Liv W. said: "I had a delicious ‘Veggie Pide’ from this new cafe today. Having it toasted was a good choice, as it made the contents luciously moist: eggplant, roasted peppers, feta, rocket, caremilzed red onion, mayo & hummus. An…" read more »
- Price Range:
- Moderate, $15 - $25
- Good For Groups:
- Beer, Wine
- Meals Served:
- Lunch, Dinner, Dessert
- Outdoor Seating:
Reviews for Jack Tar
by Andy K.
10th March 2013
Great spot, pity the porkbelly bites were inedible ( chunks of fat), pizza was average. Disinterested waitron did not even enquire as to why pork dish was returned untouched. Will not return.
28th February 2013
Had lunch here yesterday.
WOW! Great value for money! We got a massive feed for a reasonable price. The quality of the meal was outstanding.
We sat inside (due to every seat being taken outside) and in spite of the fact our meals came to us very quickly!
Customer service could have been a bit better, more friendly.
by Warren B.
24th February 2013
My friends and I had lunch here….location is great, nice views……food is ok, nothing great…..we discussed it and decided it was average…not too expensive….Staff seemed competent.
by Mitch A.
22nd February 2013
The staff are really unfriendly and rude. The attitude is really wrong here, never seen as rude staff anywhere else in the world before. I suppose with their big turnover this restaurants owners doesn’t care about their customers as there is a constant flow of them. Just realized a lot if similar feedback below. Potential customers should take them into consideration. Admin should also take these feedback into consideration, and should improve their service greatly. Big disappointment. Never going back again.
17th January 2013
We took friends visiting from Scotland to this restaurant over the christmas holidays and were appalled at the service. To sum it up – extremely rude and unprofessional. We enjoyed the food but wouldn’t go back due to the terrible service. I am surprised that they can receive so many complaints about the rude staff, yet do nothing to improve it. In my opinion, this means they do not care. We will not be back.
by Raymond C.
2nd January 2013
We visited it on 2 Jan 2013. I and my wife had steak sandwich and lamb burger respectively. The food was really good, I would probably say this is one of the best steak sandwich I have had for $20. As for the “credit card up front” practice, yes it happened to me as well, I don’t have a big problem with it but I can’t say I like it either. Also the 15% holiday surcharge was not mentioned up front. Otherwise it was a pretty good experience.
by Jaime Y.
1st January 2013
Came here with 4 other friends on 29 December 2012 for a late lunch. We were surprised by the request to hand over a credit card before placing any orders; I suppose it is to avoid dine-and-dashers but I am personally uncomfortable with the concept of handing over my credit card to strangers for a prolonged period of time (the restaurant holds the card until the bill is paid) as this is usually highly discouraged by card issuers and banks due to increased opportunities for fraud.
The food was substandard for the prices charged – the kumara chips I had with my fish and chips were bland and burnt. I definitely could not taste any beer in the batter of the fish, and the fish was dry and overcooked. The service was also terrible. When I placed my order, I asked for the salad to be replaced with more fries, and the waitress who took the order supposedly made a note of that.
However, when my order came out, lo and behold, there was salad on the plate. When I explained my original order to the other waitress who brought out the dish, instead of being professional and just fixing the problem, she stared at me and just said, “but the dish comes with a salad”. When I reiterated that I would like the salad to be replaced by extra fries, she rolled her eyes and gave out a vibe that clearly suggested she thought I was a pain in the butt. She stalked off to a manager, gestured towards our table, before being told to return the dish to the kitchen. It took another five minutes before the dish was brought back to the table, and it was obvious that no extra fries had been provided to replace the salad, and the salad had just been dumped on top of my friend’s dish.
I did not think my request was unusual, as I have frequently made it at so many other establishments with no problems, but the staff at Jack Tar’s behaved as if I had asked for them for something beyond their comprehension.
Halfway through our meals a waitress came up to ask if our meals were all right, and when I told her about the mix-up in the order she didn’t offer any apologies or try to make up for it. She just kept quiet and walked away. Why bother asking for our opinion if they were not going to make any effort to make things better?
When we went up to the bar to pay the bill, the man who served us was equally unhelpful. He told my friend to get the table number card from our table instead of getting it himself or asking another staff member to get the card (there were plenty of other waitresses/waiters loitering around). It would have helped if he had asked politely, but it came out more as an order and again the tone was snide and rude, as if customers should automatically know to bring the table number card with them when paying the bill.
Summary: appalling service, food that tasted like it was just reheated from a frozen state, and high prices.
Definitely not worth your time and money.
by Amy K.
17th December 2012
Such a waste of a nice spot!
I have honestly never experienced such lousy and unprofessional service. Before ordering we asked the waitress if the kitchen would be able to put our order through quickly as we were on a tight time frame, we were assured that the meals would be brought out quickly. I cant remember the price of the beers/wine that was ordered but I do recall the soda drinks being a complete rip-off! they were severed in a tiny glass and mostly ice. Our meals arrived after a very long wait (45+ mins if I remember correctly) we didn’t have much time to eat at all, although no-one complained much since the food was plain and my fish was pretty dry and tasteless. While we were paying the bill, our waitress came up and pointed out (to who I amuse was the manager) that they were going to take away the drink charge because of the wait (we had to ask several wait staff where our meals were because we were running out of time) he replied with something along the lines of ‘They knew there was a wait time’ – which we certainly did not know, otherwise we would have gone somewhere else. this is completely arrogant and rude, I will certainly not be coming back!
15th December 2012
This place should be given an award for how to lose customers and never have them come back as this is what they seem to be aiming to achieve with their totally arrogant, unprofessional and smug management. The actual staff seem to be only okay, not trained in social or hospitality skills as many patrons have already commented about.
But the management’s self appointed arrogance of asking for credit cards upfront before you have even so much as decided on what you want to order is beyond belief. Many have complained about this practise, only in use by this restaurant and no doubt none of those will ever return, likewise my husband and I. We weren’t given any explanation as to why the credit card should be handed over before the meal but we were stood over by some little bully who was not going to take no for an answer. We have dined all over the world in many many cafes and restaurants and not once been subjected to this practise. To the owners of this uninviting barn of a place with no atmosphere and without a thread of goodwill, you will not last long!!! As for the food, you can find just as good within a few metres of this excuse for a restaurant.
by Peter C.
