Fall in love with our story…and our food

“It’ll never happen. It’s just not possible,” they said. And the rest is history. Dreams, Vision, Friendship, Teamwork, Loyalty and Care for Communities


Our story is unique, and so are we!

Nigel Firman and Andrea Brunetti first crossed paths in Milan, Italy, in 1978, where food and hospitality are woven into the very fabric of culture.

Fueled by their shared roots and a deep-seated commitment to great food and genuine hospitality, the duo embarked on various daring adventures in Zanzibar in 2003. 

Years later, Nigel had stumbled upon a breathtaking sight while strolling along beautiful Michamvi beach – a majestic rock emerging from the ocean. Captivated by its stark beauty, it was love at first sight, and he envisioned a little restaurant whose food and hospitality paid the location’s respect it deserved.

Nigel shared his vision with Andrea who shared his passion. The rock was a fisherman’s outpost, and after a lengthy process building strong community relationships , local fishermen were convinced to lease the rock to the duo.

Knowing they needed a restaurant industry professional, they called on their Milan based friend, Claudio Moras whose expertise mirrored their passion.

The Rock Restaurant Zanzibar was born in 2011 — from peeling potatoes on the beach with women from the village to what is now a culinary sanctuary lovingly planned with simple decor out in the Indian Ocean.

The magic of the place, accompanied by delicious dishes, not only enchanted guests’ taste buds, but also spread across the pages of fashion and travel magazines, turning the venue into a dream that everyone wanted to experience.

The need for a full-time manager was filled by Reddy Del Verme, who, enthusiastic about the success of his friends, entered the scene to contribute to maintaining the high standard of excellence.

If The Rock is now an icon on the island, it is also thanks to the collaboration of trusted individuals: Michele, the chef; Sharif and Hamadi, experienced cooks; Beka, head waiter; Donald, cashier; Mkongwe, dishwasher; Henry, trusted waiter; Ali Mpunga, maintenance manager; Jala, supervisor of local staff; our great friend Marc who together with Alice, Nigel’s daughter, manages our marketing and social media; Banchi and Hamis, our boat captains.

A family of talents that has made The Rock a special place.

Amidst the panoramic ocean views, guests can now indulge in a world-class menu prepared with care and sustainable practices, using locally sourced ingredients. Our story of passion lives on in each meal we craft and each guest we host, as we celebrate the essence of Zanzibari cuisine merged with Italian flair and hospitality.

The Rock’s story is not ever complete as our guests so often feel it to be a part of them, and often inspire us.


Unleash island flavours

Our culinary team expertly prepares each dish with locally sourced ingredients, including seafood harvested from the reefs around the restaurant, fish caught daily by local fishermen, and spices from Zanzibar’s spice farms. We combine traditional Italian cooking techniques with innovative twists to showcase the vibrant flavours and aromas of Zanzibari cuisine. Our commitment to sustainability and community involvement guides everything we do, from kitchen to table, ensuring that every special moment we create aligns with our values.


Where dreams come true

We strive to ensure that every aspect of our work leaves a positive imprint. The Rock For Community Foundation is our way of giving back, whether it’s uplifting local communities through sustainable projects or championing environmental stewardship.

Driven by unwavering dedication, our amazing team has transformed The Rock into a beacon of responsible tourism based on values of friendship and perseverance. The result: a place where the magic of dreams is realised. Through your support, we can continue supporting local initiatives, such as learning in schools to teaching local women how to swim and actively engage with the local community.