It’s no understatement to say that diners in Auckland are spoilt for choice when it comes to excellent restaurants. In fact, it’s hard to keep up with the growing list of hip, new ‘must-try’ eateries springing up all over the city. But amongst the noise and hype of Auckland’s exploding dining scene, one local establishment has been doing what it’s always done: providing a top-notch dining experience in a world-class venue.
Since the early 1980s, Sails Restaurant has been delighting diners with its award-winning menu and iconic view of the yachts moored at Westhaven Marina. Part of Sails’ ongoing success lies in its ability to keep its offering fresh and relevant, without frightening off its many loyal regulars. Sails is doing it again, with a revamped interior, a new menu and style.
Sails’ owner Bart Littlejohn says the new menu is following current dining trends, where starters can be shared amongst a group while mains will stay as single dishes. Sails is firmly focussed on a wide variety of seafood, and by popular demand we have introduced a range of premium beef cuts, and vegetarian options too.
Sails head chef, Jason Blackie says the Sails emphasis on premium ingredients is one thing that will never change. “When dealing with quality produce the less you do to it, the better. Don’t change the flavour, rather enhance and complement it.”
The Littlejohn family purchased Sails in 1991 and the restaurant has been a family-run establishment ever since, with Bart Littlejohn at the helm. The Littlejohns are one of New Zealand’s leading restaurant families — Bart’s parents Phillip and Valerie owned Wellington fine-dining institution Orsinis, where Bart learned the ropes as an apprentice at 16. He went on to work at famous restaurants and hotels in Sydney and Auckland (including a stint managing Bell House for his friend Simon Gault), and five years in London. Today, three generations of Littlejohn’s are involved in running Sails. Matriarch Valerie is still very much a part of the business and Bart’s teenaged twin sons also work there part-time.
Longevity is a theme at Sails, with a number of key staff about to enter their third decade. Managers Gerard Mooney, Justin Green as well as head chef Jason Blackie have all been on board for around 20 years.
With the new design, location, and a la carte style menu, Sails is now also the number one venue to have a function in Auckland.
For reservations sails is operating a live online booking system with an immediate confirmation at www.sailsrestaurant.co.nz or give them a call on 09 3789890 Westhaven Drive Westhaven Marina.