31st October 2012
Me and my girlfriend went out and we wanted to go some where nice next to viaduct. On this night it was just beautiful with the moon, stars and the calm weather. But our experience in Jack Tar ruined the whole night.
I ordered a Steak with side of chips, my girlfriend ordered the seafood risotto and also a side of pork ribs (our favorites). Now we have been here before many times just by ourselves and also with friends earlier this year and ordered similar food.
As soon as we placed our order the waitress asked us for our IDs (we weren’t planning to drink) but I thought it was quite standard since it can get busy and the bar might not check (we being in our early 20s) but the biggest bummer is being asked for our credit card upfront to “create a tab with the bar”. This was never asked in our previous visits.
Now we were first confused and then very hacked off that the waitress couldn’t even explain why we had too properly (obviously to deter dine and dashers). This was the first time I was ever asked for credit card at a restaurant. Her response was “for our convenience”… We have been better places and like the previous reviewer we have never been asked for credit card upfront and just made it awkward like they were already accusing us.
Now I also wanted to know how big the rib servings would be (good for two?) as it was in the snack menu and the waitress had no clue how big it was and I asked if she can ask the chef if she didn’t know and then she clearly made up a number on the spot and said “oh.. for two its fine”… hmmm
We were served our food promptly but while I asked for medium rare I was served medium well to well. I love my steak and that was def not medium rare.
But a last warning…the price (which is steep) does not justify any customer service at all. While the food was ok (minus steak) the waitress was utterly useless.
We are not going there again and neither is all of our friends, family and anyone that they know.
Its a competitive market. Just go to the nearby Merchants of Venice or other fantastic viaduct locations.
by Richard C.
1st October 2012
We stumbled into Jack Tar with our 4 and 6 year old daughters. The food was honest value, fresh and fast (my 6 year old asked how long the Hawaiian pizza would take and I guessed 16 minutes and we set my watch to check) All our food arrived 2 minutes before time was up – impressive. The waiting staff were great, my fish was French and a reasonable serve, my wife’s Chicken Burger was all you could expect. As a casual feed this place is good value. As a gourmet treat obviously you should go elsewhere. For what it is it’s great value.
23rd September 2012
Went here for brunch yesterday and was able to order off the breakfast menu just in time. They seated us in a lovely table by the sun and took our order straight away. Coffees came out fast and were nice and breakfast arrived not long after. Two of us ordered the field mushrooms and one a big breaky. The meals were very nice and large, especially for the price. Over all staff were lovely and efficient, I enjoyed watching the kitchen staff in their huge open kitchen, decor was great, food was awesome, thinking of going back for dinner already
by Meredith T.
10th September 2012
I have been to Jack Tar several times but after my last experience and disappointment I won’t be back. Some of what happened may seem trivial to some but that’s the point IT IS TRIVIAL and any establishment that prides itself on customer service would have dealt with our request with no issues / questions (and with a smile)!
We arrived for breakfast, half an hour before the lunch menu kicked in. My partner ordered the Bacon and Egg Burger and asked if it was at all possible for them to add a Beef Pattie (the very same one on the lunchtime Beef burger). The waiter went away and checked, came back and said “No the Kitchen cant do that”…………Both my partner and I have been in the hospitality industry for many many years and know the workings of a kitchen inside out so we simply do not understand why the 6+ kitchen staff couldn’t add the burger pattie especially as the lunch mis en place would most likely have been getting prepped at the time of our request (it was also very quiet with less than half the dining tables occupied)…….the grill was clearly ON so I really don’t see how our request was so impossible. Yes it is trivial matter but such an easy WOW for the restaurant that turned into such disappointment for its customers.
It took longer than usual for our coffee order to be taken and we received no offer of another coffee this time which in the past they have always been very prompt in asking.
The pre made commercial hash brown (not sure why they don’t make their own…) tasted fishy – suggest the oil in the deep fryer is old and needs changing…. Fishy hash browns aren’t a good thing. Old oil also raises the question in our minds about the overall cleanliness and care taken in the kitchen.
Service – the waitress after doing the old “auctioning off of meals…..who is the bacon and egg burger….etc” handed me my plate over the table – how hard would it have been to take one step to the left and place it down in front of me – we were only a table of 2 in a very easy spot for staff to access the table….no excuse!
When we went to pay the hostess asked us to check our bill to make sure it was correct and then processed our payment. She did not (nor did any staff) at any time ask us how our meals were – if she had I would have told her all of the above instead of posting a review……..so sadly Jack Tar – you have lost another 2+ customers who will simply not be back due to your complacent and flippant attitude. We were actually once advocates of Jack Tar but now we will be sharing our poor experience with our friends etc.
So sad – another Auckland dining establishment that quickly has gone to the dogs!
30th June 2012
I took offence at the waitress taking our meal order and then asking for a member of our party to hand over a credit card until the end of the meal. I’ve eaten at much finer restaurants than Jack Tar and have never been asked to hand over a credit card after ordering our meals, just in case we don’t pay. I found this presumptuous and very rude, and it stank of bigotry. We should have walked straight out if not for us trying to keep the mood positive for our cousin who has just finished cancer treatment. All 4 of us were dressed smart/casually, all professional women. I wont return and I’ll be sure to let others know not to go there.
by Riley K.
11th June 2012
Over a long weekend in Auckland with a group of 11 friends from all over to watch the All Blacks vs Ireland, we ended up coming to Jack Tar 3 times.
Twice for Breakfast Friday and Saturday. Came down a bit later on Sunday for a much needed meal after a great night out and although we missed the breakfast menu this was not a problem as the lunch menu was just as fantastic.
Good Food service, the place was busy with a waiting list for tables but the way the staff coped and kept smiling is a credit to the whole team.
I enjoyed the corn fritters the french toast and the squid salad over my three visits this weekend. Our friends all thoroughly enjoyed Jack Tar and no doubt at our next visit to Auckland we will all be back especially for the corn fritters and the great coffee.
by Bob W.
11th June 2012
This is the first time I have been prompted to make a review and will be the first and last time I set foot in the Jack Tar Bar. I have given a rating of one star as unable to give no stars! I can’t comment on the food or drink as we didn’t get that far.
