Owned by Matt and Kimberley Hayward (Hide Thirst & Hunger and Brew Co), Sailor is an ode to boats and rum, but the true inspiration for this Mont Maunganui venue was to create a new local for adults to eat and drink at, and then kick on.

It has a 1am kick out, and unlike other special-occasion restaurants in the suburb, they've designed it to be more of a casual stop-in – while still offering upscale and good-quality food.

Executive chef Perrin Yates (ex Picnicka and Clarence Bistro) is behind the menu. Despite the name, it’s not a seafood restaurant. Instead, the team liken Sailor to what you’d indulge in if you were cruising around New Zealand on a superyacht.

There’s pork crackling, crispy parmesan churros with fired-roasted capsicum sauce, and a burnt-butter crumpet topped with a lemony crème fraïche spanner-crab mix. Other dishes include a Boston-style crayfish roll with spiced Cajun butter. It’s served on a house-made sweet milk bun and sprinkled with pickled shallots. There’s also a yellowfin tuna niçoise salad; bavette steak with bearnaise sauce and hand-cut chips; Fiordland venison backstrap; and a roast pumpkin and makrut lime curry.

The neat but varied menu pairs well with the rum cocktails, such as a sweet and tangy Jamaican Daiquiri with Appleton Estate rum, or the Rum Old Fashioned with Ratu eight-year signature blend dark rum adding spiced oak and coconut flavours. There’s also ice-cold Peroni on tap and over 50 wines on the drinks list.

Designed by Kate Clay from interior architecture consultancy The Room, the venue is a sun trap with brass accents, moss-green finger tiles behind the bar, oiled cedar wall panelling and dark hardwood floors. A decked courtyard out the back continues the boat vibe.

Contact Details

Updated: August 22nd, 2023

We do not seek or accept payment from the cafes, restaurants, bars and shops listed in the Directory – inclusion is at our discretion. Venue profiles are written by independent freelancers paid by Broadsheet.