Reviews for Sails
16 days ago
Hubby and I visited recently and were blown away by the food and service. We ordered the Crayfish Broth (soup of the day) and Beef Carpaccio to start. The broth had very intense flavours and had plump morsels of prawns and scallop while the carpaccio was melt-in-the mouth thin with a nice saltiness from the capers and parmesan.
The forest mushroom risotto was the highlight of the Free Range Chicken dish but the best dish of the night had to be the Hawkes Bay Lamb. The lamb was very tender and the roast vegetable accompaniments were executed superbly.
We enjoyed our window view very much and our waiter was nothing but attentive throughout the night.
by Seth Blissworth Baguion
23 days ago
Tried the tasting menu here and it was quite nice. Most of the dishes had a nice mix of flavours. And all 8 had exquisite presentation and were full of flavour. The service was excellent too. Very friendly staff. Lovely view as well.
by Fraser Collins
one month ago
We dined here last week, the first time in several Years. The restaurant has been made over and now justifies the amazing location. The food was superb, I couldn't fault anything and would recommend it highly for a seafood experience. On a fine day with the windows open to the marina it would be hard to find a better spot in Auckland
one month ago
This place is heaven. I looove seafood and we went for a special occasion and I was not disappointed. We ordered almost everything off the menu and I loved tasting every bit of it all!! The setting is beautiful and the mood is very elegant. I love this place.
2 months ago
Attentive staff, lovely food, stylish decor & a great location. Only fault was one of my favourite drink beverages The Bellini was not very good here.. not enjoyable so bit of a let down considering it's $30 per glass.
by Maryana Hamilton
2 months ago
Beautiful setting, probably the best in Auckland! Elegant, delicious food, very well-presented. If the service had been to the same standard, they would've got a 5/5. As it was, both times we've been the service was lacklustre. Too many waiters hovering around when you don't need them, and then nobody comes for ages when you do, even though you're giving off very clear signals. The whole evening seemed to be a money-making exercise to them, from trying to get us to buy drinks before we'd seen the food menu at all, to adding on charges for bread we didn't have onto the bill and providing no apology. There are restaurants in Auckland where you feel like the staff genuinely want to create a pleasurable and memorable experience for you - Sails is not one of them yet. While some of it's individual elements are very good, Sails still has a way to go before it becomes truly great.
by Tony Frost
2 months ago
This review has taken three attempts to try to get right. Its not because of the food because its just lovely. Its not about the place itself with its great views of Auckland harbour Its not about the service which was great. It honestly was the mixed response from the staff. On one hand the waiter was cold and passionless to deal with. I'd almost say he looked down on us.Apsolutely no personal interaction at all. I was looking for a meal he was personally passionate and enthused about but got a negative response. This might be me but I need to feel the passion for their product from the staff. On the exact opposite extreme the wine steward he demonstrated a wealth of knowledge of wines and wine matches that I haven't experienced in a few years. He even appreciated where this "philistine" was coming from and served a wine that was EXACTLY the taste/match I was looking for.most important though was his passion for his product. heck I can't report badly on the place. I just didn't get the welcolm feeling I hoped for. In a nutshell we for the first time in several years got the feeling we were seen as not good enough to be in an eaterie. -sad really.
3 months ago
Seven-course tasting menu (Grabone voucher). 7 delicious dishes in small portions ^o^ the duck dish was exceptional < great food wonderful service, everything was divine!
by Kevin Woniacki
3 months ago
I would not set foot inside this snotty "fine-dining" wannabe.
Called to make a booking and I said that my 2 year-old child will be accompanying us.
This was what I was told over the phone and I quote verbatim: "We do not appreciate children in our restaurant. People do not realise that ours is an upmarket establishment and we cannot have children running around. We have been getting a lot more bookings from Grabone and these people (read: riff-raff) bring their whole family and spoil the ambience".
Well, you can stuff your ambience up your proverbial.
by Dee Whitby
3 months ago
What a let down New Year's Eve dinner turned out to be at Sails. We have previously enjoyed two wonderful NYE experiences at Sails and were looking forward to returning. The food as usual was delicious and exquisitely presented. However, they were clearly determined to serve us the courses as quickly as possible and did not seem impressed when we asked them to slow it down. The service was so bad it got to the unbelievable point. Was seated upon arrival by a sullen manager (?), offered the bubbles served with the dinner and when we asked for matching wines for the degustation menu he said "we are not doing that tonight but I will get someone to advise you". A wine list was provided and then from then on no service for drinks unless we called for it, no waiter designated to the table and we only managed to catch the sommelier when he walked by during dessert. He was apologetic and had not been told we were seeking wine recommendations. Overheard two other guests complaining about the rushed food and poor service so we decided to mention that we were disappointed with the service (we are not usually complaining types) but no improvement. In general the service gave no impression of a special night and there was a general demeanor of not being impressed at having to work. My advice to anyone wanting a special occasion dinner - don't risk it - for the money you can get better in Auckland.
4 months ago
Sails Restaurant really captures the essence of Auckland is – from the name, to the gorgeous panoramic view of the Auckland Harbour, and it wouldn't be complete without a nod of approval for the food.
I couldn't get enough of the cauliflower soup - the photo was taken before I sank my hungry fangs into it so the crumbed scallops was really teaser for everything ahead.