My partner made a booking for a party of 30 adults and 15 children for a Sunday afternoon get together. On vising the venue 2 days before to finalise arrangements she had the misfortune to encounter the duty manager (owner?) Ben who hands down wins the award for the world’s worst customer service. His off hand attitude, arrogance and dismissive nature was unbelievable. Everything was to difficult and he clearly found the whole thing too much like hard work. His final comment was along the lines of “do you want the booking or not?!”. We didn’t and thankfully walked next door and rebooked at the Conservatory who were just outstanding. (separate review to be posted.)
A final thought to Ben – your attitude not only cost you a good size booking (particularly for a Sunday afternoon,) but also the future custom of our immediate party of 30 people. A strange way to run a business.
by The M.
3rd June 2012
What a waste of a beautiful spot!
We came here for breakfast on a Sunday, I ordered fresh fruit salad and was served a bowl of disgusting old fruit that looked like it’d been sitting on the bench overnight. I was stunned that neither the chef nor the waitress noticed the brown all over the apple or the clearly rotten kiwi fruit. No offer of so much as a free coffee from the staff when I (very nicely) pointed out that it wasn’t edible.
The worst combination of poor food standards and complete lack of customer service we’ve come across in many years of regularly eating out in Auckland.
by Ally Y.
18th May 2012
Meal: lunch (during work hours so we had limited time)
Food: I ate the Prosciutto, Pear, Blue Cheese & Walnut pizza and it was YUM! Others at the table had the Seafood Chowder, Fish & Chips, Calamari and Burger which had no complaints.
Drinks: reasonable selection, and the wine was actually quite well priced I thought.
Service: pretty good actually. our food came within 10 minutes of ordering so they were super quick!
Cost: $165 for 6 people who all had mains and 4 of us all had a wine. The meals were huge (none of us could actually finish theirs) and well worth their range (~$18-24 per main).
Stand out feature: the comfy booth seats and efficient staff
Will I go back? Yep.
by Nic B.
25th April 2012
Don’t suggest going there if you’re the sober driver for the night. They charge $4.50 for a tiny glass of soda that’s full of ice to begin with.
They also insist on only serving a subset of their expensive menu to the outside tables, I don’t know why, but they refuse to do anything different and actually cater for their unlucky customer’s needs.
Unfortunately I’m dragged there almost once a week, the terrible service and tiny drinks are not a one off occurrence. It is a pity because it’s a brilliant location, especially in the afternoon sun.
28th March 2012
For such a prime position, with a great view of the harbour, this place was such a disappointment. I ordered lamb (medium rare) and it came out well done. I told our waiter and he bobbed down (in front of other patrons) had a close look and told me it was fine. I’m no Gordon Ramsay but I know over-cooked lamb. It was grey/brown in colour and tough. The salad was really plain (no dressing) and potato salad was terrible. I hadn’t touched my meal and it was eventually taken away. When we went to pay I was told everyone in the kitchen had looked at my meal and it was fine. Customer always right? Not at Jack Tar! To be fair we didn’t pay for my meal – but then I didn’t eat anything either. To add insult, when we checked the bill later that week we realised we had been charged for drinks we never had! We were given a credit and went back and had drinks recently. Couldn’t stomach the food again…
20th March 2012
I came here for dinner on Saturday, they had a waiting list but still went out of their way to get us seated quickly as we had our children with us. Although the place was packed we still got our food quickly, the staff were super friendly and the food was great, fish and chips and the fish of the day were beautiful, portion size was plentiful, the kids enjoyed a pizza and a jug of fries.
We will definitely be back!
by Bojana D.
12th March 2012
I would have also given this establishment 0 if that rating was available.
At the beginning of our night, everything had worked out well – we had reserved a table for a large group of people and as we arrived – the table was available and we were seated promptly. We were given menus quickly and offered to order drinks in the same manner. Once the whole table arrived – we ordered our food – and it arrived after a bit of a wait – understandable with such a large group.
The general feeling of the place was good and the staff were pleasant. The place was busy and staff were carrying around very large amounts of drinks to many tables. A recipe for disaster in terms of keeping track of who ordered what…..one staff member had a tray of over 15 drinks which she was keeping tabs on between different tables….
So after a pleasant evening – two things came at us as a surprise….one was that my fiancé was charged 5 dollars for a slice of cheese in his burger ( a little excessive by anyone’s standards) and two – we had 5 extra drinks charged to our bill which we definitely didn’t order. One can understand that mistakes happen with such a busy environment and we were happy to work through this with the staff, however we were approached by the manager who insisted that “the drinks were delivered to our table” and that we should pay for them. We had spent in excess of $500.00 in this establishment between all the members of the group – and rather than being civil and trying to resolve the issue – we kept being told that the drinks were delivered….although I don’t doubt that – they were not delivered to our table – and therefore we were not going to be paying for them.
It seems that the staff there are more concerned about 5 drinks vs their reputation – this left such a sour taste in my mouth – that none of the people were going to be returning to this establishment again! One should always remember the rule – the customer is always right. Attacking the customer or implying that they are lying will get you nowhere….
by Angela J.
12th March 2012
I am giving this 1 star, because it isn’t possible to give none.
The main considerations one usually takes into account when choosing a venue for dining are the cost, the service and the food. In Auckland I have noticed that at most places, you cannot have all three. One is usually sacrificed. You might be able to have a good meal, at a good price, but you will probably find your venue lacking in service.
When you trial a venue where you have not previously dined, first impressions are enormously important. My recent dining experience was met with a good first impression, The venue was comfortable. The décor and design was modern and easy on the eye. Overall the service was reasonable. We had our reservation and were not waiting around to be seated. As our guests arrived they were handed a menu and shortly afterwards a drinks order was taken. During dinner, some of the glasses remained empty for quite some time until a waiter was called over and we asked for a new drink. This is something that you can overlook when it is a Saturday night, and the place is busy. Generally, most of the time the staff were attentive, without being overbearing. The food arrived within a reasonable time, considering the amount of people at our table, and all at once rather than being staggered.
The bill arrived on our table and we were shocked and amused that one of the people in our company was charged $5 extra for one slice of cheese in his burger. He was going to query that was in fact correct when we went to settle our bill. However, that idea was quickly dismissed when payment of the bill became such an issue.
