Let’s be honest here. Just the name of the restaurant made me determined to like it. Named after the captain of the fishing dhoni, ‘The Keyolhu’ conjures up images of the sea. Images which are reflected in the décor, beautifully done up with anchors, boat wheels and fishing nets. Not to mention the impressive skull of a whale propped up outside.
Although it was nice and cool inside, the array of herbs and other plants they had growing outside kept us interested, and being in a slightly quieter area, we could not pass up the opportunity to spend some time under coconut palms. Which meant that, when it arrived, their lime juice was perfect, the ideal sour and very cold drink for the hot hot day.
It being The Keyolhu, we of course had to order a fish dish, opting for the Freshly Caught Reef Fish on the grill, with spicy salsa and tartar sauce. I am normally not a fan of local grilled fish with chilli, so this was a pleasant surprise. The fish was lovely, moist and flaky, and it being quite a large portion I didn’t need any sides to go with it. We also tried the Steamed Chicken Schnitzel with vegetables, which turned out to be flavorsome and went well with the broccoli and cauliflower in a light broth. But if you are hungry, I would recommend any of the extras they offer, such as Potato baked with rosemary, Grilled vegetables, or Rice with Butter Herbs.
Desserts did not disappoint either, both the Fruit Salad in Waffle bowl and the Chocolate Panna Cotta with fruits were finished off despite protests of being too full.
Located near the northern end of the east beach of Hulhumale, the restaurant has been making something of an impact with its mainly European / Mediterranean cuisine being a bit different from other eateries on that stretch by the beach. The prices are above average but the food is well worth it, as is the friendly service.
The Keyolhu offers pizzas, salads and pastas, in addition to varied breakfast dishes, but for me, the ideal meal there is a late lunch when it is not busy, and you just want to chat with friends in a cool, comfortable and very welcoming place.
Words by Fasah Ahmed
Photos by Fasah Ahmed & Nashwa Saeed