I really would've thought the salt and pepper squid dish as a shared platter rather than an elegant entree dish. Why? There was too much salt! I found myself downing glasses of water half way through the dish – which was a great pity, the coriander and mint worked really well with the calamari. Salt aside, this dish does represent Auckland quite well with the salted calamari, while dusted off with refreshing herbs.
Having seen “rare” on the menu, I was expecting thinly sliced pedantic pieces of venison carpaccio to come. Not to complain though, the two chunky venison pieces were more than enough for a normal entree. The cherries and cocoa gives the meat a dark touch and intensifies the flavour on the palate.
Entering Sails Restaurant, it makes sense to order something seafood oriented and I chided myself a little for giving into the temptation of a juicy steak. But when I saw that perfection on the plate, that feeling was all gone. And don't worry, that was not a blood bath on the plate. Even though we also ordered a side of beans, it wasn't n
ecessary at all. I'm not a complete meat monster so I thoroughly enjoyed the truffle onion flan which was the other highlight on the dish. There's nothing worse than dining out and thinking “I could have cooked this…better” and with this, there was no way I could have done it at home.
I was actually very happy with this fish dish, the only thing a bit off was that I saw a lot of prawn, but not much king crab. The terakihi wasn't too oily, skin was crisp – this chef clearly wasn't sloppy. Risotto wasn't undercooked, working well with the prawn and crab. Though my biggest impression off this dish was the scent of lemon – instead of smelling something greasy and heavy for a main, the lemon gave the whole dish a sense of refreshment – it really opened up the appetite for the dish itself.
Well somebody had to order the chocolate option on the dessert menu! I've recently been in love with Valrohna chocolate, having tasted a spectacular Violet and Valrohna creation from Nick Honeyman at The Commons. This is great for chocoholics like me but I found that it melted so quick in the summer heat that I was sent scooping the chocolate dish up way too quick. And it wasn't too long before it got too overwhelming and sweet. It would be a great delight if we were able to enjoy it slowly while watching the summer sun disappear on us.
The second dessert is one of those dishes where you desperately want to see what it's like but no one has the guts in case it's something so out of the comfort zone. I've been inspired lately by the sudden interest in adding herbs to desserts. This is of no exception. Star anise is used widely in my kitchen for making one of my favourite comfort foods – beef noodles. Seeing it hand in hand with mango and pineapple is something out of the ordinary. This is a beautiful dessert – your tongue is slightly numbed by the mango sorbet but the fragrant rice gently nudges away. The addition of the coconut and star anise is the winning combo in the dish that gives it the stand out flavours.
Sails restaurant is a great overall restaurant. There's a couch area for drinks after dinner if you like, and the decor was posh enough to make it an occasion. The location is also secluded enough if a quiet evening is on your agenda. As a seafood restaurant, it didn't disappoint, almost all the dishes were close to perfection. We'll definitely be back for more.
5 months ago
I dined at a work social dinner recently. It has been quite some time since I visited Sails, for no real reason (I guess I've been spreading myself around all of the other new eating spots of late). I have always had enjoyable meals here and tonight was no exception. The dining room was essentially the same, the high ceilings, the big windows looking out at Westhaven and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. I found the staff to be formal, but thoroughly professional (although it wouldn't have hurt the man behind the front desk to smile once in a while). The food won't change your life, but good food doesn't always have to. The food always showcases quality ingredients, especially seafood, cooked and presented to a very high standard. They also have a deep wine list and the staff are knowledgeable in this department.
I started with the whitebait fritter, sweet beautiful South island whitebait in a batter that in no way lessened the flavour of the star of the dish. Add in the mayo, fennel and the sweet cherry tomatoes and this dish was gone, washed down with a glass of Astrolabe SB. My main, of John Dory and scallop was tasty and perfectly cooked; the chef's first attempt apparently was overcooked, I was informed by the waiter and told it would take another couple of minutes which it did. I appreciated the heads up and the desire to make sure the meal was perfect. I don't always enjoy fruit with my meat but the raisins and capers all went well with the fish. My better half had the lamb which was predictably tender and perfectly cooked. Churros rounded out a very satisfying dining experience. If you have never eaten at Sails, you really should give it a try
by Dan Capper
6 months ago
My wife and I had the seven-course Tasting menu, which was a grabone special. To my delight, Sails stock a range of craft beers (unusual for a restaurant), so I enjoyed an 8 Wired Hopwired IIPA with my dinner (which went perfectly).
To begin was Goats curd in a crispy shell served with beetroot, medjool date and bitter leaves, this dish was a fantastic contrast in textures and looked wonderfully petite and tidy on the plate. This was followed by sashimi Snapper with avocado, pickled cucumber, shiitake and ginger lime dressing. The Snapper was clearly very fresh, and the dressing was well balanced. The texture and flavour of the shiitake was amazing. Next up was a beautifully seared scallop served with pea puree and parma ham.
Mains were Duck breast with star anise which was to die for (although mine was a smidge dry in parts, my wife enjoyed hers thoroughly) and Beef fillet and short rib. The short rib was slow cooked and then encapsulated within a crunchy coating, like a croquette. This dish was the standout for me, the amount of flavour and the contrasting texture of the short rib croquette really made for something special, and with perfectly cooked steak, who could ask for more.
Dessert came in the form of a baked Lemon Cream with meringue, passion fruit gel and sorbet, and finally a Warm Chocolate Fondant with pistachio ice cream. I polished off with an espresso, which was well made.