The end to our evening was distasteful and offensive. We were met with an unbelievably ill mannered staff member upon settling our account. Yes, there were about 10 of us, and they had advised it was no problem to split the bill. But the problem was that added to our bill were several drinks that we did not order, and were not delivered to our table. Trying to settle this issue put a damper on the whole evening. The staff member who was taking our payment insisted that several drinks of spirits were delivered to our table, and we must pay for them. We said that no, we were not going to be paying for them, and nothing of the sort was delivered to our table, intentionally or mistakenly. The repeated insistence that “they were delivered to your table” was met initially with confusion, followed by irritation and bewilderment in equal measures. We settled a bill that was close to $500, why would we want to tiptoe around paying for particular drinks when there was no issue with the rest of the bill?
Needless to say that none of the group will be returning to Jack Tar!
by Vicki D.
7th March 2012
On Sunday the 4th March as a family we all decided to take our mother and nana out for her birthday. Thank you so very very much for a wonderful day. The sun was shining which only made it better. The service was great and the food fantastic.As the name suggests we knew we would no doubt get real food ,not some tiny little morsel on a huge plate,and we were right,huge portions and really tasty. We all had something different and sampled each others dishes, and they were all yummy. Once again thanks
26th February 2012
Although the location is good, I am sorry to say this was one of the worst dining experiences I have had for a while. We attended for lunch with our 2 kids. My eldest daughter loves seafood and we ordered the seafood chowder a favorite. My husband ordered ribs and specifically asked if they were char grilled and asked for no added sauce after cooking. I ordered the cheese board and bread and specifically asked if there were 3 cheeses and told yes.
Th ribs came, clearly not char grilled, greasy and covered in the sauce we had requested be left off. The cheeseboard was not a selection but a pile of cheddar with some dried fruit. The seafood chowder was disgusting, lumpy cool and the fish smelt old it couldn’t be eaten. We finished the wine paid the bill and went next store to the pizza place for lunch as we were now starving. Will never go back. People around us also complaining about their meals.
by Mitch C.
18th February 2012
With a fantastic location, tasteful fit-out, and ok food and cold beer this place should be a sure fire winner. But throw in some of the WORST 80′s music known to man and you have a recipe for failure.
Sorry, but to be successful you guys need to tick all the boxes and having your bar managers erotic music preferences (John Farnham, Elton John, Billy Joel, Bryan Adams, Freddy Mercury, Bruce Springsteen) forced upon one, at loud volumes makes for a grating experience. I think in the perfect daytime setting no music was required, but if you insist on daytime music make it back ground, or make it damn good.
Wynard Quarter is an Auckland showcase of forward thinking urban design and your choice of music was embarrassing. This was only matched by the bar managers insistence that he only received compliments for the music when we complained, what a knob, go back to the Fat Ladys Arms where you belong. We are by no means music snobs but I would not endure this place again.
Honestly take some criticism on the chin and sort it out.
11th February 2012
We had a great meal that was brought out fairly quickly even though it was quite busy and we had to wait a little while for the table (just walked in though without booking). I thought the pricing was fair for the location. Most importantly we found the staff very friendly and attentive and were quite impressed overall.
by Tracey C.
22nd January 2012
Had my farewell dinner here, fantastic menu and great service. Very reasonable prices, great menu, I absolutely recommend this place!! Thanks for a fantastic night!
9th January 2012
Terrible place. Extemely difficult to make a booking – they do it through a call centre. So ended up giving up on the booking, just went in instead. The service was terrible – the waiter only took the meal orders off half the people on our table for some strange reason. We had to call him back so he could take the other orders! Once the food arrived it was also really very average – and really overpriced for what it was. They couldn’t even cook the chips properly. Won’t be back again.
27th December 2011
I’m giving this a bad review not based on the food – It sounded beautiful, but had to call three times to try and make a booking for 20 people – being told that I would be called back to have this confirmed, yet no one did so. I think maybe thay don’t want the business!!!! I won’t waste my time trying to do a large booking next time and will take my business to someone who appreciates it!
by Ryan P.
14th December 2011
Great Place, Great Service, Great Location
We were a group of 10 for lunch, The table was organized quickly seated looking out to sea. Chicken and Avocado Pizza was sooo good, My wife had the fish burger, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience, Thank you!!
by Karen R.
13th December 2011
An absolutely delightful experience at Jack Tar. My husband and 3 year old stopped in for an impromptu meal on a windy, rainy evening.
The place was a warm solace and gave us absolutely delicious food and helpful friendly service.
I liked the fit-out, with the warmth of dark wooden dining tables & chairs against the industrial concrete & original high-gables of the corrugated iron roof … and then offset by bright red or white funky bar-stools & wooden leaners.
The chips are the best I’ve had anywhere for ages. Huge big fat chunky ones that come out in a short retro-style enamel pouring jug – so cool! Plenty of them and very tasty.
The pumpkin, feta & rocket salad was gorgeous. Even my daughter was steeling bits of pumpkin & feta off my plate.
Hubby’s pizza was ‘delicioso’ as Dora’s backpack would say, I’m told – and again, pilfered by said daughter.
The friendly service was good.
Bathrooms clean & stylish as you’d expect.
We all left feeling happy, full and like we’d just enjoyed a really great treat.
by Harry B.
29th October 2011
The initial waiter who met us at the door was great & cleaned down the last available table straight away.
We were given menus & ordered pretty quickly.
It was mid afternoon so the two of us decided to get some share plates and a glass of wine.
The wine came quickly, but we were each given the wrong glass of wine.
The food followed. Fish cakes which were incredibly dry and served with a dipping sauce which was horrendous.
The Ribs were disgusting and tasted like they had been in the freezer for far too long before being deep fried and smeared with some glob of a sauce.
The chicken wings also tasted like they had been in the freezer for too long & had that “fridgy” taste.
The chips were excellent.
We were not approached after our initial order to check on our drinks (which were empty for some time)
After waving my arms around to get some service I ordered a coffee, only to be told that she would get someone to help me (why can’t she just forward the order to the appropriate person – not hard) Then another wait person comes to the table to ask what I want to order!
