Joali, Maldives has released details on its culinary programme including a new Levant restaurant, chef collaborations and Director of F&B appointment.

Completing the resort’s culinary offering, which comprises five restaurants and one private interactive kitchen and dining room, Joali has announced the launch of TUH’U restaurant.

TUH’U serves Levant cuisine, inspired by the resort’s Turkish influence and owner, Esin Gural Argat. The name TUH’U originates from one of the world’s oldest Levant recipes, dating back to 3000BC, and today remains a popular beetroot-based dish in modern Western Asia.

Menu highlights include cucumber and zucchini salad with raisins, walnut, yoghurt and bulgur wheat; cumin lemon chicken with a lentil and wild black rice mix and herb salad; a selection of gourmet Persian kebabs; and Syrian slow-cooked leg of lamb with plum sauce and fresh mint.

The resort has also announced a number of chef partnerships including the addition of Michelin-starred chef Theodor Falser as an Italian Food Consultant. Falser, who first visited Joali in February 2020 as part of a visiting-chef culinary arts prograamme, will share his expertise and help create a new menu at Bellini’s restaurant.

Chef Falser will be using the Maldives’ flavours of the ocean as ingredients for his Italian-inspired dishes, working only with local ingredients to transport guests on a culinary journey through nature. His goal at Bellini’s is to enlighten guests’ taste-buds with locally sourced dishes while creating memories at the immersive art and design resort.

Meanwhile, Joali has also partnered with award-winning chef Hidemasa Yamamoto to oversee its Saoke restaurant. Japanese-born and French and Italian-trained, Chef Yamamoto is the chef behind Hide Yamamoto restaurant in Singapore.

With multiple culinary awards and accolades attached to his name, Yamamoto holds the distinction of serving numerous presidents in the Jockey Club at the Washington’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel. He has also spent time in the kitchens of the Roger Verge in Province, Chez Nous Hama located in San Francisco, and in 2021 he opened Hide Yamamoto in Marina Bay Sands Casino and Hotel, Singapore.

The new menus at Saoke will mirror the dishes at Yamamoto’s restaurant in Singapore, which features signature creations including handmade soba noodles topped with American Imperial Sevruga Caviar; miso and yuzu-marinated foie gras; and truffle egg flan with sea urchin and snow crab.

Rounding off the resort’s latest culinary developments, Mark Hibbett has been announced as the new Director of F&B. In his role, Hibbett will be responsible for leading all food and beverage operations at Joali’s restaurants, drawing on more than 20 years’ of experience in hospitality, food and beverage focused leadership. Stuart has previously worked with Maldives resorts including Six Senses Laamu; Constance Moofushi Resort; Anantara Kihavah Villas; and Raffles Maldives Meradhoo.