All in all we both had a wonderful evening, staff were attentive and knowledgable and while the fitout is crisp and modern, the restaurant manages to retain a relaxed ambiance. Sails has a great view of the marina and harbour bridge, especially as night falls, and they adjust the lighting according to the ambient light outside. I did feel like there was a lot of puree throughout the menu but that is really nitpicking. The flavours and textures were there throughout, and we both left well satisfied.
by Ngaio Matthews
6 months ago
Used a GrabOne Voucher for a Bistro Lunch
yesterday and it was perfect. Both the food and the service was outstanding. A
particular star was the Beef Carpaccio, but the Lamb and the Pork Belly were both wonderful. I loved the textures on the pork. Thanks Gerard and the team :)
by Chris Fitzgerald
8 months ago
Came for the July crayfish special. For a starter we had a Thai-flavoured crayfish and coconut milk broth which was perhaps a little too spicy, and ordered their beetroot side dish as a second starter. Beetroot was made very flavoursome by being slightly warmed and served with goats cheese and walnuts. Generous size and the plate was clean when we finished. For mains one of us ordered the whole crayfish. Ordered it cooked well done and unfortunately parts of it weren’t – sent those back, and surprisingly we received another freshly- and well-cooked tail in return. Amazing! For the one of us who doesn’t eat crayfish the menu was a little more of a challenge, as it mostly seemed to feature choices from an older, less flavoursome age. Settled on the crispy-skinned terakihi – requested lightly cooked, received fish totally cooked through. It kills the flavour and texture when that happens. It was served on a green herb and prawn risotto that was swimming with liquid and unfortunately killed the experience. The location is excellent for the views in daylight hours, the standard of service cannot be faulted, and the July crayfish special is hard to go past, but perhaps the menu needs a magic wand waved over it to get a few fresh and lightly-cooked choices on there.
by Andre Southgate
9 months ago
We dined here as part of a degustation offering on grabone.
They were nice enough to give us the booking time we wanted despite being full up on vouchers for that day which was a good start. Firstly the Food. The food here is really very very good. Most dishes were excellent, of notable mention were the atlantic scallops which were the best I can recall having in NZ, and the Tuna Dish which was very well presented, well executed and even my wife, not usually a fan of raw fish, was pretty impressed. Lastly the Chocolate Fondant which was Exceptional. The Duck and Lamb whilst very good, failed to meet excellent, the duck wasn't quite strongly enough flavoured and wasn't quite as tender, despite being cooked to perfection, and the lamb was incredibly flavoursome, but also relatively tough, possibly due to the relatively fatty bit (being what makes up the flavour). If I had to choose between flavour and texture, I'd almost always choose flavour, but I guess I was hoping I wouldn't need to choose. It wasn't like either was VERY tough, just not fork tender as has been our experience in other restaurants.
Service was on the whole very pleasant and professional, with two relatively minor hiccups.
One was that the restaurant was pretty chilly, (we kept our coats on all night and weren't asked if they could store them as I would have expected). This was largely due to all the windows and the HUGE storm that was blowing last night. The wind came through the gaps in the windows. They had heaters, but they barely made a dent. I would have preferred to be offered an option to move seeing as the place wasn't full and plenty of spaces were available elsewhere further away.
Secondly, there was one very abrupt waiter. Normally when fine dining, when the food is presented a short concise but appetizing description is provided, and this was the case with the other two waiters who delivered our food, but two of the dishes were delivered by another waiter and the length of his descriptions were "here's the lamb", plonked the food on the tables and walked off without another word. I did raise this at the end, so they were aware. It didn't ruin our evening by any stretch, but I am not sure I'd allow my staff to treat my customers in that manner.
Overall we thought the meal was very enjoyable and would return again.
by Donnella Ngohe
10 months ago
The best experience of fine dining. It being my first time with my boyfriend (it was his treat and also his first time experience) that all the staff did nothing but make you feel so at ease at tge same time so professional. Staff were a definite 10/10 and the food was well worth the price and compliments to the chef. Absolutely in love with this place and we will definitely be returning. Smiles all around for this satisfy customer. P.s I have photos but my flash wasn't on so it doesn't do them justice but take word. PURE BLISS.
10 months ago
We have been to sails at least 4 times... Sometimes on a voucher sometimes not and they treat us all the same. It is pricey but if you are after good fine cuisine, great choice of wine and elegant service then this is your place. Fine dining at its best... Never had anything to complain about... And the view is also to die for... Very nice place for a special occasion
by Lisa Edgar
10 months ago
Sails is one of the more 'mature' fine dining restaurants in Auckland. I've eaten there a few times now - dining a la carte, degustation and as part of a corporate function. The service is always superb, as you would expect, and the classic interiors and full panoramic window really takes advantage of the brilliant location that it is in.
I love coming here, parking is always a breeze and you can even go for a romantic stroll along the water as you are practically underneath the harbour bridge.
Alright, back to the food. When it comes to seafood, Sails restaurant will always deliver the goods - you just can't go wrong. However, those non-seafood lovers out there, I really enjoyed the duck when I had it last time. It was tender and well complimented with the popular citrus tones with a slight Asian twist. Out of all the amazing dishes I've had at Sails, the desserts platter made up of churros, macarons and brownies trumped (sorry, no pics as I was at a function) I'm sure these items can be ordered on their standard menus. You never know, they might be able to whip up something if you ask nicely...