The coffee comes & it is putrid. I would have preferred to drink the dish water, which may have been preferable as it was so hot I couldn’t even pick up the glass without a napkin.
A truly terrible experience. I cannot see an establishment like this surviving after the tourists all leave.
by alison m.
14th October 2011
We dined on a Thursday night, quite busy, good atmosphere. I had squid salad and it was a good size but very salty. Others at our table had pizza and were happy. One thing that did annoy me though is that the waitress stood at the end of our booth holding the food but didnt extend her arms so we all had to reach to get the plates. Also she handed the pizzas to us and the plates were red hot!! she had a cloth but we didnt. After we had finished our meals, our table was cleared promptly. But no offers during the meal of more drinks, likewise at the end no offer of dessert or coffee. Upselling will lift your profits…….
by Bev H.
11th October 2011
We were visiting from Hawke’s Bay for the rugby and everyone in our party (10) agreed that Jack Tar was a great place to go before the game. Good simple food, great service and a very convivial atmosphere
by Maria G.
4th October 2011
Jack Tar well what can I say! For the big talk up of this new Auckland bar being so fantastic, yeah right.
The service was appalling, the “take a seat and someone be with you shortly” what a f***** J***!!!!!!!!
Young staff that just looked confused not a great look. pizza was dry and hard, fries were the best waiting on drinks well we gave up ther!!!!!!
Jack Tar needs improving, not a great experience for me. Hope staff get some talking too!!!!!
Good luck for the future.
by Helen H.
27th September 2011
On 26 September, my husband and I and a visiting friend called in to Jack Tar for lunch. As I have a dairy intolerance, I asked the waitress if the chef would be good enough to leave cheese off one half of a pizza I was going to share with my husband to start with. The waitress said there was a “BAN” on half-and-half pizzas – which sounded so aggressive and negative! I explained it was not half-and-half; it was the one pizza, just leaving cheese off half of it – easy. The waitress came back and said no, they wouldn’t do it, but when politely asked why, she said she didn’t know – and then there was silence. It was clear they didn’t want our business so we left. This apathetic service was advised to the manager on the way out and he said he’d take it up with staff, but it seemed not then, so we went elsewhere at Wynyard Quarter and enjoyed excellent food and friendly, cooperative service. I have NEVER had this request refused at ANY Auckland establishment serving pizza, including Prego, Manuka, the Parnell Italian restaurants and others. Jack Tar not only missed out on this intended lunch with drinks and coffees for the 3 of us, but also our future business, as the experience was embarrassingly negative and we will not return. There are so many good, friendly, positive places to go to instead.
by Chelsea P.
17th September 2011
I’m shocked to read some of the negative previous reviews as my experience was nothing but class.
My husband and I dinned here last Thursday evening after checking out the new wharf. It had a good menu and seemed busy (which is always a good sign), so decided to grab something to eat and drink here.
The atmosphere was awesome with even
better food, we had Pizza’s and Wedges and thought they were both delicious and also generous in serving size, with reasonable prices to match. The wait staff were lovely and friendly and very attentive considering the place was so busy with people coming in from what I gather having after work drinks and nibbles.
Overall I don’t have a single complaint and I just thought the rustic nature of the place, the service and the food was fantastic……..will definitely be my local when in Auckland, and highly recommend to go in and suss it out yourself.
by Jeff G.
17th September 2011
From looking at the reviews, you would assume this place is getting better. That’s definitely not true. I’ve been to Jack Tar 3 or 4 times now and it gets worse and worse every time.
From a 1.5 hour wait for a table (when we tried to book, we were told they didn’t take bookings, but upon arrival were told we should’ve booked 2 months ago…) to being told “so does f**king everyone else in here” when I told a waitress I’d like to order food on RWC11 opening night, my range of experiences is wide and varied, but consistently rubbish.
Just to be clear – I am not lamenting the fact that there was a 45-min wait to get to either of the 3 bar on RWC opening night, this was to be expected… sort of… (OK, maybe I am lamenting that a little )
Unfortunately, this place will succeed in spite of this fact. At least during the RWC anyway… and maybe a little longer into summer. But I forsee this place being a wharf-side shed once again very soon if they keep this up.
Skip it if you can.
12th September 2011
Arrived at Jack Tar 5.30pm on a Saturday night and were told to put our names on a waiting list and we would be seated after 6pm when food was being served again.
This was ok, but a little confusing, the staff looked confused about the system (was it a new one?) and we had to keep reminding them we were waiting and make sure people who walked in the door just didnt sit in an empty table.
A big PLEASE WAIT TO BE SEATED sign would help matters considerably.
The meals were large portion pub tucker. The fish and chips was great, my friend said his pizza was yum. Unfortunately the chicken burger was tasteless with what seemed like reheated frozen chicken and a smear of avocado when it said it came with guacomole. However, the chunky fries were outstanding.
Desserts were generous and tasty. My friend wanted a special coffee and that was not something they did so no special coffee for her.
I would recommmend Jack Tar purely on its chips and nothing else at this stage, but I am sure it has potential.
by Ben W.
5th September 2011
Like most of Auckland I was keen to experience a slice of the new waterfront development.
We cruised the area before deciding on Jack Tar, the place was humming and seemed to have a good vibe about it. I like the conversion of the old wharf shed, staying true to the heritage of the area but unmistakably modern.
The place was jammers and we were politely told we could expect a wait but if we wanted to take a seat and someone will be with us soon. Unlike most of the people having a good ole moan about waiting times, if you are told there is a wait, expect to wait!
The service was attentive if a little self-conscious, they are constantly on the move, in a very busy environment, the young staff were coping well.
Our meals arrived well with in the time promised – again if you are told there is going to be a delay you can’t complain.
The food was tasty and portions what you would expect from a modern bistro/bar. We had a couple of the pizzas to start and the steak as mains both lovely and the flavor combinations perfect.
I look forward to seeing how the bar develops on what it already has. Strong bones – great location – great menu and from what I could see a great team.
by Andrea B.
5th September 2011
Spur of the moment decision to dine at JackTar with friends visiting Auckland for the first time. Very impressed with the service and food we received. Great location too where it all seems to be going on. We were really happy there and stayed on for quite a while enjoying the atmosphere. I don’t usually write reviews but was surprised by the previous negative comments so thought I’d share some positive feedback.
