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Page added on January 13, 2010

All view and no taste: Farivalhu Restaurant

All view and no taste: Farivalhu Restaurant thumbnail

The buildings jostled against one another, a multitude of colours, different shapes, it almost feels like we’re a little Manhattan: this is the spectacular view of Male’ from Farivalhu Restaurant’s terrace atop the Central Hotel in the heart of the capital.

The restaurant has a seating area on the inside and a spacious terrace which is often the venue of wedding receptions and other events. Opting for the best view, we sit in the smoking area with a couple of friends, an elevated area with seating for 18. We take our time ordering main course – so spoiled are we for choice, with over 300 dishes of Indian, Italian,Chinese and vegetarian cuisine.

The drinks arrive and look appetising: Mango smoothie decorated with a tiny umbrella and a maraschino cherry, papaya juice in a fancy glass and chocolate milkshake.

However the consistency and flavours prove shocking, to say the least. The mango smoothie is sour and watery, and the chocolate milkshake tastes like milk tea.

Fish steak in pepper sauce

Fish steak in pepper sauce

Ever optimistic, we await the main course. Fish steak in pepper sauce, chicken parmesan and prawn macaroni in tomato sauce are the main meals for the night.

The fish steak and chicken parmesan are served with french fries that appear to have been fried twice, and paysanne of crunchy vegetable coleslaw.

It seems the chef had excessive amounts of beetroot at his disposal. It’s the main piece of garnish on all the dishes – two slices of it are paired with a shred of lettuce. The rule of thumb is that beetroot should only be served as a garnish if it has been marinated or bound with a dressing.

The green salad, supposedly with a French dressing, is overpowered by excessive amounts of bell pepper and looks like it has been compressed with a heavy object onto the dish. This classic salad lacked height and depth and was poorly served.

After that is was not surprising to find the chicken parmesan overcooked and chewy, with an overly tangy tomatoe concassé and gratinated cheese on top.

The fish steak looked promising but turned out to be absolutely revolting, with a stale taste that is a travesty in a country where getting fresh fish is as easy as a five minute trip to the market.

The pepper sauce tasted good, though it lacked the right consistency and the glossy finish which comes from this type of velvety sauce.

Bracing ourselves, we tasted the prawn macaroni. It was like eating baby food, an overcooked mashed up mess of pasta and rubbery prawns. Either the chef didn’t know the difference between penne and macaroni or they had run out of it, as we were served penne.

Similar to the chicken parmesan, the tomatoe concassé  for the pasta was undercooked and needed to be reduced more for a full bodied flavour.

By the time desserts and coffees arrived we were ready for just about anything.

"Assault on the palate"

"Assault on the palate"

The chocolate mousse is visually not bad with a dollop of split cream and a maraschino cherry. But one spoonful and a split second later the most distasteful after-taste of cocoa powdered oil hits the palate, enough to put anyone off chocolate mousse for life.

Even the coffee was burnt, watery and tasted bitter.

It’s a pity that Farivalhu, with the privilege of being in the city center and few restaurants in the vicinity, appears to not care enough to provide its clientele with good food. Maybe for inspiration they can look towards their service staff: the attentive waiters served their customers with care.

Farivalhu Restaurant

Food 4/10
Atmosphere 6/10
Price 5/10
Service 6/10
Total 5/10

Mango smoothie: 25 Rf
Papaya juice: 18 Rf
Chocolate Milkshake: 20 Rf

Fish steak in pepper sauce: 45 Rf
Prawn macaroni in tomato sauce: 75 Rf
Green salad: 26 Rf
Chocolate Mousse: 15 Rf

Farivalhu Restaurant is located in the Central Hotel at Rahdhebai Magu is open from 7:30 am to 1:00 am.


Naby Mariyam is a Le Cordon Bleu chef graduate, and works as a cookery trainer in Sydney, Australia.

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9 Comments on "All view and no taste: Farivalhu Restaurant"

  1. Mariyam Mohamed on Wed, 13th Jan 2010 9:49 PM 

    its like you go to mc donalds and you buy macaroni and say, mc donalds is all show and no taste.

    but if you had half the brain you would go to mc donalds and eat a burger and in the same way go to Farivalhu restaurant which is popular for indian dishes and have indian food.

  2. pumpkin on Wed, 13th Jan 2010 11:46 PM 

    if u had half the brain you won’t put 300 items on the menu which you are going to mess up. It would be wise to have a menu that u can do well. At the end of the day you have to pay for the meal regardless of your brain capacity.

  3. mohamed on Thu, 14th Jan 2010 12:43 AM 

    like mariyam mohamed has said farivalhu is well known for its indian dishes. i go there often and i must say that its one of the best indian food you can get in male’.

  4. HassanK on Thu, 14th Jan 2010 1:32 AM 

    I think restaurant reviews is a great idea. This one – a good read but the language may have been toned down a little specially since the concept is a bit new in Maldives. Hope to see more reviews.

  5. GS on Thu, 14th Jan 2010 10:01 AM 

    Dear Pumpkin…. Brilliantly put!!! :-)

  6. noora on Thu, 14th Jan 2010 3:30 PM 

    Is this what minivanews can publish now? what they stand for? views on restaurants and writing about a kulhi in fuahmulaku? There are so many social issues in this country which needs to be written about. And discussed about.

  7. Mariyam Reena on Thu, 14th Jan 2010 6:18 PM 

    i like readin restaurant reviews. we need more of this in male. there is so little to do and even the food outlets are bad. these reviews can at least make restaurants compete with each other. minivan please keep publishing. but also where is all the political news gone? lot less these days

  8. Maria on Sun, 17th Jan 2010 11:45 AM 

    Perhaps you caught the chef on a bad day or something, because my friends and I find the food there quite tasty, especially when compared to other Male’ restaurants which offer the same price range.
    It’s also possible that we are able to appreciate the good tastes of it as we are unskilled in the field of culinary arts and so are unqualified to assess the served dishes in the way seen in the article.
    However, I like their food just fine :)

  9. guest on Thu, 6th May 2010 4:48 PM 

    wow you guys talk about the good restaurants and nice food , i have been in a few restaurants and famouse cafes in male , but the toilets are so fucking dirty and never seen any toilet paper. NOT EVEN A SOAP TO WASH MY HAND …thas very sad !!!!

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