Alba is the open air all day dining destination at The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort. Designed in a pleasantly modern Mediterranean style, the high ceilings, comfortable indoor and outdoor seating all add to a relaxed experience. Having had a breakfast buffet in my time across various luxury hotels, nothing could prepare me for the incredible selection at the venue on my first morning.
Buffet stocked with dishes across multiple cuisines? Check.
Selection of fresh pastries? Check.
Freshly mixed Blood Mary’s? Check.
How about mimosas? Check. (Or just prosecco — because, y’know, you’re on holiday).
Insane ala carte menu? Also available.
Given the sheer number of choices, I sincerely struggled to make a commitment on my first day. I finally decided on the Maldivian Eggs Benedict (English muffins topped with Yellowfish Tuna, Hollandaise infused coconut curry – ! – and soft shell crab tempura) and wasn’t disappointed. After all, with a bit of yolk porn and some divine sauce, there wasn’t much to improve on. The next day, I simply had to choose from the ‘Vommulicious Luxury Sensations’ portion of the menu and opted for the Waffle & Duck Leg Confit (served with Fried Egg, Golden Mustard, Maple Syrup, Fresh Rasberry, and Edible Flowers). And I thought it would be rude not to enjoy a Bloody Mary. 🙂 For my second outing, I might have added a touch more syrup over the waffles, and perhaps a tiny amount more flavor or salt to the duck leg. Overall, however, with views of the picturesque Indian Ocean in front of me, Alba was an incredible place to enjoy for breakfast (and a big step above my regular apple or oatmeal).
Dinner at the venue was a bit of a different experience. While there was almost as much choice as the morning, there was (in my opinion) quite a complicated collection of ingredients. Maybe it’s just me, but on holiday I prefer to do as little thinking as possible. 🙂 Of course, I think my impression is partially based on my orders (as my dining partner made better decisions from the menu than I did). To start, I had an enjoyable Lobster Salad, which was perhaps a bit complicated in its construction and not as heavily dressed with its Pomegranate and Raspberry sauce as I would have preferred, but I did enjoy the overall freshness. Across the table, I looked fondly at the stunningly plated Beef Carpaccio. With the addition of Crispy Ricotta and Black Truffle Ravioli and Quail Eggs, round one went easily to Zoe.
For mains, Zoe narrowed in on the 36 Hour Sous Vide Suckling Pig (who wouldn’t, really?). I was feeling full from the snacks with our sundowners (and the delicious pizza at lunch), so, after looking at the Squid Ink Tagliatelle, decided to opt for the Wild Mushroom Ravioli (served with sauteed morels, black truffle thyme, hazelnut butter, and porcini oil). While I thought I would receive a plate of pasta, what I got was a different sort of interpretation (gyoza? dumpling? You make the call!). Perhaps a bit mushroom forward in its taste, I was still happy to enjoy one of the many vegetarian options available (of which there are plenty across the resort). In addition to the tender pork, Zoe’s plate included braised red cabbage, glazed baby carrots, macadamia mashed potatoes, teriyaki eucalyptus flower, and honey jus.
Before we moved on to dessert, we spoke at length with the sommelier discussing our preference between a Rose and a Chardonnay. I was impressed how he worked with us (even allowing a quick taste from one of the open bottles) to determine the best fit for our palates. We were delighted with the buttery white he chose for us, and it was a truly successful pairing. Thus, with crisply cold wine in hand, we reviewed the dessert selections. I wanted to try the Coconut & Lime Mascarpone Chibost (mostly because I was fascinated to come across a style of sweet I’d never heard of previously — click here for the definition), while Zoe opted for the White Chocolate Carrot Cake (served with cream cheese icing!). My plate was served in a bright shade of green, and was missing the as promised Chorizo Chocolate drops (not that I think the dish needed them). Overall, we returned to our villa happy and full (even if, again, we were the last people in the restaurant — oops!).
The breakfast at Alba might be among the best in the world. I’m not kidding. With views of the picturesque beach and selections for days, it’s a fantastic way to start one’s day.
Where’s the best breakfast you’ve ever had on holiday?
A to Za’atar was a guest of The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli resort. Opinions are my own, just ask my husband.