5th September 2011
As previous reviewer we took the family of 6 here for Fathers Day.
Booths are comfy and ideal for a group of 6
Food cannot be ordered before 1130 am although they are more than happy to have people sitting and waiting….
We ordered our drinks, they duly arrived. Filthy glasses to enjoy our champagne out of, and waitress did not bother pouring it into any of our glasses, just plonked it onto the table.
An hour after ordering our meals arrived. The seafood chowder was cold. Our pizzas were nice, as were the pork ribs.
Overall a disappointing experience for the money.
Service and speed need vast improvement ! We notes several customers coming in from outside to try and get some service outdoors.
I hope this is not the best we can offer our overseas guests arriving for the Rugby this week !
by Michael H.
4th September 2011
A fathers day outing…. Approached the maitre-de at the door and asked for a seat and was told there was a half hour wait for a seat (plenty of empty seats in sight) and another half hour wait once my order was placed.
I asked why so many seats in a big restaurant if you aren’t able to supply food to them ?
Emma the so called manager promptly told me to piss off…not the end of this story Ill tell you that.
And I’m a local !
by Phil S.
2nd September 2011
Group of 5 for lunch. Jack Tar looked appealing (from outside) so we looked no further and entered. The place was quiet and very hollow. You’d think with it being a old warehouse they would have the music on to make it feel warm.
We took a seat, a waitress gave us menus and water, not a hi, how are you! Nothing.
After 10 minutes we called for a waiter and he took our drink order. Some more time passed and once again we had to ask someone to take our food order. Followed by the arrival of some half polished cutlery rolled in a napkin. Why! What are we supposed to do with a rolled up stuck together napkin!
The food arrived within 15 mins, good presentation, good portions. One of our meals wasn’t what we ordered but after being huffed at when we told waitress; to save time we took it anyway.
One waiter did come and offer more drinks throughout our meals and at the time one of group inquired about something that was on the menu but wasn’t on the meal to be told that ‘no it doesn’t come with with that’. Upon later inspection of the menu – in black and white the item was clearly stated on the menu!
We all finished to mediocre satisfaction when yet a different waiter appeared at the table and without a word cleared our table. No offer of more drinks, coffees or desserts.
After a further 20 minutes we decided to leave, paying the bill at the counter where we had 3 floor staff standing chatting. Good to see that they all spoke English but as one person paid the bill, not one of them muttered a word other than ‘receipt?’. We left feeling very ignored and unimportant.
For a bar that is new, and in such a high profile and advertised place we expected more!
Without major wait staff improvement this bar will struggle to see the other end of the RWC never mind next year. Real Shame!
by Casey H.
31st August 2011
A lot of staff! but…what are they doing?? They seem very confused.
Walked to the middle for reception, to be told their are no tables at the moment, but go get a drink and they would come and get us.
We did this, spending over $40 for the first lot of drinks at the bar, with no where to go, we stood around it while watching an un-organised bunch of staff?
We then walked outside to get a bit of air and sat out on the dock. Told 20 mins later by a waiter, we were not allowed to sit there and came back around the tables to stand and wait.
Saw a table, and walked over to see if we could get it, and beaten by people who just walked by?!! (40mins waiting now!) Then looked at the waitress as to why he has just let them sit down? 10 mins..found a table with 2 seats and went to grab a third and forth and the same waitress ran up to us and said, we couldn’t take seats from inside as the are not allowed out to make up the 4 seats we needed using inside seats? We said to him then, we had been here for ages waiting for a table and told when arrived to go get a drink and someone would come and get us, and he said…”well its stash and grab around here sorry”, “we don’t hold tables”
Hot and angry, we then grabbed a table outside for four and had to honesty clear the table ourselves, out everything on the little trolley they had outside and grab the cloth and wipe the table!
Sat down, happy to have a seat and waited for someone to give us menus. We had to whistle down the same waitress to ask for the menus, which he quickly passed to us and walked away?
Finally ordered by another waitress.
Food came out, and it was well presented. Portion sizes good and food tasty. Only lunchtime quality though! I would not accept this for dinner.
Walked off after eating. No one asked us if we wanted another drink, water or how our meal was throughout. Then went up to pay.
All the staff looked unhappy and stressed? and un-organised. Some wear their own clothes? They look the most unhappy. I felt like I was a hassle to have come in. Not a good feel for a new restaurant, in a new area of Auckland and especially not before the world cup! Maybe not experienced owners? Good luck to them, I am scared to think what it will be like after the World cup and beyond with what is is like now?
I have never critiqued before, but from my visit felt compelled to get onto the internet and write something. Hopefully the owners will make a change?
The person Susan who had made the review below, must be a friend? The reviews here speak for themselves.
30th August 2011
Jack Tar is a promising name, in a promising location, with a not fully realized but promising building.
The actuality of Jack tar was therefore a huge disappointment.
My friend and I went for lunch at Jack Tar on the 29th of August.
We were offered a seat at the end of another’s party’s table but declined in preference of the empty table.
Service was friendly and prompt with minor hiccups until our entrees arrived.
Not only were the entrees disappointingly small but also to our horror we had a worm in our oyster, it was greenish and wiggling.
Our waitress came over and took it away, to bring it back 1 minute later explaining the oyster had the worm in it because it was so fresh and that the chefs had washed it for us!!
I work in hospitality and I was appalled by this treatment of the problem. There were no apologies, no compensation and straight after the incident our service dropped to nil.
I told our waitress that we no longer wanted the oysters and would like a look at the menu again. Once she had dropped it off we were completely ignored, to the point the menu sat there until we left.
Knowing this and now having read some other reports of the restaurant it is obvious that Jack Tar was the worse choice for our lunch but luckily I doubt it will be open long.
by Abby W.
30th August 2011
First day on holiday since the start of uni – sunny but not too hot, so me and a friend decide to go out to lunch. After walking down to the Viaduct we decide to check out the new development and an enticing sounding menu persuades us to choose Jack Tar as our meal provider.
Walk around to the front door and enter; two waitresses at the till, one serving the other just standing around. After waiting a couple of minutes we end up asking the one not doing anything if we can have a table; she offers for us to sit at the end of a table built for eight, with four people at the other end. We decline and ask if we can sit at another table which has just emptied, which she says is fine.
