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Luncheon with the Fishes: A Deep Review of the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi Maldives Resort

Updated: Apr 26

One of the most spectacular and unique restaurants we have ever had the pleasure of experiencing was the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, in the beautiful Maldives.



Inside the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi Maldives
Inside the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi Maldives


We spent seven heavenly nights in an over-water bungalow (with plunge pool) at Hurawalhi Maldives Resort, a luxury resort with breathtaking views, phenomenal service and an outlandish variety of top-tier food.


Using our anniversary as an excuse, we booked a lunch at the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant. Aptly named, it is the largest, all-glass underwater restaurant, where you dine 5.8 meters below the surface. At the time of booking, there was one set time for a five course lunch at a cost of $225 USD per person, or two set times for a seven course dinner at a cost of $280 USD per person. The cost may seem extravagant, especially if you've opted for an all-inclusive package at Hurawalhi Maldives resort, but this unique and luxury travel experience is worth it.


 

Update March 2024: The 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi Maldives Resort now offers two set times for a five course lunch seating (11:30am and 1:30pm), and one set time for a seven course dinner seating (5:30pm). A lunch seating is $250 USD per person, whereas a dinner seating is $315 USD per person. Guests at the nearby Komandoo Resort and Kuredu Island Resort, can book directly through the website, while other resorts can request seating by contacting the restaurant.

 






Should you Choose Lunch or Dinner at 5.8 Undersea Restaurant?


After reviewing the photos and reviews available online for the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, we opted for lunch. There was a greater clarity through the water, which helped the space look more open, and a greater chance of seeing more fish and underwater creatures during the day. At night, lights were illuminated around the restaurant to create a magical atmosphere, but we were more interested in the corals and fish. The lighting effects of the night-time view is beautiful, but it is difficult to see what swims beyond.


 

TIP: At the time of booking, the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi Maldives Resort offered one lunch seating and two dinner seatings. Today, they offer two lunch seatings and one dinner seating, and we suspect it is for the very reason that we opted for the lunch seating; the spectacular view.

 


The overwater bridge from shore to the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi Maldives
The overwater bridge from shore to the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi Maldives


LUXURY TRAVEL TIP: Want the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant all to yourself? You can book the entire restaurant for a private breakfast, lunch or dinner. To do so, you must contact the Hurawalhi Maldives Resort directly and request further information.



5.8 Undersea Restaurant: How to Reach the Underwater Restaurant


The 5.8 Undersea Restaurant is part of and located on the same island as Hurawalhi Maldives Resort, but guests staying at nearby Kuredu Island Resort and Komandoo Resort, are also able to book directly through the Hurawalhi Maldives website. Note that return transfers from Komandoo Resort ot Kuredu Island Resort to Hurawalhi Maldives Resort is not included in the price, and needs to be paid for at Hurawalhi. Maldives Resort, at a cost of $25 USD per person.


While on the island, to reach the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, we walked along the beach to reach a long, curved bridge. Shaded by solar panels, the bridge stretches over crystal-clear waters to the main entrance of the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant. The concierge greeted us with a delicious welcome cocktail and then entertained us with fun facts as we made our descent to the underwater restaurant. The circular staircase was adorned with windows, allowing us to easily see and measure how quickly we were descending under the water.


If you’re sensitive to it, and we most certainly are, you can feel the pressure building as you descend each step. Your body feels as if it is submerged underwater, but your perplexed eyes remind you that you're dry. A fascinating and unique travel experience that made this a trip of a lifetime.







Once we reached the restaurant level, we were asked to remove our shoes prior to entering the seating area and select a free table. The 5.8 Undersea Restaurant is a barefoot restaurant, and no tables are reserved. The view from inside the restaurant is overwhelming. Eight simple square tables lined the sides of a huge glass dome, a blue rug lined the area between them.




Hurawalhi Maldives Resort

The room was warm, much warmer than we expected, and very open. One of our reservations prior to booking was that the curved sides and shallow roof of the underwater dome would feel claustrophobic, but the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant was wider and taller than we had expected, or envisioned from the photos.


 

TIP: If you suffer from claustrophobia, you shouldn't have any issues sitting in the restaurant, especially during the bright lunch seating. We would recommend dressing in breathable linens and cottons, so to not overheat.

 


The dress code for the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi Maldives Resort is casual, and most guests opted for summer dresses or golf shorts and fancy shorts. Dressing in thin cottons and linens would serve you be best. Though the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant is air conditioned, the warmth increased as more guests arrived. The restaurant was not at full capacity on the day we lunched, but at times it did feel full. The unique shape of the space provided deep acoustics and allowed of voices to travel, making it feel, at times, as if we were dining in a larger and much fuller restaurant.





On either side, no matter where you chose to sit, there were colourful coral reefs and fish within view. We learned that the reefs were created, or rather gardened. The underwater gardeners wanted to create an extension of what already existed in the house reef that surrounded Hurawalhi Maldives Resort.


