With the unveiling of the first Maldivian cuisine fine dining restaurant in The Marina at Crossroad Maldives, the brand 'Kalhu Odi' was launched last Friday.
The name, in local Dhivehi language, translates to "black vessel", indicative of the traditional Maldivian sea boats.
Kalhu Odi described, in a press release publicized over the weekend, that the main purpose of establishing a fine-dining restaurant featuring local cuisine was to allow visitors to experience "the rich taste from our islands, it’s culture, depth of oceans and vast tropical nature" through authentic Maldivian tastes.
Inspiration for the restaurant's concept was drawn from the folktale of 'Dhon-Hiyala and Alifulhu', the two protagonists featured in 'Burunee Raivaru' - a 600-year-old epic about two star-crossed lovers who, in their devotion, attempt to defy a tyrannical king.
Per the story, 'Kalhu Odi' is the strongest vessel built at the time, made of black coral obtained from the depths of the ocean through many a spell and ritual.
Stronger and faster than the king's boat, Kalhu Odi bears Alifulhu, a humble sailor, to Dhon-Hiyala, a renowned beauty, awaiting him in the island of Buruni where he rescues her from the king's grasp.
The Kalhu Odi Restaurant is designed to showcase the rich culture and traditions of Maldives in a manner that both engages visitors and familiarises them with various aspects about the island nation and its history.
In addition, the restaurant celebrates Maldivian artists, providing a platform to feature their work. In particular, Kalhu Odi noted local talent Lonufen Studio, whose digital artworks on Dhon-Hiyala and Alifulhu are featured on the restaurant's social media platforms.
The Kalhu Odi Restaurant is scheduled to be officially opened by the end of 2020.
The Marina at Crossroads Maldives is the first of its kind multi-island integrated leisure destination in the Maldives. It is located 15 minutes away from the capital Malé City in Emboodhoo Lagoon, Kaafu Atoll.