Sitting down, I notice a tennis ball sized dust bunny by my chair – perhaps this should’ve been a sign.
Waitress was friendly and quick, brought our menus and some water to start. We read the menu and are approached by a different waitress to ask for drinks, who takes our drink order.
Not sure on the size of the meals, we ask the third waitress who comes back to ask for our food (yes, another different one), what the platters are like, to which she replies, they’re pretty big, like I’d say it’s be more than enough for you two. So we thank her, and ask for a few more minutes.
We decide on Oysters and the crusty loaf to start, followed by the seafood platter and if all goes well perhaps a dessert. (it IS the holidays after all.)
A fourth waitress returns a minute later to say they’re out of the loaf, so would we like pizza bread instead – that’s fine.
Food is brought out and the portions are relatively small. Having conversation with friend about the oysters – 3 oysters for two people… who gets the third?… when I notice something moving. yes. moving. There is a WORM in one of the oysters. a green stripey WORM.
So we call a waitress over and she takes them to the chef. She returns in a second with the oysters – “sorry about that, we’ve washed them now, it’s just because they’re so fresh.”
Oh. ok. they’re so fresh you don’t wash them? Friend is extremely squemish as it is and apologetically says to waitress,I’m sorry I can’t eat those. So waitress returns oysters to kitchen. She comes back and offers us a menu to order something else. No apologies, no offer of a meal or drink on the house. nothing. Friend works in hospo and is a little surprised at this.
We move on to choose the next meal and decide. only to wait fifteen minutes or so while waitresses stand around and talk at both kitchen and till, avoiding our eyes and table completely. Finally get to order our replacement meal and, as we have finished our starters order it to come with the main.
To cut a long story short; chips weren’t cooked well, seafood platter was not huge, in fact rather small for the price, and service was pretty terrible.
We got up to pay and again, it seemed the waitresses had disappeared; could have easily walked out with out paying. (actually regretting not doing it now.) Went to bar, bar man not very polite, pad our $65 and left.
On the plus side decor and bathrooms are great. Shame about the service and the worms though…
28th August 2011
I am really concerned at the level of service that not only your restaurant has given me today. But the whole strip is a total embarrassment. I got my own two bottles of wine from the bar. I went up and ordered my own food and when we finished the food the plates sat on the table for an hour. Nobody was interested in us and the staff look totally confused young and disengaged. please make us proud and get this sorted.
by MIchael B.
26th August 2011
5 of us went for dinner to try it out.
In a nutshell, staff under trained and very green! 10 minutes to get a menu after being seated, taking plates away when we haven’t finished, white wine glasses for red wine,4 water glasses for 5 people…
Food – Tapas style, $16 each gets you very little even for tapas and the quality of the food is average at best!
Very disappointing, they need to up their game big time or Jack Tar will be another fly by night restaurant.
by Brian N.
26th August 2011
The construction at the waterfront is really coming along nicely and they’re turning it into a world-class section of Auckland (now, how to get rid of the hideous tank farm?). Jack Tar looks to be a redone warehouse and they’ve done a great job with it – very nice decor and atmosphere.
I went there for lunch today and here are my comments:
- I would have liked to have sat outside on this glorious day, but didn’t want to bake in the sun. Their outside seating are looks like they just bought some tables/chairs this morning and stuck them out there. No umbrellas for protection, no plants for ambiance, and no barriers between the table and passersby. So, we went inside…
As we entered, we sat there for a few minutes waiting for a hostess/host to seat us. Unfortunately, though, the gaggle of people we were standing behind were all waiting to pay instead because the sole cash register is right there at the entrance. Once we finally asked the people in front of us, we made our way through the crowd and reached the hostess. She explained that there are no bookings and after looking around to see that there were no tables, she invited us to have a set in this oddly hidden section of two chairs behind the propped-open doors. We asked, instead, if we could join the two ladies sitting at a table for 8? She said, “Sure” and then walked away. ?! We walked over to the table ourselves and they kindly offered to let us join them.
…fast-forward to ordering time.
There were two of us and we asked if they could leave the meat off half the pizza we wanted to share and she quickly said, “No”. She said it so quickly that I thought she was joking and I asked, “Really?” She said they don’t allow half-pizzas because it’s too much work. To which I asked again, “Really? You mean I can’t order the pizza the way I want it?” She persisted and just stood there as we went back to the menu: no suggestions for what to get, instead, just a standing-there-waiting-for-our-order stare.
After she took our order, she asked us if wanted to open a table? I had no idea what that meant and she impatiently said, “I need to get a credit card from you.”
“What?”, I asked.
“I need you credit card before I can put your order in”, she replied.
“Really? I’ve never heard of this.” I said.
She didn’t seem to care that I’d never heard of it and left. I thought she was going to hand it back to me after writing something down, but, instead, she left!
We got our pizza – it was pretty tasty. The crust could have been cooked more, but no real complaints about it. The side salads for $7 (or $8?) were tiny and uninspiring – but no real drama.
As we went to pay, we stood behind a gaggle of folks who were – you’d think I was going to type “waiting to pay”…but, no, this time we got in line behind a bunch of people waiting to be seated. That figured out several minutes later, we paid after standing in the actual line of people waiting to pay (again, on the lone register) for about 10 minutes. While standing there, I noticed they keep a book-full of credit cards in a drawer on the desk of the other diners that were also coerced into giving up their cards. An elderly gentleman was giving the cashier an earful about security of one’s card and that one is taught to never surrender your card to someone else – she didn’t seem phased, though. This whole credit card thing is a “distracted cashier, stolen book of credit cards” fiasco waiting to happen.
When I seconded the elderly man’s dissatisfaction with having to surrender my credit card, she shrugged and said that I could have just closed my tab and paid my bill at the table after I’d ordered. I would have loved to have been given that option at the table and avoided the surrendering of my card along with the 10-minute wait to pay, I said.
I’ll chalk up today’s event to their being new at this and I’d potentially go back for a beer sometime – they do have some things to figure out before RWC. But then, the staff didn’t seem fussed either way to have me back though.
