Samui Wining & Dining

RockPool at Kanda Pool Villas is the perfect setting for Mediterranean cuisine and much more.

RockPool at Kanda Pool Villas is the perfect setting for Mediterranean cuisine and much more.Design-wise, the bold indoor/outdoor concept of RockPool, the restaurant at Kanda Pool Villas, isn’t quite what you would expect of most seaside restaurants. There’s a canopy instead of a ceiling, and outside a series of decks stepping away towards the sea. The setting is a delightfully open one, though with ample shade. RockPool is set on hills – it’s a few kilometres continuing up Chaweng’s beach road towards Choeng Mon – and is perched above the ocean, making for great views. Beyond its cinematographic charms, RockPool has a welldeserved reputation for excellent food. It’s just the place to come and linger for hours, completely undisturbed by the crowds and noise of Chaweng – those few kilometres of separation make all the difference.


Expect a warm greeting when you walk in; the staff are friendly and extremely professional. The atmosphere is a relaxed one where cares about the world slip away without effort. RockPool is run by talented Executive Chef, Lisa Lang, who grew up in South Africa and who has a cosmopolitan approach when it comes to food and drink. She’s put together a nicely balanced selection of dishes that dovetail with the laidback atmosphere at RockPool. It’s decidedly Mediterranean though features many Thai dishes – this is a casual all day dining menu at its very best, with light, fresh cuisine ideal for the long, summery days that Samui provides so generously. 


For a relaxed lunch try any of the range of starters, such as chilli orange wings or bruschetta before moving on to mains such as pizzas, pasta, burgers and Fine-de-Claire oysters as well as a range of regional Thai cuisine. RockPool incidentally has its very own pizza oven in order to re-create the authentic tastes of Italy, with many of the ingredients imported from there.RockPool at Kanda Pool Villas is the perfect setting for Mediterranean cuisine and much more. Meats, such as lamb or steaks are brought in from Australia, and are grilled to perfection. 


If you’re at RockPool for dinner you can dine on an even wider range of food, with epicurean starters such as a goat’s cheese delight, warm French “bûches de chèvre” cheese, honey, pumpkin seeds, mixed leaves or the sheer simplicity of a hummus dip. 


There is so much on the menu that it’s hard to settle on even a few recommendations. Carnivores will love, for example, the delicious rack of lamb or the grilled rib-eye steak. The latter’s Australian Black Angus with mushroom sauce and roasted, fried and pickled mushrooms. However, if you’re more into fish, you could opt for the excellent sea bass in tomato purée, tomato confit, green peppercorn, black olive powder. On the Thai side you may wish to order some perfectly prepared seafood such as Pla Yang (snapper fillet, with plenty of fresh Thai herbs, the ensemble being steamed while wrapped in banana leaves). Equally recommended is the Patcha Talay (wok fried prawns, seabass, squid, clams, green peppercorn, onion, garlic, chilli and hot basil). You can also enjoy generous seafood sets that are designed to spoil you; you’ll be served two lobsters, along with prawn, squid, crab and a fresh fruit platter to end. It’s best to order a day in advance.RockPool at Kanda Pool Villas is the perfect setting for Mediterranean cuisine and much more. The cost for two people is 4,900 Baht ++. 


RockPool naturally has a range of food that’s entirely suitable for vegetarians and, in addition, they can cater for dietary restrictions and food allergies. 


There are also some special offers every week which are proving highly popular. On Wednesdays, from midday to 7:00 pm, enjoy the Beer & Pizza special, whereby you can partake in a delicious wood fired pizza and six local beers for only 690 Baht ++. 


Mo’ Mojitos is held every Saturday from midday to 7:00 pm and features various different flavoured mojito jugs along with crispy fried calamari for 490 Baht ++, just about the ideal combination to enjoy while looking out over the bay here. 


Come for Sunday Brunch (midday till 4:00 pm, held on the first Sunday of each month) and enjoy an array of the finest seafood, and roast meats of various kinds with chicken, lamb and beef carefully prepared to satisfy diners’ individual tastes. There are also live cooking stations, along with a range of cheeses and antipasti and a line-up of desserts. Pricing depends on the beverage option that you choose; there are price tiers for soft drinks, wine, beer, or cocktails. 


RockPool is an extraordinarily beautiful restaurant, with menus that are teeming with goodies; it’s a great place to come whether you’re with your family or are just spending time with a loved one. As an added perk, RockPool offers a daily happy hour between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm – it’s a top destination for a seaside sundowner.


 Dimitri Waring


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