Kudos to Bart and his team for their consistency. Sails restaurant is a reliable and safe choice for a pleasant night out, it won't blow you out of this world with unusual flavours and culinary art but you will be pampered and well looked after.
I have yet to return for lunch or as part of their crayfish/oyster specials they have once in a while - that is on the wish list.
by Missk Khan
11 months ago
Always amazing. We come here for the special stuff, birthdays, anniversaries, and just cos. they are always, always impeccable in food, service, atmosphere, views. Sigh
The seafood and lamb is always good. Only had one dish I didn't enjoy so much, the duck, mainly cos there was so much of it and I am not such a big fan of game. Beautifully presented meals, and you certainly get our money's worth. I'm a huge fan!
by Ngaio Matthews
Apr 17, 2014
Visited last night, for the second time. First visit was utterly sublime from food to service to wine. This time, we had a deal voucher. The food was amazing still, but the service was dreadful - he treated us like second class customers! So bad. Was horrified. I think if you are prepared to do an online voucher deal, you must accept those who purchase them as equals to all other patrons.
Apr 02, 2014
Without a doubt, every time we have gone there, we have both been impressed with the impeccable service and the mouth watering food. Just devine.
Mar 30, 2014
Dined here last night and it was fantastic. Seated overlooking the harbour and enjoying a bottle of dog point was a great way to start. My wife and I both had scallops as an entree, one the coromandel and the other, the Atlantic. We got more than we thought we were gonna receive considering it's fine dining, but the Atlantic scallops we cooked perfectly. Nicely seared and the outside and soft and creamy tasting in the middle. I had duck for my main and for me, this was the best duck I have eaten. Nice and tender, matched with the sauce swimming around my plate, I wolfed it down. The only thing which I wasn't too keen on was the pannise? Didn't do it for me but only a minor thing, each to their own. My wife's snapper was obviously good as I wasn't offered any. For pudd we had the churros, which gives Disneyland a run for its money (and plenty on the plate too, even if they are deep fried dough) my wife had Creme brûlée with sorbet and that plate got locked clean too! It's ok to lick the plate in a 5 star restaurant ;)
Anyways, we had a great night, great wine and great food so we will definitely be back
by Ashleigh Neame
Feb 02, 2014
I have to say, my first impressions of this restaurant were not very good. My group and I arrived for my Uncle's birthday. My grandfather was with us, and he needs a walker to get around. Unfortunately, there is no elevator up to the restaurant, only stairs. For someone waiting on a hip replacement, this restaurant is a no-go. It seems like the building is not compliant.
When we were seated, we were each given a food menu, but there was only one drinks menu for seven people. Our food was delicious, except for the squid being really chewy. However the meals were a good size and the food was well presented.
The service was great for the most part, but between our mains and dessert we wanted another drink. We got a drinks menu, but no one came to take our order. We had to flag down a waiter and ask him.
It was really hot inside the restaurant, so much so that the staff were sweating. One guy had sweat stains on his shirt, and sweat running down his face. Not a pretty sight, and not what you'd expect from a supposed 5-star restaurant.
by Maria Polianskaya
Jan 28, 2014
Excellent! cant fault a thing
*Food was amazing,
(traditional with a twist, really enjoyed the john dory on spanner crab, sweetcorn and faro; my partners lamb was nicely done as well, did not seem as it died of old age hehe )
*Staff was attentive without been annoying
*Great views of the harbor and beautiful ambiance.
Definitely will be back
by Two Honest Truths
Dec 16, 2013
Having always wanted to try out Sails, we finally ventured down to WestHaven. A perfect decision.
The restaurant itself is quite breathtaking with high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing its perfect location.
For entrees we chose Salt and pepper squid, two sets of Fresh oysters, Duck leg confit and Tiger prawns. Everything was fresh and cooked to perfection. The squid and oysters were definitely the favourites.
For our mains we ordered Grilled market fish which was incredibly fresh paired with its crispy skin and Snapper fillets served with fries. We chose the option of having the snapper fillets crumbed with parsley and lemon, which added the extra crunch while still able to taste the freshness of the fish.
If you're celebrating a special event or just wanting a break from the busy city head down to Sails, you won't be disappointed. Make sure you stay for the amazing desserts.
Read the full review on http://twohonesttruths.com/category/sails/
by Simon & Debi
Dec 13, 2013
1st visit to Sails and only visit i am sad to say. This restaurant was picked for our end of year Christmas dinner. Not the best environment we have been over the years and we do go to fine dining restaurants. Meals were lovely compliments to the chef, however the wait on staff let it down.
We asked a politely waiter would he mind taking a group picture, in which he said yes not in a happy manor (we were seated for 8pm so not huge rush dinner time) he does have 100 other ppl to look after u know!!
My husband is waiting to have a knee op and found the stairs hard to go to bathroom, at one stage is knee gave way at top of stairs only to have a comment of the tall Basil Faulty look a like, hahaha did u enjoy ur trip!! He couldnt respond by the time he composed himself he was gone!!! No manners!!
They top your water glasses up without asking would you like a top up, so much so a friends soda water was washed away with still water, which was exchanged with the disgust look from Basil Faulty
I can see why alot of people use vouchers, I wouldnt say its worth going out of your way for.