24th August 2011
Not a bad place. The food was okay – average bar fare and nothing to write home about. The pizza was extremely salty – something I never usually complain about, so I really mean EXTREMELY – and tasted very reminiscent of the “spaghetti pizzas” I used to make as a child. The cheese board was yummy – though at $34 I would have expected a bit more food. Desserts were nice, but again overpriced at $12 a pop – they were tiny! The coffee was surprisingly good. I’m not a Viaduct person, so this is probably not somewhere I’d return to, but it could be fun for the partying crowd.
by Yvette L.
24th August 2011
Looking forward to dinner and drinks at Jack Tar as we work close by. Granted it had only been open a few days but the wait staff had no idea about any of the food – the bartender even used a wooden stick up against the glass to measure out my wine. The food was very small portions for the price. The chips tasted old and unexciting and a lot of the entree fish was dry. The only good thing about the food was one lavender dessert that was tasty. We had a table of 8 people and NONE of us plan to go back.
23rd August 2011
I checked the North Wharf website for menus and identified Jack Tar’s as a likely candidate for a visit to Wynyard Quarter with out of town family – I didn’t try to book and as it sounds like they don’t take bookings anyway, luckily we decided to go on a Friday and dine before the lunch rush, at about 11.30am, because the new area and eateries were suddenly swamped – weekends must be impossible! We found a sunny spot inside by a window which turned out to be a big glass door which staff later opened so we had the best of both worlds. We were seated and served quickly and efficiently, though I was surprised to be asked for a credit card to ‘open a tab’. I wasn’t told and had to ask to confirm that the bill would only be split evenly, not separately – this suited us as we planned to share but could’ve been awkward otherwise. The menu encourages sharing ‘tapas’ style, even having an extensive range of share plates which is how we decided to go. Unfortunately two of three initially requested were already unavailable, due to being ‘very popular’, however they had not long opened for the day so this was a bit baffling! But our replacement order and other chosen items were all available and arrived fairly fast. The share plates of ‘Jack’s Catch’ fish and fish cakes were especially tasty although you certainly expect them to be with a price tag of about $16 each. The fries were excellent in taste and value, and come in a funky enamel jug. Our margarita pizza arrived a little after the other dishes which was actually perfect timing.
The North Wharf establishments have only been open for a few weeks, and it sounds like improvements have already been made. At Jack Tar’s I’d like to see more prominent signage about their bill policy including taking a credit card. The supply of popular menu items needs to improve, as there’s no excuse to be out of anything right after opening for the day. And service levels should be maintained through busy periods – there was a noticeable drop in friendliness and speed of servers as the lunch rush hit – but overall we enjoyed our dining experience at this fun and funky new restaurant in a very exciting location.
22nd August 2011
The atmosphere and location is great. food was defiantly worth the wait and the waiting staff were professional. However,it would have been a much better overall experience if there was an ability to book and we didn’t have to wait and compete with others for a table.
Overall I would recommend this as a good place to eat and expect once they will only get better as they find their feet
18th August 2011
Great view…..Great pizza….. and the Wine????? Super and the atmosphere….Oustanding! Although the restaurant is brand new the service is excellent! Will go there again! Keep your heads high and smile you are giving an excellent service!
by Leanne L.
18th August 2011
Went to Jack Tar for lunch today and unfortunately wont be going back.Had an outside table and waited 20 minutes and still no one had come to take our order,so had to go to the bar ourselves.Finished our drink and still no one had come to see if we wanted to order…so another trip to the bar to order drinks and lunch.Were told we couldn’t order inside that someone would come and take our order from our table(another 5min wait)Ordered a pizza and squid and the waitress bought us side plates that looked like they had come straight from the dirty plate pile in the kitchen.When she returned with our food,we asked for clean plates.The next two plates were even worse than the first two!We found the service extremely poor and the food very average.We had been hours earlier to Depot Eatery in Federal St,perfect service and food
by Kim E.
18th August 2011
Were excited to take colleagues to new area of Auckland, disappointed with not being able to book ahead after calling in earlier, and with no website or phone number available, I was told they don’t take bookings.
We arrived early to find a private function had been booked at the bar for 50 people,and we were prepared to wait outside for a table. We then finally got one table after an hour wait, then had to wait another hour before another table was free, even though they had 2-3 people sitting at tables with drinks, that could easily seat our 8. They should have smaller tables that can be joined for larger groups, rather than large tables with only a handful of people on them.
Staff and management were rude, and did not seem to realise we were a a paying customer with a close to $1000 bill. Food was small portions, beer was served in warm glasses, and we definitely would not go back.
Not sure how they are going to cope with larger crowds for the world cup. Disappointing.
6th August 2011
Nice view of the waterfront from our table. Coffee tasted ok but they came very late, after waiting for 20mins or a bit more. Maybe it was a busy day but it could have been nicer if our coffee came quicker than 20mins, did not look like they were organised well for their tasks.
(this review is from the opening day of Wynyard Quarter)
Review Two on 25th September
our second visit to Jack Tar. in spite our first visit rather negative experience, we wanted to try this place again for lunch. many people were enjoying their light meals or drinks around our table. the waitress quickly came and took our order of soup and fish’n chips, very simple menu, also two flat white.
We waited waited and waited and looking at people who came late but got their meals, they looked very happy. after 20-25 mins waiting without flat white even, we asked the same waitress about our order, she went and checked and told us we still need to wait for another 5 mins. waited another 10 or 15 mins (this stage we were very not happy and ready to leave) then we saw 3 guys who came late
and got their burgers,my quiet partner decided to go to see someone at the cashier and was told our order did not go through BECAUSE THE WAITRESS DID NOT PUT IT IN!
Another 5 mins later, we finally got our meal, they said sorry and our coffee would be free. our meal and coffee tasted good but of course our peaceful and happy Sunday lunch time in wynyard quarter was ruined completely.
For us, it was so obvious our table was the only one that did not get anything for such a long time, i thought they could see it too much earlier and could have checked if everything was ok before we had to go see them. as someone in the review said they have so many waiters and waitress walking around, but their service skills are very poor. taking orders and deliver the order is the very basic thing they do for their business. their staff need to be educated and trained much better what ‘service’ is about.
All this happened after they took our credit card to the cashier, so you know how we felt for what happened today!
We will choose somewhere else for our next visit to this beautiful location, but not Jack Tar.
Powered by menumania.co.nz