Samui Wining & Dining
Something a Little Different

RockPool’s chef leaves the kitchen and gets personal.


wining - dining 18-19Kanda - an interesting word. It has origins in the Native American language meaning ‘magical powers, and in some translations, it means ‘godly, heavenly peace’ but in Thai, it means beloved. So when you’re in a resort with such a name, you know it’s going to be special.

      Tucked away in a quiet bay, Kanda Residences is a five star resort with luxurious, spacious pool villas and superb sea views. Located towards the northern end of the road between Choeng Mon and Chaweng, its Thai and contemporary architecture have been combined to create a perfect combination of East meets West. Throughout the resort and their restaurant, RockPool, you will see handcrafted Thai artworks or paintings beautifully combined with modern furniture or decor.

       Firstly, why is it called RockPool? Well because if it wasn’t for the fact that it was raised up onto wooden decking, you’d be sitting directly on the rocks or in the sea itself! The restaurant has two levels: one higher up that overlooks the pool and lower decking, and the lower level perched on top of the rocks and earning the restaurant its very apt name. You can enjoy unbroken views across the sea during the day time, or enjoy the beautiful moonlit evenings when all the tables have candles, and the restaurant has taken on a more intimate atmosphere.

      You may have read in another of our recent articles, that there is a new Executive Chef at RockPool. Christopher Pierre joined towards the end of 2013, and since then has been bringing his own personal style to the menu.

         RockPool has a great menu with a lot of fresh seafood (handpicked by Chef Chris) and many dishes featuring premium wagyu beef, and lamb from Australia. They’re famous for their oysters which are flown in fresh (on ice and seaweed) from France, Australia, Ireland, Japan and the US, and have a good selection of wines to accompany them. These are of course the main feature of their Sunday ‘Oyster Brunch’.

         But Chef Chris has made some additions that he feels will fit in with the concept of the restaurant itself - relaxed, simple dining, with quality ingredients. For instance, he’s added Croque Monsieur (served with salad and fries) to the lunch menu. Why? Because it’s a nice simple dish and it’s quick and easy to eat. The same goes for the Chicken Caesar Wrap which is served in a roasted garlic tortilla with egg and crispy bacon. Chef Chris wants you to not only enjoy simple, delicious food but he wants it to be quick. He understands that his guests’ time on the island might be short, and they might not want to spend it trying to work through a heavy meal in the afternoon when they want to go swimming or exploring later.

         On the dinner menu he’s added, among others, an ‘Organic Green Leaf Salad’. Now before you turn your nose up, this is no ordinary green salad and is most certainly not just a collection of green leaves. Chef Chris has made sure that not only is this salad totally organic, it is also a wonderful combination of sweet and sour. Different leaves such as rocket and Romaine lettuce create the crunch, and cucumber, bell pepper, radishes, shredded carrot and cherry tomatoes add a touch of sweetness and pepperiness. It’s all topped off with a tangy lime and extra virgin olive oil dressing.

         But RockPool also has something very unique and rather quite special on the menu … Chateaubriand. Well-prepared, it is one of the most tender and tastiest of cuts, second only to filet mignon. Traditionally the dish is served with a reduced white wine and shallot sauce, herb roasted new potatoes and a Béarnaise or mustard sauce. Chef Chris has brought this very special dish to RockPool, and it’s so special, you have to give 24 hours’ notice if you’d like it prepared for you.

         Also on the menu is ‘RockPool Romance’. This ‘to-share’ dish is perfect for anniversaries, birthdays or any special occasion. It’s premium wagyu beef tenderloin (just under 1kg) which is grilled to your specifications (this also requires advance booking). Chef Chris brings it to the table himself and serves you personally. It comes on a wooden platter and has some delicious accompaniments - potato croquettes (slices of potato which have been dipped in herbs, eggs and flour and deep fried until crispy); a deliciously creamy, cheesy cauliflower Mornay; mixed seasonal vegetables, and a few sauces to choose from: morels mushroom, hollandaise, truffle jus and Béarnaise. He’ll carve the meat at your table before serving the ladies first, starting with the meat, then the vegetables and sauces. Then he’ll serve the men, top up your drinks and leave you to your blissful dining.

         But what is so special about this dish isn’t just the fact that it’s prime wagyu beef. No, the special thing is that you have the opportunity to have your table set up away from the other guests and have the executive chef serve you personally.

         Now that’s how to make an occasion extra special, don’t you think?


Colleen Setchell


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