Such as shame, the ambience was missing, my boss said they were greeted on entrance and then it all went to pot!! We didnt even get greeted..... Sorry cant recommend :-(
by RaeRae Johnson
Oct 23, 2013
We've been to Sails Restaurant many times and it still remains my favourite restaurant. The food is 5-star, the service is excellent, the ambience is so relaxing, and they have the best view in Auckland!
We recently tried a voucher deal at Sails and the standards remained as high as we'd expect from this restaurant. The only teeny complaint we have was the difficulty in getting a date to redeem the coupon - dates were restricted to Sun-Thu dinner, or Mon-Fri lunch. My partner and I have no problems going to dinner on a 'school night', but it meant that we only bought a deal voucher for 2 people, as it would have been far too difficult to coordinate our group of friends given we couldn't book a Fri or Sat. Other than that, an excellent night!
by Janah Moore
Sep 29, 2013
We came here with a voucher for a three course meal as a group of 10 for my graduation dinner on the 27th September and it was simply superb! There was absolutely no doubt that we got served to the same standard as those paying full price.
Every one on the table expressed how impressed they were, with audible "oohs" and "aahs" heard every time a new dish was served. Despite having a set menu with the voucher, there is nothing on there I wouldn't want to try at least once (or again)...
Service was super friendly and professional. Nothing was too much for them. Wonderful people!
Reasonably priced drinks to top off the night made it absolutely perfect. Sails will certainly be my first pick (and that of my other table guests) for any special occasions in the future - I cannot rave about this place enough!
by Jane Forester
Sep 21, 2013
Very friendly staff who had personality and went the extra mile to promptly cater to our many requests such as finding out how certain meals were prepared, water refills, showing us the bottles our drinks were from… The place had a very sleek and calm atmosphere... Now the food! We went during lunch time, and this menu is stunning!It is all so flavoursome with the perfect proportions, I cannot wait to go back!
by Dharmendra Lal
Sep 19, 2013
Went here on Friday night and used a deal voucher.
We greeted very pleasantly by the staff. The service was excellent. The entree mains and Dessert was very very good. Portion size was great even though we used the voucher. Presentation and deco was excellent too. Super views.
Aug 30, 2013
What can I say!!!
The best food and service you would expect from this very fine restaurant. Been back many times over the years and you Just know what you will get " THE BEST " Love this place!! Ciao Rick and Sina.
Aug 10, 2013
We went here for my boy friend's birthday. I understand it was a busy night, however it ruined our night, there was a piece of green thing (possibly some veges) on the glass of the water they provided to me. This is very unsatisfactory in a fine dining restaurant.
The food is above average, good views.
Too pricey for the service we received.
Jul 27, 2013
Have been here for work function and decided to celebrate my birthday here with group of girls.
Everyones dietary preference was catered for and the chef has created some fantastic meals.
Service was the best and even though we aren't the richest people in town but were made to feel a million dollars with the waiter martin keeping us entertained and hydrated.
Will definitely be coming back to experience the great team
by Kirsty W
Jul 08, 2013
We grabbed an online voucher... seemed like a very good deal, however the was an element of apprehension as we weren't sure half price would equal half the quality and half the service. We'd been stung at other venues previously.
Never having been to Sails before we were pleasantly surprised.
We had 3 different wait staff across the evening - they were lovely, chatty and very prompt and attentive - esp. when my wine glass level dipped.
The food was beautiful - lovely flavours across all 4 courses.
A very lovely way to spend our anniversary.
Will definitely be going back to experience the full price version!
Thanks team for a great evening.
by Michael T
Jun 27, 2013
It’s very hard to go wrong with Sails. We’ve been here a number of times over the years and will continue to do so – very little ever goes wrong. I don’t know how the standards are able to be kept so consistently high, but as long as they are, we’ll continue to enjoy the results.
by Mimi Yang
May 30, 2013
My experience of Sails was very much a bittersweet one...
The food was amazing! The flavours that came out of that kitchen were fresh, well seasoned and well portioned! On the other hand, the service we received very much dampened our evening and overall it was a below average restaurant service. We went to Sails with a 5 course degustation voucher deal and as I understand it, the goal of a business when it lists their service on deal sites is so that people can go and experience all that they had to offer with the possibility of future re-visits. Our waiter seemed like he had had a very bad day; we were greeted with a brief nod (no greetings or welcomes) and presented the a la carte menu. We reminded him that we are here for the degustation, at which point he begrudgingly went back to the counter to get the correct menu. When our order arrived, every time the waiter walked past or behind my chair, he would knock it. I'm not normally fussy about this kind of thing, but after the eighth time with no apology, I was starting to get annoyed. We did not receive our tea and coffee at the end of our meal, and we didn't want to ask as the service was so poor that we had no intention of staying any longer. Overall, the food was great, but in my mind it does not make up for the unprofessional service. We will probably not be going back there as there are many many other restaurants with equally amazing food and much better service.
by Janice Tan
May 17, 2013
Used a voucher here and it was fantastic. Home made bread and butter and an amuse bouche of fish tartare which was fantastic.
Was very pleased at the generous number of bluffies given as the entree. I had 6 and the next time we dined there I had 3 pacific and 3 bluff. Fantastic.
The main courses are generous portions and delicious. The steak and chicken were well cooked.
The cheese board was a nice selection and chocolate fondant was equally as yummy.
