree, or perhaps 32 month matured parmesan cream and dill oil over expertly burnt shallots. Following onto mains, why not opt for finely cut pine nut crusted freshly caught reef fish alongside a rich anchovy garlic or Sicilian red prawns marinated with Nduja Calbrese and served with baby violet artichokes. Satisfy your sweet tooth with, a Peruvian ganache and a chocolate sphere with citrus-grissini sticks or a bitter grapefruit sorbet, drizzled with Ecuadorian white chocolate cream and Valencia orange coulis.

The spectacular view at the Ocean Pool House.
The spectacular view at the Ocean Pool House.

Branching out over the lagoon with a white sand floored deck, Athiri restaurant brings a luxe-but-laid-back attitude to dining while delivering the finest taste sensations. Enjoy traditional wood-fired pizzas under a canopy of coconut trees by the shore, and inflame all the senses with the option of dining with feet in, sand and water or wood. Using only the freshest, carefully-sourced ingredients, enjoy an extraordinary range of signature pizzas as well as modern interpretations of the classics. We recommend the truffle pizza bianca, with fontina cheese alongside black truffle sauce and black truffle shavings; the ultimate re-imagining of a classic.

For wine lovers, Velaa Private Island is home to the largest wine and champagne collection in the Maldives – housed within a futuristic 75-foot tower, Tavaru is a boutique restaurant specialising in East Asian Cuisine, where the tastes and flavours of Chinese, Korean and Japanese cuisine flood the senses. Inspirational and exciting dishes from the finest local and international ingredients that are sure to tantalise your palate.

Aragu Restaurant & Cru Lounge - Champagne Bar.
Aragu Restaurant & Cru Lounge – Champagne Bar.

For spirit connoisseurs, the astonishing cocktail menu certainly holds up its side of things. The new Velaa Vintage Cocktail menu, available at Avi, the vibrant poolside bar that overlooks the Indian Ocean, offers guests the most extravagant way to enjoy a drink in such breath-taking surroundings. The extraordinary collection of cocktails will be on every aficionado’s bucket list, showcasing the craftsmanship of extremely rare liquors, of which there are only a limited amount of bottles left in the world. With prices starting from USD$1,230, the unique concoctions are made with extraordinary ingredients including the Guy Lheraud, and Vieil-Armagnac “Baron Gaston Legrand” 1888. The most premium cocktail – the Lucky & Al – mixed using Salon Champagne 1988, which can cost more than USD$1600 per bottle, and rare 1930’s Guy Lheraud, Vieil Armagnac comes with a USD$6,530 price-tag. History in a glass – the cocktails celebrate vintages from bygone years – using the finest vintage Ports, Cognacs and Armagnacs, such as Guy Lheraud, Vieil a unique 1930’s vintage as the base liquors for each drink.

Tucked away within the collection of islands that form the Noonu Atoll, Velaa Private Island is elegantly positioned to overlook enchanting vistas of a cerulean ocean. Its name derived from the generations of sea turtles that flock there to nest and hatch; it is comprised of 47 private villas, houses and exclusive residences. The resort also includes a Romantic Pool Residence which can only be reached by boat, allowing even more exclusivity. Here all details have been considered: each villa comes with a personal butler, with the option to tailor all services to personal specifications, and attention to detail everywhere is impeccable: stone pavements from the desert in Jordan, Indonesian flowerpots, luxury wood panelling from Borneo, and glimmering Italian marble.