The Food-Focused Bride: Honeymoon Eats Preview

By: Cameron Curtis

While I've had fun planning my wedding and am so looking forward to the big day, I might actually be even more excited to go on my honeymoon. I check out photos of the resorts daily and am constantly day dreaming about the whole experience. In true food-focused fashion, I've been researching all of the eating options available to me while away. Since we decided to do a beach destination rather than a cultural one, I was at first concerned that I wouldn't experience amazing cuisine, but after doing some research, I think I'll definitely add back the 10 pounds I lost for the big day.

We're flying Emirates airlines to Dubai and spending three days in the desert outside of Abu Dhabi before traveling on to spend a week in the Maldives, off of the coast of India. Based on the sample menus from Emirates, I think I'll definitely be able to pass the 13 hours in flight by eating.

Even in economy class (that's us!) the sample dinner menu includes Saffron Couscous Salad, Gulf-Style Fish Curry and Peach Crumble. For breakfast the options range from Chive Scrambled Eggs to the more traditional Chana Masala. I couldn't help but look at the business and first class menus: Meze, Seared Beef, Grilled Lamb and Kebabs are all options on the menus, along with a High Tea service included, as well.

Our first stop after deplaning is the Qasr al Sarab resort, located in the Liwa Desert outside of Abu Dhabi. We can relax by the pool or go for a camel ride. There are a few dining options but I'm really looking forward to trying all of the meze options at the buffet: Fish Kebabs, Spinach Fatayer (a small triangular pie stuffed with spinach) and Cheese Rukak (fried Akkawi cheese).

After a few days in the desert, we'll be spending a week in the Maldives at the Gili Lankanfushi resort. Since the Maldives are made up of very small islands, a lot of items are flown in, making dinner pretty expensive. A key to saving money? Half-board. We'll load up at breakfast and hopefully just need a snack during the day to hold us over until dinner. The island does, however, farm its own organic salad greens, herbs, vegetables and fruit. The main restaurant (pictured above) serves a ton of seafood, including a lot of local seafood items like reef fish and rock lobster. If you give the restaurant advance notice (and I definitely will) you can have traditional curry dishes cooked in a wood-fired oven. The other option for dinner is a fusion Peruvian-Japanese with a sushi bar, and many of the tasting menus feature that evening's catch.

A few other fun food features of the island include an extensive ice cream and sorbet list, complete with flavors I've never encountered before, like Screwpine, a sorbet made from the local Maldivian fruit tree also known as pandanus.

They also have an underground wine cellar, a cheese cave (yay!), a chocolate cave and a deli room. Even though on the main island of Male, where alcohol is forbidden, the resorts are allowed to serve cocktails like the Jungle Tango (light rum, tropical mango, raspberry and fresh young coconut juice) or the Harage (Myers rum, yogurt, mango, lime, brown sugar and strawberry).

Luckily there's a gym on the island and yoga every morning!
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