Had a fantastic experience here and was very happy I was given the chance to dine there again. Definitely will dine for a third time!
by Nancy Liu
Jan 25, 2013
We went to Sails for lunch using a voucher deal with a 3rd person ordering from the menu. It was our second time there, the food was generously portioned and amazingly tasty, we loved every single dish from entree to desert. Our waiter was friendly and very professional. The view was gorgeous on a sunny day. Many car parks available making it convenient to drive in. We all had an amazing time and cannot wait to go back again!
by Nicki Ware
Jan 11, 2013
We went to Sails Restaurant last night for the first time, using a deal voucher. The food was great and the service amazing.
by Grant Christianson
Nov 27, 2012
We chose Sails for a special celebration for 8 people based on previous happy experiences . Once again the service was impeccable and the food was innovative ,beautifully presented and delicious . The views as sunset turns to dusk are wonderful
The acoustics which are the achilles heel of many restaurants are excellent at Sails, making conversation a relaxing experience even on a night when every seat in the restaurant was taken, as was the case on the night we were there
This restaurant fully delivers on its promise in professional but personable way
Our out of town guests are still buzzing
by Cruz R.
Nov 25, 2012
Heard a lot about Sails from friends who had their company dinner there so had to try it for ourselves. It has an altogether cozy romantic air to the place. It must have been a busy night for the wait staff as we waited for a good 15minutes before anyone came to take our order and waited a further half an hour almost before our food arrived. Still.. we had some complimentary house baked bread to nibble on which was really good. My pan cooked fish was delightfully fresh and delicious. Hubby's steak dish though was average... There was two fillets presented, one done perfectly and the other overcooked. The chocolate dessert was flawless. So many plus points to the restaurant but few key details like waiting time and inconsistent food preparation prevents me from giving a perfect score..
Oct 22, 2012
We came here on a degustation voucher deal for a Friday lunch in September and I cant speak more highly of everything. Everything from service, to scenery, to food taste and presentation was 100%. I couldn't fault anything, and it would be the nicest meal I have had.
It's funny how people view things differently, as we had the same degustation menu as "Kerensa R" (see their rating below), yet we did get a window table (perhaps because it was lunch rather than dinner?) and we thought all the food matches were perfect. Even though each course was small, we left the restaurant having eaten sufficient, certainly weren't hungry and didn't feel bulging - just right!
Can't wait for another degustation deal, as I wouldn't hesitate to purchase again.
by Food Voyeur
Oct 11, 2012
Beautiful flavours coming out of this kitchen. Loved the beetroots juxtaposed with feta, caramelized(?)walnut, and other scrumptious natural seasonings in my entree.
Gorgeous views out across the marina (floor to ceiling windows), and to the Harbour Bridge, Bayswater and beyond.
I noticed the excellent acoustics of the sloping ceiling make it easy to converse even in the packed-out restaurant.
Impeccable service by very professional and unobtrusive wait-staff.
by Kerensa Robertson
Oct 04, 2012
Went here on a deal voucher, but the deal is fraudulent. They clearly had a separate menu for the price, but it wasn't good value!
Firstly, the service on the phone was rude. While the service by our waiter was good, the voucher meant you didn't get to sit by the window even on a slow night. Since the view is the best feature, it lost something.
Secondly, the food was variable in quality, and some of the dishes just didn't work.
The lobster bisque was lovely, but there was no bread. We were charged extra for hard, chewy, overcooked bread rolls.
The salmon dish was awful. They paired raw marinated salmon with lime sorbet, and it did not go. The lime sorbet was nice, but should have been served separately as an amuse bouche.
The duck was lovely, but no vegetables so we were grateful we didn't order the matched wine, as we would not have been able to eat it without something other than protein in our stomach.
The lamb was nice, but hardly any vegetables.
The dessert was very mediocre. Given that I like chocolate mousse, I expect more for the price than a very ordinary mousse in a tiny serving.
I think they pigeon-hole you as a voucher customer, and assume you will not be back, However, they are right in one respect - I will not be back for pretentious service backed up with mediocre food and poor decor. I eat out every week, but give this one a miss!
by Tania Lee
Jul 11, 2012
Definitely one to try! Been here twice now, once paying full price and another on a degustation menu voucher. What I love is that even though paying by voucher, they didn't let the standards slip. Each dish was carefully crafted to look great aesthetically and tasted even better. I had been put off goats cheese from another place but sails had restored my faith lol! Both visits have had very fond memories and needless to say I will definitely be back!
by Blitz Y
Jul 08, 2012
After hearing a lot about this restaurant from many friends over the years, I had the opportunity to go for a working lunch. The view was breathtaking but the decor a little dated which I was not expecting.
The service was a little off (the waiters were attentive but a little slow) but the food was, of course, amazing.
Everything was mouthwatering - from the complimentary canape (salmon, wasabi, orange and I think a powdered mozzarella) to the beetroot & feta side salad. I had the sashimi to start (no salmon, which I found interesting) and then had the terakihi with lemon gnocchi. I couldn't go past the truffle fries either. One thing I noted that was a little surprising for such a high end seafood restaurant though, was there was no tuna steak on the menu.
The most interesting part of the meal however, was the clientele to watch; we had a bride in her puffy dress at the next table, there were woman with rocks the size of their launches (I'm sure) and then quite a few businessmen who didn't really look like they were talking much business in between mouthfuls of wine.