Some blocks of coral that initially showed little signs of life, were transported to the area around the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, to provide them access to more nutrient-rich waters. Now, they are beaming with life and thriving. We felt transported, small and insignificant inside this giant fish bowl. Read more about how Hurawalhi Maldives created the beautiful reef outside the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant.






 

Note: We only link to products and services that we have either used or would use, all opinions expressed are our own. Some may be affiliate links, with which we may receive a small commission for purchases made.

 

Welcome drinks in hand, we sat at a table on the left, nearest the view, we thought, had the most fish swimming nearby. We were offered a wine menu, but opted against it. Other than the provided welcome cocktails, drinks are not included in the price of the meal, regardless of which option you choose. We had considered wine, but it happened to be a very hot day and coupled with the warmth inside the restaurant, all we were craving was something cold and refreshing.


The 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi Maldives Resort offers special wine pairings with every meal, at an extra cost. For $80 USD for the five course lunch, or $130 USD for the seven course dinner, per person, a sommelier will provide a different wine pairing per course, with detailed explanation.


We were then provided the lunch menu to peruse and select our options. At the time of booking, only one menu was available, with choices available for each course. We had the unique opportunity to test out a new menu, created by the 5.8 Undersea Restaurants Michelin Star chef. After the lunch service, the chef personally came around to each table to thank us for coming and ask our opinions of the dishes.




5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi Maldives Resort, Maldives
5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi Maldives Resort, Maldives


UNIQUE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE: Visiting the submerged 5.8 Undersea Restaurant isn't permitted without a reservation, but if you're not inclined to dine, you can book a mediation session. Hurawalhi Maldives Resort offer 1-hour guided meditation for $95 USD per person, inside the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant space.


5.8 Undersea Restaurant: The Food Choices


At the time of booking, only one menu was available, but there were options for each course, from which each guest was able to choose. In line with the underwater theme, the menu and options were mainly seafood based dishes. Each course was served in a creative underwater theme, on unique dishes with spectacular precision, every detail take into consideration. Words cannot describe the quality of these dishes, quite simply, they were delicious works of art.


 

Update March 2024: The 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi Maldives Resort now offers multiple menu choices for both the lunch and dinner seatings, including the original Seafood Menu, a Meat Menu and a Vegan Menu. Each have options to choose from per course and are all the same price point.

 





We started the meal with the Maldivian Yellowfin Tuna Tartar, served with crispy quid ink and sea foam, on a double glass plate with crushed sand in between. It was beautiful, so much so it felt shameful to bite into it, but was smooth and delicious.


Next, we chose the Hokkaido Scallop, served delicately in a large shell with dollops of accompanying flavour, artistically placed on the plate. The scallop was tender and delicious.


After the appetizers, we were served the Red Mullet, a firm fish bathed in a sweet lobster bisque foam, decorated with squid ink brittle in the shape of fish bones. As tender as the red mullet was, this was our least favourite dish.


We could have opted for the beef or the Canadian Lobster, but of course being Canadians, we had to try it. The lobster was artistically displayed with shells as decoration, and beet and potato mushrooms as flavourful and beautiful accompaniment.


After an outstanding deconstructed Mango Cheesecake dessert, we were surprised with a special anniversary platter of macaroons, chocolates and crème brulé. Stuffed to the brim, we devoured every last morsel, leaving nothing to waste. Even the Happy Anniversary sign was edible. And we ate it.





During the meal service, waiters emerged from the secret room at the end of the restaurant, carrying the beautiful dishes and allowing guests plenty of time to savour each course before returning to remove the plate. In between courses, as each dish was prepared fresh, we took the opportunity to view the corals from every available angle, taking many photos and videos without disturbing the other guests.


At times we arose to view the corals and fish visible on the opposite side of the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, or capture fish swimming above. Only one other couple did the same, as most guests remained in their seats, chatting and taking photos of themselves or the food.




A patron taking photos of the coral reef while inside the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi Maldives, the above water platform visible.
A patron taking photos of the coral reef while inside the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, the above water platform visible.


Lunching at the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi Maldives Resort was a completely unique and magical experience. If you ever have the opportunity, stay at Hurawalhi Maldives Resort or the neighbouring Kuredu Resort or Komandoo Island Resort, and jump at the chance to visit the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant. Lunching with the fishes, and especially staying a Hurawalhi Maldives Resort, made this a trip of a lifetime. You won't regret it.




 

5.8 Undersea Restaurant, Hurawalhi, Maldives

Overall Ranking - 4.5/5


A truly unique and luxurious experience.

The space at the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi Maldives Resort is enough to pull you in, but the quality of the food, the presentation and the spectacularly unique atmosphere will overwhelm you. Opt for lunch over dinner if you wish to be mesmerized by the coral reef. Be sure to wear thin cottons and linens, as the space can get warm. Don't forget your camera or your appetite.

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