When Ciaran and I were planning our honeymoon in the Maldives, we came across the magnificent 5.8 Undersea Restaurant on Hurawalhi Island and instantly popped it on our bucket list. The restaurant is the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant that not only has an awe-inspiring atmosphere, but takes you on a culinary journey of gastronomic delights. We knew it would be a very special, once-in-a-lifetime experience that we hoped would become a reality on our honeymoon.
When we arrived at Cocoon, I emailed the restaurant to see if we could arrange a lunch booking and sadly to my dismay, they were fully booked during our entire stay. I asked them to kindly let me know if there were any cancellations and a few days later, an email popped up on my phone and we were in! We quickly made arrangements with Cocoon to hire a speedboat to take us over to Hurawalhi Island.
The day arrived and we headed out to catch the speedboat, but due to technical difficulties with the boat, we missed our lunch booking. To be honest, I was a little disappointed, but figured it just wasn’t meant to be and shook it off! The front of house staff at Cocoon, however, were incredibly accommodating and on our very last night in the Maldives, booked us in to dinner at 5.8. It was impeccable customer service and I was so impressed at how they went to great lengths to rectify the situation and make our dream a reality.
Right before the sun began to set on our very last night in the Maldives, we jumped on the speedboat and jetted off! A very quick 45 minutes later, we arrived at the beautiful Hurawalhi Island, very excited, yet a little windswept, and in true Maldivian fashion, were greeted by members of the staff and taken inside.As we stepped inside the resort, we were kindly given refreshing sparkling wine cocktails as the staff led us down a winding staircase. Meter by meter, we dipped down below sea level and before we knew it, we stepped inside the truly magical restaurant – a glass dome with panoramic views of the ocean and all the marine life you can imagine. The restaurant itself is intimate with 12 tables total. I loved it all. Even the soundtrack that was softly playing in the background was right up my street and really set the tone with old tunes like Call Me Al, Brown Eyed Girl and The Times, They Are a Changin’!
As we took our seats, we took a long look around and unforgettable is the only word I can use to describe the experience. Being surrounded by every imaginable fish variety and ocean life you can dream of was such a truly special experience – we saw clown fish, yellowfin tuna, snappers, parrotfish, lion fish – all floating around us as the sun set. It was one of those pinch-me moments.
Now, I have found that a lot of the time when you are in a stunning setting, the food can fall by the wayside, but not at 5.8. The dinner costs $380 US dollars per person, which includes six decadent courses that are all exquisitely presented.
Ciaran and I toasted to what had been the best three weeks of our lives and our lovely server brought out a beautiful selection of amuse bouche to enjoy before the main dishes.
All of the amuse bouche was spectacular, an amazing foray into what was to come. The fried oyster was most memorable and melted in our mouths.
The most beautifully plump diver scallop with a peach almond vinaigrette and samphire – a stunning dish that was one of my favourites.
Yellow Fin Tuna with cucumber wasabi and sesame ponzu. The wasabi cucumber wasabi foam was spicy and refreshing and tasted delicious with the fresh tuna. Another beautifully presented dish that wowed us bite after bite.
Red Mullet with cauliflower, pine nut and raisin. I had tried Red Mullet for the first time a few weeks prior to this and loved it, but this was beyond expectations. Tender and perfectly cooked.
Angus beef with asian BBQ sauce, corn and onions. It was refreshing to have a bit of meat and the beef was perfectly rare, just the way we like it.
The dessert was incredible – Blueberry cheesecake with pistachio sponge and blueberry ice cream. I was mopping up every last bite on the plate.
And for the grand finale, a black forest macaroon with a Bailey’s coconut praline – decadent and sweet – it was the cherry on top of one of the most incredible dinners of my life to date.
We were joined by a turtle friend as we dined, which was so special because our server had said in the last year, he’s only seen a turtle one time! As the sun set and the sea became darker, hundreds of fish appeared and swam all around the glass dome – it was a spectacular experience seeing so many species of fish. We were in awe the entire dinner.
A lion fish came and perched on the window right next to us – I think they are beautiful!
5.8 Undersea Restaurant was truly a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience that I will never forget. It was the most memorable dinner of my life and it was so incredibly special that Ciaran and I got to experience it on our very last night of honeymoon. I couldn’t think of a more perfect and magical way to end the most incredible three weeks. If you are in the Maldives and at a nearby Island, I highly recommend a visit. I can only sum it up as spectacular and breathtaking – a truly unforgettable experience.
Check out my video below for a glimpse into 5.8! It’s the very first video I’ve made and I really had fun putting it all together. It’s a great memory from our last night in the Maldives. I hope you enjoy!