Madivaru Restaurant, our a la carte outlet, is a must-do dining experience for guests staying at Veligandu Island Resort & Spa. The fabulous food, coupled with a choice of settings: indoor, alfresco or on the beach, make this an unforgettable way to spend an evening in the Maldives. Chef de Cuisine, Frianto, is the talent behind the culinary creations at Madivaru.
Chef Frianto’s love for cooking came naturally and developed when he was a child; from the age of 12, he helped his mother in the kitchen to prepare dishes for the entire family. He used to wake up early in the morning before school, just to make sure he didn’t miss what his mother would prepare for the day ahead. Since then, cooking became part of Frianto’s daily routine, he was constantly learning, cooking and picking his own ingredients from the garden surrounding the local vineyard.
Frianto’s passion to keep learning and discovering took him to Indonesia, Maldives, Dubai, Brunei Darussalam, Seychelles, Dubai again and back to the Maldives, where he joined us at Veligandu as Chef de Cuisine for Madivaru Restaurant.
A significant point in Chef Frianto’s career was when he joined Burj Al Arab Dubai in 2004 as Senior Chef de Partie, working in Almahara fine dining restaurant together with Michelin star chefs from around the world. During this period, he learned a lot about different cooking techniques and styles, modern presentation, matching different ingredients and collaborating dishes. It was here that his love of creating new fusion dishes blossomed and has continued to shine through in his dishes.
We managed to steal a few moments with Chef Frianto…
What type of fusion food do you create and what is your inspiration?
My love of Asian ingredients combined with Western cooking techniques gives me the freedom to experiment and fuse it into a single dish, or I switch things around to use Western ingredients with Asian cooking techniques. I am happy to share a few dishes which I have created along my journey as a chef:
- Wok Fried Noodle with Seafood, Capers and Italian Basil
- Asian infused Lobster Bisque, Lobster Tempura and Asparagus Salad
- Grilled Chicken Salad on Crispy Indonesian Crackers
- Rare cooked Angus Beef with Massaman Risotto
What is your signature and ‘must-try’ dish and the story behind it?
It has to be Wok Fried Noodle with Seafood, Capers and Italian Basil. In Indonesia and most of Asia, noodles are eaten daily, either for breakfast, lunch or dinner, just like rice. They go well with capers, which will give you the taste of lemons, olives and salty flavours. Italian basil is very aromatic and has a pleasant spicy taste and smell. These all combine into a mouthwatering dish.
How do the restaurant views, al fresco dining and Veligandu’s general topography and ambience contribute to the fusion food?
I would say Veligandu is a unique tropical island resort and Madivaru occupies an amazing location, surrounded by lush vegetation and white sandy beaches, it has a relaxed atmosphere too. We express these qualities in our dishes with tropical produce, balanced, light dishes and unique tastes which most of our guests have never experienced before.
Add Madivaru to your Veligandu holiday itinerary and sample some of Chef Frianto’s fusion creations. Reservations are essential and can be taken up to two hours before the restaurant opens each evening.