The appeal of brunch isn’t to be under-estimated; even though this meal hasn’t been with us so long in historical terms – British aristocrats in the late 19th century were the first to tuck into brunches before they became all the rage in the United States in the 1930s. Since then, the lure of brunch has smitten many other parts of the world, and is now popular just about everywhere. Samui, it has to be admitted, is a bit of a newcomer to brunch, but it’s catching up rapidly with the rest of the world. Ideal for holidaymakers and residents alike, brunch-goers on the island have the added bonus of some very beautiful settings and great weather.
On Samui’s north coast, just a few minutes’ drive north out of Chaweng, there’s a wild and undisturbed patch of coast that’s home to RockPool, a prime spot for wining and dining of all kinds. It’s sported a string of talented chefs since it first opened, and thanks to their creativity have you covered for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and everything in between, which naturally includes RockPool’s very successful Sunday Brunch.
RockPool is located at Kanda Pool Villa, a resort that has something of a Mediterranean vibe about it, and the same charming appeal. Once you arrive at the lobby, a buggy will soon be whisking you down towards the restaurant along flowery paths with stone walls that seem to have stepped out of Southern France or Greece. The restaurant itself is
open-air, yet part covered, with the brunch taking place on split-level decking that steps down towards the sea. The backdrop is just right for any meal; you can enjoy the panoramic view of the sea, along with Chaweng to the south, a duo of
rocky headlands just to the north and the enigmatic off-island of Koh Matlang close by.
There’s plenty of breeze coming off the sea, and as often as not the distant sound of waves breaking on the rocks beneath, while there’s plenty of shade provided by a large tree that’s centre stage here as well as awnings and parasols. Seating and ambience are both relaxed whilst being highly contemporary. And no matter which part of the restaurant you choose to sit, it’s a wonderfully romantic place to bring your partner. Meanwhile, every Sunday a long line of temptations awaits diners, all prepared by executive chef, Lisa Lang. She’s from South Africa, but has previously worked in England, and is now in her seventh year as a chef in Thailand. She’s passionate about everything to do with food, but especially seafood and desserts. For the brunch she’s put together an impressive array of favourites, mostly from Europe but also from Asia. The ensemble is a special buffet with live cooking stations and highlights her Mediterranean and Italian influences on classic brunch fare. Lisa looks to best quality local ingredients to keep her cuisine at the highest level.
Since RockPool is known for its seafood, you’ll find plenty on offer, and it’s recommended that you try the excellent Fine-de-Claire oysters before you do anything else; they’ve been specially flown in from France. The brunch varies according to
what’s best and freshest, so the fare can vary depending on the season. There are a trio of cooking stations; for pasta, for eggs, and for salad. At each station there’s a choice of dishes on offer (they’re different every Sunday), but generally speaking you can always expect favourites such as spaghetti carbonara, a Caesar salad and omelette – or something similar. The various salads are refreshing and crisp, offering a sophisticated combination of flavours and textures. Whatever’s on offer, you can count on it to be yummy. Then there are breads to accompany the dishes or to nibble alongside the various cold cuts and grilled vegetables on display.
Diners aren’t just limited to Mediterranean fare. You’ll also find South-American style ceviche and Japanese sushi, complete with wasabi, pickled ginger and exactly the right soy sauce for dipping. There’s always a curry too, something that’ll provide sustenance for those who like things a little spicy.
Dessert decadently comes in the form of shot glasses filled with mixes of fruit, fondant chocolate and cream, or perfectly made fruit tartlets. You’ll find it hard to hold back on them, but of course you can come back for as many more as you want. Alternatively, you can feast on fresh tropical fruits to your heart’s content.
The Sunday Brunch is a deliciously long, languid affair – from midday to 4:00 pm. During that time there’s live guitar and singing from a talented duo, ‘The North Wind’ who provide the most laid-back mood music with softly-sung, easy-listening
versions of classics and so on.
Many guests bring their children with them, and the brunch is free for children under six years of age, and half price if between six and twelve. There’s also a Kids’ Club at Kanda, providing daily activities. Then there are the nearby swimming
pools which children and adults alike are allowed to use. For residents who live on Samui, an extra draw exists: they receive a generous 15% discount.
When it comes to drinks there are also two options. You can choose two hours free-flow of chilled fruit juices, soft drinks and tea and coffee. Alternatively, you may wish to opt for two hours of free flow sake iced tea, sake mojito or RockPool’s very own mai tai. This latter option also includes local beers, sparkling wine, red and white wine from Australia, and tea and coffee. No matter if you miss out on brunch, you can come to RockPool for lunch, dinner or every day happy hours from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, and you’ll be sure to enjoy the wonderful choice of signature cocktails and dishes.
A lot of care and attention has gone into everything at RockPool in order for guests to experience complete delight. With a cachet for excellent fine dining and beautiful views, a visit to this contemporary restaurant is highly recommended.
For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7723 4500 or 0 7795 3161.