Just off the shores of the Michanwi Pingwe Beach in south-east Zanzibar is the aptly named restaurant The Rock, built on a former fisherman’s outpost.
It opened five years ago and has been a phenomenal success, ticking all the right boxes – unique location, welcoming staff, informal atmosphere and the freshest seafood imaginable.
There are a number of different ways of reaching the restaurant depending on your time of arrival – low tide reveals a rocky shore to simply stroll from the beach and high tide means a swim or the use of the restaurant’s boat service.
It’s small. Just twelve tables adorn the simple interior, all of which look out over the sea and beach. Step out onto the large terrace for an aperitif under the wide African sky.
As you’ve probably guessed seafood dominates the menu here, most of which is caught just a few metres away in the surrounding ocean. It’s international fare, cooked simply.
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Begin with a tender octopus salad with crunchy cashew nuts, tomatoes and dressed with olive oil. Follow up with a light seafood tagliatelle and then the Rock Special – a seafood smorgasbord of lobster, jumbo prawns, squid and fillets of delicate fish, all cooked over the charcoal grill.
What could be better?