Food

THE BEST RESORT IN THE MALDIVES FOR VEGANS – NIYAMA PRIVATE ISLANDS

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 maldives vegan

DINING OPTIONS

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

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

blu niyama

EPICURE

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 😉

niyama breakfast 1

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

epicure vegan niyama

NEST

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)

nest niyama

SUBSIX

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.

IMG_0244

TRIBAL

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

tribal niyama

DUNE

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)

dune niyama

VLOG

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.

Manna restaurant review

I know I’m ridiculously late with this post, like over a month late, but there has been so much going on and it wasn’t until I was looking through photos on my phone the other day that I realised I still hadn’t told you guys about the insanely good birthday dinner Matt treated me to at Manna!

Manna is a beautifully elegant restaurant in Primrose Hill that offers a 100% vegan menu. How incredible is that?! As it was a birthday dinner, we decided to go all out and order starters, mains and desserts, and every single course was delicious.

Apologies in advance for the poor quality photos, Manna had some major mood lighting going on!

▹▸▹▸ STARTERS

The falafel slider starter was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had; it was so good that I could have eaten 3 or 4 okay 5 of these burgers for a main course! The burger was delicious and perfectly complemented by all of the toppings and the wholemeal bun. Matt was also obsessed with fluffy  yet crispy potato wedges it was served with!

falafel slider

▹▸▹▸ MAINS

For main course, I ordered the spaghetti and veatballs and it was delicious! The spaghetti was cooked to perfection whilst the tomato sauce and veatballs were incredibly flavoursome.

Matt ordered the bangers and mash and judging by his entirely empty plate at the end of the meal, I’d say it was a big hit!

mains at manna

▹▸▹▸ DESSERT

Whilst the starters and mains were both delicious, the highlight of the meal was hands down the birthday cake dessert. The vice cream & cookie semi-freddo was honestly the best dessert I have ever eaten. EVER! We’re talking crumbly cookie dough filled with layers of ice cream topped with berries – OH MY GOSH! It was absolutely insane.

dessert at manna

I can’t wait for our next trip to Manna, mainly but not exclusively so that I can order a vice cream & cookie semi-freddo all to myself!

Vegan afternoon tea at La Suite West

As a belated birthday treat, my lovely friend Maria surprised me with…

▹▸▹▸ VEGAN AFTERNOON TEA AT LA SUITE WEST

I have always absolutely loved afternoon tea. There’s just something about the tiny little sandwiches that make them taste so much better than regular sandwiches. And the scones, oh the scones. Then, no matter how full you are, there’s always room for delicious, bite-sized cakes because who doesn’t love cake?!

Since going vegan, this was the first time I’ve had an afternoon tea that wasn’t home-made, so to say I was excited would be an understatement and this afternoon tea definitely did not disappoint.

vegan afternoon tea at la suite west

▹▸▹▸ SANDWICHES

The selection of sandwiches was absolutely delicious. There was such a unique mix of flavours which made for a lovely twist on traditional afternoon tea sandwiches. My favourite was definitely the kimichi coleslaw with red pepper, whilst Maria unsurprisingly loved the summer herb pesto with tomatoes. I say unsurprisingly as she has a serious pesto addiction, we’re talking pesto pizza with pesto pasta for dinner on a pretty regular basis at uni (which I may or may not have participated in)!

vegan afternoon tea sandwiches

▹▸▹▸ SCONES

The scones were hands down the best scones I have ever eaten in my entire life, bar none! The combination of warm scones, coconut cream and strawberries was just heavenly!

scones at la suite west

▹▸▹▸ CAKES

Even though we were both completely stuffed by the time the cakes were served, we of course managed to squeeze them all in, because I mean, look how yummy!!!

vegan afternoon tea cakes

All three courses were absolute perfection and I will definitely be returning to La Suite West for more delicious afternoon tea ASAP.

Tibits vegetarian and vegan buffet, London

I absolutely love sharing all of my favourite places to eat out with you guys, as whenever I’m looking for a cool new place to eat out, I always check other bloggers recommendations. As well as reading a menu on line, I find it’s also so helpful to hear which places other people love and for what reasons! So, today I am gonna share with you guys one of my favourite places to eat in London ▷►▹▸

Tibits Veggie/Vegan buffet located just off of Regent Street

Ever since we discovered Tibits around 6 months ago, it has become mine and my BFF Alfia’s go to place to hang out and eat at after work. All of the food is veggie, most of it is vegan, and everything I’ve tried so far is delicious.

tibits buffet

Tibits operates a pay by weight system, meaning that if you’re a big carb lover like Alfia and me, it can end up being fairly expensive but in my opinion, totally worth it!

Not only is the food delicious (the okra in breadcrumbs are my fave and we both love and tofu & sundried tomato pasta) but the atmosphere is also super chilled making it a really fun place to hang out. The outdoor seating area is surrounded by fairy lights which look SO pretty on a warm summer evening; whilst inside, the dimmed lighting and modern decor makes for a super cosy atmosphere.

tibias vegan restaurant

For desert, we always share the lemon cake. And when I say share, I mean Alfia says she’s full but starts eyeing up my cake as soon as it arrives and inevitably ends up eating half of it, so now I always ask for two forks whether Alfia admits she’s gonna make room for some cake or not ;).

tibits vegetarian buffet

If you love great food and a cool atmosphere, I would definitely recommend checking out Tibits, it is one major party in your mouth!

Vegan pancake recipe

Without a doubt, one of my favourite ways to start the day is with a big stack of delicious vegan pancakes. This recipe is one of my all time favourites and is absolutely perfect for those lazy Sunday breakfast-in-bed kinda days. Not only are these pancakes insanely yummy, but they are also way healthier than their non-vegan alternative – so major win-win!!

I hope you’ve all been having a great weekend so far in this beautiful sunshine; and if you fancy making it even better, I highly recommend you treat yourselves to these yummy pancakes tomorrow morning ;-).

vegan pancake stack

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2.5 cups non-dairy milk (my fave is almond milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tea spoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tea spoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 banana
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  • Dice bananas into small chunks
  • Mix together in a bowl: flour, non-dairy milk, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup & diced banana pieces
  • Place a frying pan on low heat & spray with cooking spray
  • Spoon four table spoons of mixture into the pan and flip after approximately 40 seconds
  • Leave in the pan for another 30 seconds or until golden
  • Repeat until all mixture is gone (remember to keep re-spraying the pan with cooking spray)
  • Serve pancakes with syrup and diced strawberries & enjoy!

The most delicious green smoothie recipe

First thing this morning (aka 10am) I went for my first run since coming home from uni a couple of weeks ago. 30 mins later, dripping with sweat, and walking home with one very tired out dog, I was majorly craving a big, delicious smoothie.

I wasn’t planning on creating a recipe for the blog, so just threw my smoothie staples into the blender and added some of my favourite superfood powders. However, it turned out to be one of the most delicious, milkshake-like smoothies I’d ever tasted so I couldn’t not share it with you guys.

vegan milkshake recipe

Before we get onto the recipe, I thought I would share some of the reasons why I love adding Maca powder and Spirulina to my smoothie, so that when you’re enjoying its creamy yumminess, you can also rest assured that it is filling you with healthy goodness.

Maca powder‘s amazing benefits include: being rich in calcium and iron, increasing energy levels and being great at balancing your mood; whilst Spirulina is a great source of protein, iron and calcium.

Now… onto the recipe.

WARNING: this smoothie is so addictive, I had to make my second of the day to drink on the way to go bowling with Matt and my gorgeous little cousins. I hope you all had an awesome weekend, enjoy the recipe lovely people :).

green smoothie recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup ice
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 teaspoon maca powder
  • 1 teaspoon spiralina
  • 1 teaspoon lotus spread

Instructions

  • Break bananas into small pieces
  • Place all ingredients in blender
  • Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth
  • Enjoy your delicious, creamy smoothie!

Ethos Foods, London

One of my favourite things about working in London is checking out lots of different veggie/vegan restaurants in the evenings. Last week, my veggie friends and I dragged 2 of our meat-loving friends to Ethos – a meat-free buffet near Oxfords Circus – for a big veggie night out. Not only was the food a big hit with everyone, but I’m also told by my carnivore friends that the vegan wine was on point.

The restaurant has a pay by weight system, which if you’re a major carb fan like me, can result in it being a little pricey; or in the case of one of my non-veggie friends, mean that one non-carbed-up plate isn’t enough to prepare you for a big night out ;). Nevertheless, the food was delicious and I was also obsessed with the incredible decor; we’re talking indoor trees, fairy lights and marble tables. So. Cool.

Overall, we all really enjoyed our visit, so if you love eating great food in restaurants with a really cool vibe, I definitely recommend you check Ethos out.

ethos oxford circus

Our table feat. vegan wine aka a carnivore in a vegan restaurant’s bff △▲△▲△

ethos london

Cauliflower in Tahini dressing to die for!△▲△▲△

ethos desserts

Delicious desserts (the raw chocolate and peanut slice was my fave) △▲△▲△

Have any of you guys visited Ethos before? Where are your favourite veggie places to eat in London?