Sails was a fantastic working week treat for a few hours. I'm just glad/lucky I didn't see the bill after monitoring the orders on the table. I will go back I'm sure, but for a special occasion.
by Matt Williams
Jun 09, 2012
We visited Sails for the first time last night. The food itself was fantastic, but the service from one of the waiters marred the evening somewhat.
When we first arrived, we ordered a bottle of wine, and things seemed to be going well. The service from the waiter (sommelier?) who brought the wine was warm and friendly. However, no one came to take our order for quite some time. A waitress then shot up, dropped two tiny dishes on our table, and pounded off. We were rather surprised, not having ordered yet, but surmised that the dish was a complimentary amuse bouche of some kind (a cheese croquette with a smear of beetroot roullade). We could have clarified with the waitress, but she shot off far too quickly.
A little later she turned up with a salmon dish, and we realised something was obviously amiss. We pointed out that we hadn't actually ordered yet. She left, and another waiter we hadn't seen before turned up and tried to drop the same dishes off. We explained again that we hadn't ordered yet, and he declared in a snooty tone that he had just assumed we'd ordered the degustation menu, since they'd previously dropped off what was apparently its first course. He then twice said "Well, I guess you've just got yourself a free course, good for you" in an incredibly arrogant tone - as if we were trying to do something dishonest. This made us feel very uncomfortable.
For the rest of the night this waiter managed to partially suppress his obvious disdain of us sufficiently to actually take our orders and bring our food, and the food was in fact fantastic. The tiger prawns were plump and tender, the scallops crisp and moist, and both fish dishes were excellent. The skin-on tarakahi with gnocchi and crab was particularly good. It's a bit of a pity when the chef is doing such a great job, that a night can be partially ruined by one of the waitstaff acting like he's auditioning for the role of "snooty waiter" in a bad Hollywood kids' movie. We're unlikely to return.
May 18, 2012
We've been to sails restaurant about three times prior and each time had been enjoyable experience. Writing the review this time based on the voucher deal we got for degustation for two at Sails.
As we've never had a degustation dining experience before we weren't sure what to expect, and our biggest concern was regarding the portion size (from reading degustation @ other places). I can say that this is not a worry at Sails, the portions end up just right (the angus will fill you up) and the dessert wine we decided to have with the baked lemon creme was something I'm missing now as I'm typing this review. The voucher was worth it ($120 for two) and I'd definitely come back @ full price for a special occasion, and possibly with the paired drinks option!
by Janine Carlson
Apr 11, 2012
Went with our family for a special birthday dinner. We ordered a range of meals so that we could taste each others. While the portions were not huge so we could only share a bite the food was perfectly prepared and tasty. Service was unobtrusive but attentive. Wine prices a little on the high side but very good. A very enjoyable evening.
Mar 16, 2012
Sails needs to make some big changes.
They still seem to be resting on the laurels of their past reputation. The wait staff are cold and businesslike, the food is ordinary and the only thing that sets Sails apart is the location.
We hadn't been to Sails for a while and took some visitors from overseas, wanting to give them a special treat. However we were embarrassed to find that this former gem has become just another bland restaurant in our absence. What has happened?
We won't be back in a hurry when there are so many top notch eateries providing consistently high quality food and service. Sails, we have fond memories of good times gone by - but sadly now it is "Sayonara".
by Gemma Sinclair
Feb 27, 2012
Awesome! Friendly professional waiters, well presented food, great view of the harbour bridge and city. Very happy to recommend this establishment!
We ordered two mains (Kingfish and Hapuka) both cooked beautifully, as well as 2 sides as well. My friend recommended the fries with parmesan and truffle oil - very nice. We also had the beetroot / goats cheese / hazelnut side as well.
My friend requested assistance choosing a wine and our waiter graciously asked another to help. He seemed very knowledgeable and the choice made was a good match.
Will definitely be back again soon :)
by Al Kumar
Jan 29, 2012
One of the top 5 best fine dining restaurants in Auckland. Dim lighting brings perfect ambiance to celebrate that special occasion. Quality and workmanship of furniture and the interior deco is truly 5 star. A must visit if you enjoy seafood. We had a great experience at Sails, friendly staff and food cooked with lovely European favours. A visit to Sails will never be regretted, does come with price tag but surely worth every cent.
by Miles Jackson
Jan 11, 2012
Celebrated New Year at this restaurant. Brilliant service and perfectly presented, delicious food. Worth the little extra cost.
by Sue Lee
Oct 01, 2011
We came to Sails to celebrate our daughters 21st. The set menu was chosen. Our guests were young teenagers to 60 years of age. Every person that night had fantastic service. The food was sublime, every serving, the wine that was suggested was perfect for our dinner and our two younger daughters felt very special from an attentive waiter topping up their sparkling grape juice. We had two tables of guests who were easily able to communicate, we were placed in a private area a wee bit away from other dinners so had a sense of this being all about us...a special feeling. The attention to detail was definately present. We stayed very late and not a sign was made that we had out stayed our welcome. Our family have a life long memory of a very special night out. We feel very priviledged to have been able to celebrate this occasion with such care and attention. Thank you so much to everyone who was part of that evening, July 2nd 2011.
by Libby Calder
Aug 05, 2011
Went to Sails Restaurant after hearing much about its refurbishment. Very disappointed, decore still 1980's, nothing changed at all. What refurbishment? Clientèle mostly 70yrs plus. Very boring and very formal. Food OK but over priced. Good service. Only good feature is its views, even then you have to look through old joinery which needs replacing.
