The Rock—Zanzibar’s Trump Card on Social Media
The trip to Zanzibar cannot be completed without visiting their famous restaurant, the Rock, aptly named because of being located on a floating rock and wrapped by sea on all sides.
Even our inflight entertainment display had the Rock as its screensaver. So, after all this, we looked forward to the stop-over with much anticipation and curiosity; and I am pleased to declare we were not disappointed.
The site was as picturesque and stunning as the photos, if not more.
As this place is highly popular with the tourists and features a top priority in many itineraries, it is recommended to make a reservation.
I was told by the hotel concierge that sometimes people made the bookings on the day of arrival itself for fear of missing out. Many adjusted their itineraries according to the restaurant booking.
The Rock restaurant is situated in Michamvi’s Pingwe Beach amid the Indian Ocean. The beach is idyllic, with a languorous expanse of pristine white sand and crystalline stones.
The restaurant is jutting out of the sea from a vast, variegated rock.
During low tide, the sea withdraws, and the seabed offers its delights to the visitors—the corals, rocks, and seaweed are put out to display. At this juncture, one can walk to the restaurant with shoes in hand and feet patted by blue waters and grainy white sand.
However, during high tide, the whole scenario changes. The ocean surges into beautiful teal and turquoise hues; one can only access the restaurant by boat.
Fret not; the Rock offers a traditional fisherman-style canoe to its visitors, multiplying its appeal many times over. Enjoy the traditional boat ride to the restaurant.
We went around lunchtime and came back around two hours later; high tide with its incredible panoramic sceneries greeted us at both times.
A Masai and a miniature replica of the restaurant welcome you aboard.
African style artwork with canvases depicting the Rock at multiple seasons is mounted along the walls. We were seated indoors; however, the restaurant’s crowning glory is the outdoor deck.
Nothing is comparable to savoring a meal with a generous helping of salty gale and scenic all-embracing sights of the Indian Ocean. The dhows and sail boat traversing the breadth of the sea look even more striking when you are standing in the middle of the ocean. Take a peek at the interiors and the stunning vista.
The food and the service
The Rock is primarily famous for its seafood platter with a Master-chef style presentation. As a vegetarian, I had expected little from the restaurant, as most places offer a limited selection. However, the Rock stocked quite a few options to satisfy a vegetarian’s fancy.
Not only that.
It included a curry with naan bread and basmati rice for the Indian traveler. No wonder I could hear Hindi chumming with other languages before dissolving into the jaunty waves of the ocean.
We went for beetroot gnocchi and cheese ravioli pasta, iced coffees, and deserts. Somehow places like the Rock, with immense social media following, fall short on the food and taste. But never on the prices. The charges are almost always premium.
The dictum held true for the Rock, albeit with minor variations.
The vegetarian grub was were just about okay, but I am not complaining. The breathtaking panorama more than made up for it.
Suppose you prefer to go easy on the pocket. In that case, you can still bask in the wondrous beauty of the Rock by ordering a few drinks and chilling on the patio with enchanting pearly blue waters for company.
A meal at a nearby restaurant on the beach would probably come at one-third of the cost.
Exploring the Pingwe Beach
After capturing the gorgeous photos of the Rock, we sat around the beach to take in the serene beauty of the sky drifting into the sea’s fervent embrace. The kids kept busy fashioning sandcastles with the milky-white sand.
The tourists staying at nearby properties enjoyed watersports- canoeing, paddle boarding, and kayaking in the shimmering waters. The overall atmosphere was joyous, calm, and enchanting, all at the same time.
A group of local children hung out selling sea shells and corals; the selling prices were nothing compared to what we had just spent at the restaurant for a single meal. And that made the polarity that forms the bedrock of Zanzibar all the more jarring.
Do I Recommend the Rock?
The sea food aficionado would appreciate the delicacies on offer. However, even if you are a vegetarian like me, the spectacular vista would seduce your senses and leave you asking for more!
You can check out my other posts about this beautiful country: