Date nights calls for an out-of-the-ordinary experience, often enjoyed with a delightful dinner spread. Some of us thrive in the buzzing and ever-growing city scene while others are in search of a modest moment or just an intimate setting wrapping just the two. Luckily, we can find more than a few ideal date night spots in Malé and Hulhumalé, promising a variety of ambiances.
Sala Thai has been my all-time favorite for many reasons. Without a doubt, the food is exceptional and the service is beyond pleasant with an affable team of employees. As Maldivians, we generally tend to gravitate towards Southeast Asian cuisine.
As soon as I walk in, I’m always greeted by an alluring outdoor setting. The indoor dining areas are sectioned off into different rooms but they all hold a similar mood. The staff has always accommodated my date and I where we’re most comfortable. We share a plate of Chicken Satay sticks while we wait for our mains and on occasion, we might order a seafood Tom Yum soup and have a crack at the crab shell. Their seafood Pad Thai is our favorite and at least one of us will always order it. The papaya salad never fails to complement our main dishes whether it’s a Pad Thai or sticky rice with Thai Green Curry. Overall, I enjoy my dates at Sala Thai because the service and setting is nothing short of pleasant.
Bread Matters, Platinum
Bread Matters Platinum is located on the far edge of Hulhumalé. Sometimes, a hassle to go if you consider the busy traffic but otherwise, a great spot tucked away by the Platinum Residences.
The staff are bubbly and energetic throughout the day. They are quick to present you the menu and take your order while accommodating anything else you might need. Outdoor seating is charming for the night while it may not be ideal on a hot afternoon.
Not necessarily falling into the category of ‘Date Night Spots’ because my date wasn’t always at night, however, fortunately for me, breakfast dates are a thing! Their breakfast menu has range but more importantly, it has my favorite breakfast food: Eggs Benedict with salmon served with a green salad and I always ask for extra Hollandaise sauce. On the other hand, my date fancies the Maldivian breakfast with a fried egg – instead of the scrambled eggs – and the staff meets his requests while I steal sausages off his plate. Their beverage menu is a lengthy list that always has what I’m looking for at any given time. For breakfast, I go for a classic OJ or an iced latte.
Of course, Bread Matters is suitable for an actual date night at night time! They have thin-crust pizzas and pasta options with an array of flavors for when I’m struggling to decide on trying something new. The staff always made sure we left happy with everything and the food is consistently delightful.
Azur, Hotel Jen
Azur boasts an incredible rooftop view facing North alongside a pool. The outdoor area is breezy with features distinctive from other rooftop restaurants in Malé. Meanwhile a similar character runs through the indoor area as you are cut off from the breeze and the deep humming of the distant traffic below but the view stays, framed by a constant row of windows.
The dinner menu includes some of my seafood favorites like calamari and tuna steak. However, on most date nights at Azur, I order a Sparkling Sunrise which is a mocktail with pomegranate, mint and lime while my date tends to go for an Americano. We lounge by the pool, uninterrupted, watching the sky change colors throughout the sunset.
For dinner, we sit indoors where the tables are well-lit and the staff are very attentive. We both opted to have simple but delicious tuna steaks with a salad – a wholesome meal matching the views.
Generally, on dates, I try to go for food options that aren’t too filling, though, this has proven to be impossible since the places I choose for dinner – or breakfast – are places where I enjoy the service, the food and the overall experience we have.
Words by Yasmine Saleem