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Page added on January 2, 2010

Seagull Café House gets a makeover

Seagull Café House gets a makeover thumbnail

The news buzzed around town, Seagull café house had reopened after a makeover. One of the staples of the capital life, it had a well-deserved reputation for serving the best homemade Italian ice cream in town; combined with its outdoor café area it was one of the most popular spots in Male’.

Our interest piqued, we head over to the cafe. The newly built upper deck area is visible from the road. Walking in through the spacious ground level, we see as ever the ice cream counter takes pride of place near the door. In a city where trees are felled left and right for urban development, the owners had taken pains to accommodate the old Jambolan tree, building the roof in a way that its branches could jut out of it. The date trees are adorned with orchid flowers, and orchids placed on the tables complete the look.

It is early in the night yet the place is alive and buzzing. Our group of four settles for a table upstairs that overlooks the road.

The place has the feel of a café in a resort, the décor is rustic with dim lights, further enhanced by the liberal use of wood. Eagan Badeeu’s triptych paintings of island life hang on the walls, adding to the visual appeal of the café.

A delicious Affogato

A delicious Affogato

The crowd is diverse, young women chatting away, couples grabbing a quick cuppa and families with children eating downstairs, letting the kids run around in the open area.

Two menus are handed to us, a regular one and another for ice creams.

The drinks list is extensive: milkshakes, smoothies, still and sparkling water offer ample choice to those who like variety. Hazelnut milkshake (Rf 48), tropical smoothie (Rf 50) and an affogato (Rf 90) is served while we ponder on what to have for dinner.

Hazelnut milkshake is smooth and creamy with a subtle nutty flavour, while the affogato was a strong shot of espresso topped with ice-cream – a surefire winner with coffee lovers for its vibrant and deep flavor. The tropical paradise smoothie makes one recall hot sunny days by the beachside, local flavours blended with milk and yoghurt and finely crushed ice.

The cafe has a bit of something for everyone. An assortment of paninis, sandwiches, burgers, Asian cuisine, share the space with top quality Australian beef and a selection of local fish.

Mustard Chicken with french fries

Mustard Chicken with french fries

The last page is a kids menu, a rarity in Male’.

We decide on mustard chicken with French fries and veggies (Rf 95), grilled salmon with rice noodles and bokchoy (Rf 190) and lastly Thai spicy cuttlefish salad( Rf 50).

The food arrives fast.

The chicken breast is grilled with subtle mustard seasoning, creating a culinary harmony though it is cooked just a tad too long. A contrasting sauce would have completed the dish to perfection, as chicken breasts tend to become dry easily.

The large and chunky French fries and vegetables that arrive next portray the essence of the chef’s rustic style of cooking.

One of the gems of Asian cuisine, Thai cuttlefish salad is the next to go under our knife.

Thai cuisine is famous for its aromatic flavours and subtle aromas, which awaken the senses with the balancing act of sugar and red hot Thai chillis – the yin and yang of Thai food.

Thai spicy cuttlefish salad

Thai spicy cuttlefish salad

The salad was a letdown. It lacked the limy chilli flavor and the fresh tangy kick.

The salmon is served pipping hot and cooked medium rare. It’s cooked to perfection and is easily the best salmon we had tasted in Male’. The salmons’ bright pink center when combined with freshly squeezed lime juice is heavenly. The accompanying rice noodles, bound with sweet chilli sauce and tiny shreds of bokchoy, is a bit bland. This promising dish lacked a bit of punch, and better presentation would have done justice to the salmon.

The highlight of the dining experience was a taste of the creamiest, most flavoursome chocolate ice cream found in Male’. Seagull Café House still has what it takes to retain the crown for making the best Italian ice cream in town.

Seagull Café  House

  • Food 6/10
  • Atmosphere 7/10
  • Service 6/10
  • Price 6/10
  • Overall 6/10

Seagull Café  House is located at Fareedhee Magu. It’s open from 9am to 12am except on Fridays, when it is open from 4pm to 12am.


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

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14 Comments on "Seagull Café House gets a makeover"

  1. Mariyam on Sat, 2nd Jan 2010 3:22 PM 

    I can vouch for the hazlenut milkshake….there’s nothing else like it available in Male’ for sure! However, the service was very very slow on the night I went there! But I am sure it will improve in time! Overall, its still as great as ever!