Jul 05, 2011
Super friendly staff! Very helpful and professional, food was delicious, definitely a good place to dress up for and dine!
Jun 28, 2011
Good food, perhaps the flavour a bit too home cooking. Good quality oyster, crayfish is lovely. Their produce seem quite fresh. Selection of wine slightly limited, good view but big open room, not the best place for romantic dinner. Nice toilet. Will recommend for corporate functions.
by Jacqui Craig
May 01, 2011
Although the food was excellent, I have to say I was sorely disappointed with the poor service by the waiting staff. I have dined at many other fine restaurants before but have never encountered such cold (almost rude) behavior. I certainly expected more from a top-class restaurant; it would not hurt them to indulge their patrons with some smiles, humor and light-hearted conversation to make the dining experience a truly world-class one.
by Maheen Mudannayake
Mar 10, 2011
Went here for our 10th wedding anniversary, and sails delivered. We had a large group, around 10 people. Perfect waiting staff, very helpful with the wine matching.
Main course was ordered and arrived promptly. Heavenly. Desert was brilliant. Great wine selection too!
A bit pricey, but always good for that special occasion.
by Diiya McCaw
Feb 04, 2011
I have been such a big fan of Sails but sadly my last 3 visits have been dismal. The staff have lost their mojo somehow and the chef his. I was disappointed in their cocktails that they never seem to have all the ingredients for. The wait for food was way too long...30 minutes after ordering for entrees and almost an hour before the mains arrived. No smiles were forthcoming from the service staff and I dont know why that is. These are the same guys that were wonderful once upon a time. We brought friends and had talked up Sails to such an extent that the let down was even more so. I give most things in life 3 lives. Sails just died for me because it was my birthday that will be my last visit.
AND THEY ARE BACK!!!!. WAS THERE FOR A PRIVATE FUNCTION AND HOPEFULLY THIS WAS NOT JUST BECAUSE OF THAT BUT DAMN THE MOJO IS BACK AND I COULDNT BE HAPPIER. NICE FOOD AND THE SERVICE DUDES ARE ENJOYING THEIR JOBS I THINK BUT WELL DONE SAILS. WE HAD A GREAT NIGHT AND THE FOOD...YAY!!!!!! WELCOME ME BACK...
Dec 16, 2010
Great views, good food, but disastrous service.
Tired, bored, and unhappy wait staff were thoughout the restaurant. This is supposed to be a 'high end' restaurant - certainly the prices are. Go somewhere else, as the service kills a good night.
by Mark Gregory
Jun 18, 2010
Lunch today at Sails proved a most enjoyable experience. And one of the better ones in recent months.
Starting with the sourdough rolls, well made bread has been with us for several millennium and the joy of fresh bread is one of life's simple pleasures. Followed by plump oysters, then onto the salmon with scallop ravioli, asparagus and a deliciously flavorsome broth. Finally the chocolate delice with a coffee parfait, this excellent dessert alone was worth going to Sails. The kitchen is working well at Sails. Highly recommended.
by Stephen Clarke
Jun 09, 2010
If you're looking for quality seafood, this is the place to go. Bart Littlejohn, the owner and host, does a great job of keeping service top-notch. Very expensive and portion size is a bit lean, but you can expect that at this sort of establishment. This is the place to go if you want to impress. One of Auckland's better establishments.
by Tony Buckingham
Feb 02, 2010
Sails has an enviable site and its always a pleasure to go there. I think the food was better last year but its fine but not top class.
Always plenty and the fish is good.
Provided you are close to the windows it's good venue but further back I would not be so sure
However saying that we will try it again next year
by Glen Souter
Dec 09, 2009
Good meal here at the weekend. Nothing bad to say, but failed to excite my party.
Good but not great.
by Heba Hilali
Dec 04, 2009
Sails is one of our favourite restaurant we have been going there for years and its one of those places where, people, service, food is always consistent you defiantly know that you will get great fresh food and professional service.
I wish there were more places like Sails :)
by Al Kumar
Jan 29, 2009
Went to Sails for the first time last night to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Read some nice reviews so it was a must visit restaurant on our list. As we entered the beauty of the large chandelier caught our eye. It looked so beautiful, the mirrors, views not to be missed. It was a little noisy just past the reception, due to the lounge next to the dining area. But we were greeted and introduced by a fine gentleman who had a great smile. He showed us to our table which was on the other end of the room, pulled the chair for my wife and placed the napkins on our lap. Great service. The view from our table was magnificent. Recommend seating toward the far end near the large mirrors. Nice quite and intimate. I ordered Whitebait for entrée and Grilled prawns for my wife, these were delicious, loved the prawns…for mains we had Pan fried Hapuka and Snapper with snow crab..these were very mouth watering, well cooked and garnished to detail. There was a little delay in getting our meal as the place was a little busy even during a week day so bookings recommended. I wouldn’t say the meal sizes were large and filling, but good enough and we were full at the end of our meal. The staffs were being very friendly and attentive to see if all was going well through out the night. The prices, well it wasn’t that bad if you have been out fine dining, a little expensive but well worth it. With a bottle of white wine, bread, 2 x entrée and 2 x meals we paid around $180.00. Will surely go back again.
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