Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives, Introduces Plant-Based Menu and Chef’s Table Experience

May 2022…// Gili Lankanfushi, the pioneer of sustainable, barefoot luxury in the Maldives, is delighted to launch a new plant-based menu and Gili Garden dining experience. The culinary vision of Executive Chef Harinath Govindaraj, the new menu is a celebration of the organic produce grown in the resort’s organic Gili Garden, in which guests can now experience a full Chef’s Table tasting experience.

Committed to the resort’s founding ethos of sustainability, Chef Harinath Govindaraj, known as Chef Hari by guests and hosts on the island, is responsible for growing everything from organic herbs and greens to fruits and edible flowers in the lush Gili Garden. The ever-growing range of produce is showcased within the new menu’s signature dishes, which include ‘Baked Beetroot Carpaccio’ and the ‘Grilled Eggplant Steak and Teriyaki Tofu.’ For those with a sweet tooth, the ‘Flourless Black Bean Brownie’ is sure to delight.

The new plant-based menu is now available to order at the resort’s Kashiveli restaurant and for the ultimate vegan indulgence, guests can book Hari’s intimate Chef’s Table experience, which takes place within the Gili Garden itself. There, they can unwind with a garden-to-glass cocktail in hand while chef creates gastronomic greatness before their eyes.

“I am thrilled to introduce the new plant-based menu at Gili Lankanfushi, which is centered on the glorious Gili Garden. There is often a misconception that vegan and vegetarian cuisine is limited, and I wish to disprove that idea by sharing my knowledge of the endless dishes that can be easily created using plant-based ingredients,” said Chef Harinath Govindaraj. “As a chef, it’s my belief that the garden is not just not a part of the kitchen but the heart of the kitchen and our guests will now be able to not only taste its produce but to dine within its serene and most relaxing beauty.”

Chef Hari has been an instrumental member of the Gili Lankanfushi Maldives culinary team for over 10 years and has matured to lead a skilful band of chefs that have redefined the island’s concept to create a pioneering palette for the modern traveler. Constantly bringing new ideas to the table, Hari is also responsible for Gili’s beloved ‘Full Moon’ six-course dinner, which coincides with the island’s ‘Gili Hour’ initiative, where guests dine by candlelight as all-electric lights are switched off.

Born in southern India, his passion for cooking began at a young age and ever since, his unique culinary style has flourished with a specialist interest in vegan cuisine. Outside of the kitchen, Hari’s commitment to ethical hospitality continues and he spends a lot of his spare time with the resort’s marine biology team, delving into the latest research and conservation efforts both on the island and in surrounding areas.

Gastronomy at Gili Lankanfushi

Gili Lankanfushi’s gastronomic vision harnesses the bounty of the surrounding waters alongside carefully-sourced seasonal ingredients and produce from the resort’s very own organic garden. Three restaurants provide unique culinary experiences while an overwater bar and underground wine cellar offer ample opportunity for refreshments.

Located directly on the beach, Kashiveli serves breakfast and dinner, playing host to a series of themed ‘market experiences’ (the Asian Street Market, Mediterranean Spice Souk, Passage to India and Churrascaria BBQ) on four nights of the week. The rest of the week sees the restaurant serve up the ‘Gili Culinary Journey’, a tantalizing rotating menu of signature dishes taking guests on a gastronomic adventure through nine regions inspired by the heritage and talent of Gili Lankanfushi’s culinary team.

Open five days a week, By the Sea offers delicious Japanese fusion dishes created with local seafood paired with an extensive sake collection and signature cocktails such as the Wasabi Martini. Try the new bento box lunch offering paired with freshly caught sushi and sashimi overlooking a sensational view of the Indian ocean. For a more casual affair, the Overwater Bar’s open kitchen delights guests with a daily-changing trio of dishes and an extensive organic salad bar. For special celebrations, a variety of destination dining experiences await, ranging from secluded, lantern-lit feasts to private sunset cruises with Champagne on ice.

The Gili Garden Chef’s Table Experience at Gili Lankanfushi is available to book from 1st May 2022. Sample recipes available on request.
Nightly rates at Gili Lankanfushi start from £1,070/$1,440, based on two adults sharing a Villa with breakfast included. For more information or to book please visit

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