Matt and I were incredibly lucky to be able to spend our honeymoon on the paradise island that is Niyama Maldives. We chose Niyama as they have beautiful rooms, an under the sea restaurant (!!) and most importantly, offered an amazing selection of vegan options. We spent our time at Niyama snorkelling in the crystal clear ocean, relaxing on the white sand beach, cycling around the island and eating the most incredible array of vegan food across Niyama’s restaurants. It really is vegan paradise and I’m so happy to share all of the details of our stay with you all.
Niyama has 2 restaurants, BLU and EPICURE, that offer all-day dining for the breakfast and dinner buffets, as well as an a la cart lunch menu. There is also an amazing variety of a la cart restaurants, ranging from Nest, a tree-top asian restaurant, to Subsix, an under water fine dining restaurant and bar.
The lovely head chef JP welcomed us upon our arrival to the island, and ensured the head chefs at all of Niyama’s restaurants knew about our dietary requirements . We were so impressed by the chefs & their teams in each and every restaurant we visited, as they were all incredibly knowledgable about what veganism is, and could not have been more open to veganising dishes for us or going completely off-menu to create new bespoke dishes. I’ve never experienced such amazing hospitality, and I truly could not be more grateful and humbled.
In this post you’ll find a summary of the vegan options available in each of Niyama’s restaurants, and I’m super excited to share that the team informed us they will soon be introducing vegan menus across all of their restaurants, based on many of the items we got to try that are featured in this blog post!
Blu offers Mediterranean inspired dishes and is open for all day dining. The menu has several vegan-friendly dishes, as well as some which were very easily veganisable with a simple swap. The head chef Chinthaka and his team were also more than happy to go off menu and create new items for us, such as vegan cheese, and much to Matt’s delight – a vegan paella.
Matt and I are huge falafel fans, and love all things Mediterranean, so Blu became our go-to spot for lunch pretty much every day of our ten day trip. As we had quite a long lay-over at Male airport, the amazing team even made us a falafel and hummus packed lunch on our last day to keep us going on the long journey home.
Daily go to lunches ►►►
- Chickpea falafels (swap garlic sauce for tomato salsa) & Veggie Arabic Tasting Plate
- Garlic Pizza Bread & Vegetarian Pizza (ask for no cheese)
- Penne napolitana
- Specials: cashew vegan cheese, veggie paella
Epicure also offers all-day dining, including internationally themed cusine dinners each day, as well as the best breakfast buffet I’ve ever eaten in my entire life.
The staff at Epicure became great friends during our stay. Asso was our main waiter & is one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met. He made sure we had delicious food throughout our entire trip and also ensured that it was super instagrammable – what a guy!
Daily go to breakfasts ►►►
- Fresh coconuts from Imran the coconut man (check out my vlog to see Imran’s amazing talents picking coconuts from the tree)
- Vegan fry up – baked beans flavoured with so many delicious herbs & garlic, hash browns, fried tomatoes & mushrooms
- Pancakes, waffles & crepes – Ganesh is the ultimate pancake king, I still dream about his pancakes daily!
- Dairy-free Coffee – Matt & I don’t drink coffee (I know, we’re weird) but if like most people you do, Habeeb is your guy. He makes fresh coffees every morning with amazing coffee art, a huge variety of non-dairy milks and a side dish of jokes 😉
Chaminda is the head chef at Epicure and every evening he made sure we knew exactly which dishes on the buffet were suitable for vegans, and even though there was always plenty of choice, every evening he made us extra dishes based on whatever international cuisine was featured at Epicure that evening.
Some of our Epicure International Cuisine Highlights ►►►
- Mexican Night: bean stew (amazing), fried rice, veggie fritters & spicy potatoes
- Maldivian Night: lentil dahl, roasted pumpkin, chapati, poppadoms & chutney
- Asian Night: Sweet & sour stir fry, coconut curry & veggie fried noodles
- Italian Night: Tomato & veggie pasta, rosemary potatoes & salsa, pumpkin & rice
Nest offers asian dining in the most stunning, tree-top setting! The main menu had quite a few vegan-friendly dishes and Gai, the head chef at nest, kindly created a special vegan menu for us too, which is now available for any vegan guests staying at Niyama. We ended up selecting a few dishes from each. The clear soup was definitely my favourite and Matt absolutely loved the coconut curry.
Vegan-friendly dishes we ordered ►►►
- Fried tofu & soya bean rice paper rolls (main menu)
- Tempura vegetables (main menu)
- Cracker box (vegan menu)
- Clear Soup (vegan menu)
- Smokey Southern Curry (vegan menu)
Subsix is Niyama’s resident under the sea (yes, you read that right UNDER THE SEA!) restaurant. Alongside vegan food and beautiful rooms, Subsix was one of the main things that attracted us to Niyama. Not only did it live up to our expectations, if far exceed them and was the most incredible dining experience I’ve ever had. Set under the sea, the restaurant features panoramic glass windows which look out at the wonderful marine life.
Not only is the setting absolutely mesmerising, but the restaurant also offers fine dining, with Michelin Star style food. Head Chef Andy created a vegan menu especially for us, which was nothing short of decadent. The experience was so incredible that it definitely warrants its own blog post which will be coming soon.
Vegan set menu ►►►
- Seaweed bread with oil and balsamic vinegar
- Truffle potato with charcoal (incredible)
- Tomato gazpacho
- Beetroot Flower
- Herb fried polenta with eggplant puree, asparagus & confit tomatoes
- Strawberry and Passionfruit Gelato with Basil Sorbet
You can also head to Subsix for evening Glow parties a couple of times a week, featuring a lot of glow in the dark paint, amazing music and cocktails.
Tribal offers a selection of African, Central & South American Cuisine – and in fact is the only speciality African restaurant in Maldives. The restaurant setting is beautiful, with an outdoor tent feel and the food was amazing. Once again the chef was super helpful and pointed out which dishes from the menu were veganisable. Although we were unfamiliar with the names and therefore didn’t know what to expect, our dinner at Tribal was one of our favourite meals from our entire trip as all of the food was so flavourful and unique.
Vegan-friendly dishes we ordered ►►►
- Roasted cauliflower & potato soup (no sour cream)
- Pap and mushroom potjie (no cheese)
- Quinoa Chaufa
Dune is the beach bar next to epicure and offered casual lunch dining. On the very rare days that we didn’t head to Blu for our favourite falafel lunch, we loved eating at Dune. The soups were some of the best soups I’ve ever eaten.
Vegan-friendly dishes we ordered ►►►
- Roasted tomato soup (no sour cream)
- Pumpkin soup
- Grilled vegetable panini with fries (swap mozzarella for tofu)
Overall, we had an amazing time at Niyama; it was absolutely dreamy to be able to stay somewhere that combines natural beauty, incredible hospitality, and some of the most amazing vegan food we’ve ever eaten. I genuinely cannot recommend Niyama enough and can’t wait to plan our next trip there. If you’d like to watch my vlog of our trip for more details about what we did and ate at Niyama, you can watch that below.
Niyama very kindly gave us a press discount to stay and review the vegan food and also gifted us the AMAZING meal at Subsix. All opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own & we are so grateful that we were able to stay at such an incredible resort.