Ministry of Crab: Chef Dharshan’s Love Letter to the Iconic Sri Lankan Mud Crab

For lovers of fine seafood, the local outpost of renowned Sri Lankan restaurant Ministry of Crab offers the crème de la crème of crustacean delights. Ministry of Crab is a celebration of Sri Lanka’s lagoon crab and has gained popularity worldwide for its ingredient focus and commitment to freshness. Opened in Sri Lanka in December 2011, the now widely acclaimed restaurant is the brainchild of renowned chef-restaurateur Dharshan Munidasa, in partnership with the cricketing legends Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara.

Since then Ministry of Crab has changed the face of Colombo’s culinary scene and put Sri Lanka on the map of world gastronomy, for which it has received due recognition by being ranked among Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants from 2015 – 2020, currently positioned at No.29 on the 2021 list. The restaurant was also voted the S. Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Sri Lanka from 2016 to 2020, an award that is a part of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.

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With international outposts in Shanghai, Manila and Mumbai and Bangkok Ministry of Crab opened its doors in Maldives in October 2019, as part of The Marina @ CROSSROADS, the most comprehensive and ambitious integrated leisure and entertainment development undertaken in the country. Located 15 minutes by speedboat from Velana International Airport and the Maldivian capital of Male, CROSSROADS is a multi-island project developed by the Thailand based real estate developer, Singha Estate Public Company Limited. The first international outpost to be directly owned and managed by the flagship restaurant in Colombo, Ministry of Crab Maldives is housed in a colonial style building on the waterfront facing the beautiful marina providing guests with spectacular views, breath-taking sunsets and the balmy coastal breeze.

The casual fine dining restaurant is designed specifically to resemble its flagship restaurant in Colombo as evidenced by the intricate detail that has gone into creating it, from having similar flooring, to the open kitchen and even the iconic heliconia flower centerpieces which are airfreighted weekly. The interior of the restaurant consists of 48 seats placed around a long table for family style dining, while there are 24 seats outside.

Ministry of Crab Maldives is built on a foundation that prioritizes freshness of its ingredients, and as such the Sri Lankan Lagoon Crab, commonly believed to be the best in the world, are flown in thrice a week to uphold this standard.

“Our oceans, unlike those in many Southeast Asian countries, are clean, and that is why our seafood is simply amazing.” Thus, the crab served at the restaurant is of exceptional quality and taste. They are not only bigger than your average, but they also have both claws intact and are perfectly symmetrical ranging from half kilo right up to the mammoth 2kg Crabzilla!

Chef Dharshan

Ministry of Crab Maldives also adheres to the same strict no-freezer policy as the one in Colombo, as the co-owners strongly believe that freezing ingredients both detracts from the taste and renders redundant the use of its freshness. To ensure that the authentic quality of the food is maintained, the staff here comprises of professionals who were trained under renowned chef and restaurateur Dharshan Munidasa, at Ministry of Crab Colombo and qualified individuals from the Maldives.

Ministry of Crab is committed to showcasing the best of Sri Lanka’s iconic Lagoon Crabs and its majestic King Prawns. Starring these magnificent crustaceans are the signature dishes, Pepper Crab and Garlic Chilli Prawn, which are packed full of flavour with Sri Lankan spices. Other standouts are the Original recipe: Crab Biryani the largest de-shelled crab dish on the menu containing meat of 1.5kg of Mud Crab served with a hand-ground mint sambol, Classic Date and Onion (Malay) pickle , Crab gravy, decadent and creamy Crab Liver Pâté, the Coconut Crème Brûlée, which is a tropical take on the classic delight and the scraped-to-order Pol Sambol (side dish), a traditional Sri Lankan dish and Valhomas Chahan with a deep rooted connection to the Maldives, as it contains dried bonito flakes lovingly referred to as ‘Maldive Fish’ in Sri Lanka.

Ministry of Crab Maldives is open for dinner seven days per week. The price ranges from USD 105 upwards per person depending on the size of the Crab. The restaurant also offers a “Yellow Buggy experience” and “Dhoni experience” to guests looking to elevate their paradise experience. The buggy experience includes a curated pick up/drop off from their resort with a bottle of champagne of their choice and the Dhoni experience is where the guests are given the choice to select the best table in the Maldives(at no additional cost), which is not a table but a Dhoni or a traditional Maldivian Fishing boat set up on the Marina front of the restaurant, where guests can enjoy the picturesque sunset views while indulging in the finest Sri Lankan mud crab and a glass of wine.

To make a reservation, contact Ministry Of Crab via email at, or call +9607412722.

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