  2. Ahmed Mohamed on Sat, 2nd Jan 2010 5:02 PM 

    i ordered from the ‘all day breakfast’ on friday, only to be told the all day breakfast isn’t available on Fridays. then i ordered a ‘Greek Salad’ which arrived without the promised feta cheese. Rather, it appeared to be a mix of whatever vegetables the chef happened to have in the kitchen. this lunch was washed down with a revolting cappuccino. they have a long way to go on food… but the renovated building is lovely.

  3. Shaya on Sat, 2nd Jan 2010 6:32 PM 

    My God! What a free advertisement for Sea Gull Cafe House…! This is the kind of stuff I would hope to find in a brochure or something of that kind… Not in “First Independent News in Maldives”

  4. Mariyam Mohamed on Sat, 2nd Jan 2010 8:26 PM 

    “The salad was a letdown. It lacked the limy chilli flavor and the fresh tangy kick”

    that statement made by ” Aishath Shazra and Naby Mariyam ” in this article made me wonder -

    What qualifications or what expertise do they have with food tasting and food decorations. I request Minivan News to let everyone know this information so that they would feel more comfortable knowing that its a qualified and an experienced Chef who knows what the dish “should” taste like.

    Otherwise for gods sake stop this rubbish.

    Please refer to the bottom of the article

  5. mohamed on Sat, 2nd Jan 2010 9:55 PM 

    I enjoy the reading the reviews, please do continue.

    Thanks

  6. Chorey on Sun, 3rd Jan 2010 10:04 AM 

    Its time maldivians stood up for the value they are getting from restaurants. Most maldivians would still accept a milky milo for a milkshake…

    Big fishes like Seagul have a responsiblity to set the standard in the industry so that the small fishes can follow…

    starting a review column is good step more newspapers should follow.
    But I think the review sounds abit diplomatic. It should be more blunt.

    If customers don’t like something, then it is a defect.

  7. abdulla on Sun, 3rd Jan 2010 2:27 PM 

    Shaya my thoughts exactly. This is news worthy? lol. Has Minivan run out of news to publish?

  8. Mohamed Ilham on Sun, 3rd Jan 2010 6:34 PM 

    reviews are good to publsih if you have lots of other news too… minivannews!

  9. Mohamed on Mon, 4th Jan 2010 4:10 AM 

    It is a shame that the reviewers did not notice how ice cream has changed from pre-renovation to post-renovation of Seagull Cafe’. I tried the ice cream a couple of days ago and it was very watery unlike before when chocolate ice cream was really chocolaty. And it was not only me who noticed this and not just for a single flavour. Five others with me observed the same!

  10. ahmed on Mon, 4th Jan 2010 11:37 AM 

    The review article and the scores doesn’t seem to match!

    The service is very slow at seagull.

  11. PM on Mon, 4th Jan 2010 5:56 PM 

    Yes, I agree very much that the icecream is not as nice now as it was pre-renovation. If the Seagull managemeent gets to read this, please can you make improvements ?

    Now we have Agora selling the very good Baskin Robbins (albeit the Indian-made varieties), and of course we can still go to the airport for Mövenpick, where the choc icecream is superb. (I’ve not been to Scoop for a long time, as it used to offer poor value for money, and Fizzes is closed for refurb).

    Also, I cannot believe that the reviewer pays MRf90 for a drink !! That will be you a meal for 2 in many places in Malé ! I have never paid so much for a drink in my life, either in Asia or in the USA or Europe, and hope if will be many years before I am forced to do so ! I can only assume that the reviewer was on an expenses business account, so the prices did not matter … ?

    Finally, Seagull also sell VERY expensive imported water – we paid MRf25 for a 750ml bottle, but will not be doing this again. Please Seagull – start to offer Life & Bonaqua in 500ml bottles for MRf5. Otherwise, you will lose many (local) customers.

    In general though, I like these new food reviews – keep it up, Minivan ! Looking forward to reading about the newish ‘Gourmet’ place, opposite Fantasy Bakery, and of course Aioli.

  12. Emily on Sun, 17th Jan 2010 10:00 AM 

    This is a wonderful initiative. Please keep this column and review more restaurants!

    On another note, I agree with some people above that the ice cream is not as good as it used to be. It is a bit on the watery side.

  13. Ogun on Thu, 18th Feb 2010 7:34 PM 

    Never forget the ice cream of the old Gabbiano in the early 80…..today is artificial color and taste !!!!

  14. Kavitha on Sat, 20th Feb 2010 9:55 AM 

    The renovated restaurant is pleasing. Sadly, the quality of the ice-cream post renovation has been compromised. Keep up with the reviews!


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