The inception of Ministry of Crab is attributed to an episode of Chef Dharshan Munidasa’s TV show “Culinary Journeys with Dharshan”, which featured the Sri Lankan Mud Crab, showcasing how it was sourced in Sri Lanka and exported to Singapore to be made into the famous Singapore Chilli Crab. It was during the course of this shoot that the initial idea of creating a crab restaurant was born, as a culinary homecoming for this majestic crustacean, which had long been more renowned overseas than in Sri Lanka.When brainstorming names for a Crab restaurant in its country of origin, Dharshan felt it was necessary to have a powerful institution-like name; and so, the title, “Ministry of Crab '' was established.
The next step was to find a location fit to house the restaurant and the search began for a “Ministerial” space. It was serendipity that the historic Dutch Hospital building became available as a result of a new refurbishment project of colonial buildings by the Urban Development Authority, as part of the post-war development.
Cricketing legends Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara who were close friends with Dharshan, stepped into partner with him, when he put forth the idea for a restaurant dedicated to seafood, giving flight to their own gastronomic ideals. Their dedication towards bringing the restaurant to life by using it as a platform to pay homage to local produce earned all of them the monikers, “Ministers of Crab ''. Everything came together in December 2011 as Ministry of Crab opened its doors for the first time!
In October 2019, Ministry of Crab Maldives was established as the first directly owned outpost of Ministry of Crab Colombo. It is situated within The Marina @CROSSROADS, an integrated leisure and entertainment hub located just a 15-minute speedboat ride away from the vibrant capital city of Malè and Velena International Airport.
Located amidst the enchanting surroundings of the Kaafu Atoll and Embodhoo Lagoon, CROSSROADS stands as the Maldives largest multi-island lifestyle destination. Developed by S Hotels and Resorts Public Company Limited and Singha Estate Public Company Limited, CROSSROADS is the first man-made island in the Maldives, representing a ground-breaking destination development. Located just 15 minutes by speedboat from Velana International Airport and the Maldivian capital of Male, CROSSROADS is home to two resorts - SAII lagoon Maldives Curio collection by Hilton and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives. Resembling a scenic beachfront town, The Marina @ Crossroads boasts a 30-berth quay along with diverse offerings of upscale and casual dining, fashion retail and spa destinations.
The Marina @ CROSSROADS Maldives, has the distinction of being home to three of our founder Chef Dharshan Munidasa’s restaurants in one location, Ministry of Crab, plating up the legendary Sri Lankan Mud Crab; Nihonbashi Blue, an offshoot of Nihonbashi Sri Lanka, one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants (2013 – 2018) serving real Japanese cuisine; and Carne Diem Grill by Dharshan a steakhouse built around a unique charcoal grill ‘Ignis Maximus’ created by the chef, that operates at a temperature of 750˚C, serving premium cuts of Westholme Wagyu.
All three restaurants offer guests a unique set of experiences, ranging from Champagne Buggy pickups to the Ultimate Surf & Turf, a 3 – hour 3 – restaurant experience. Browse our experiences in our Celebrity Chef-Owned Restaurants Dining Guide.