We were having a birthday lunch at work and decided to wander from the Viaduct Harbour where our office are, across to the new Wynyard Quarter. We were pretty sure we’d find something amongst the line up of new restaurants alongside the wharf.
After walking past a number of flash looking places (with their accompanying flash prices I might add!) we came across Jack Tar, which looks like it is built out of an old shed or warehouse. Inside, they have kept the somewhat rustic charm, but updated it substantially to give a quirky modern look.
Service is excellent – quick and helpful but not overbearing. The menu is excellent with lots of yummy looking lunchtime options. Everyone is having a great time. Just one problem. There is no indication as to whether any of the items on the menu are gluten-free. In fact, there is no indication or acknowledgement of any food allergies.
When the waiter arrives, he is very helpful. “Yes,” he says, “these two salads are gluten-free”. “But I don’t want a salad” I reply. A frown. Then a light dawning. “We could do the fish and chips and just grill the fish” he offers. Pretty good I think, and ask if they have any gluten-free burger buns. A very blank look, then a flat “no”. I begin to pout, but then one of my dining companions suggests I have the burger without any buns. Great thought, and the waiter is happy to take my order for a bunless chicken, bacon and avocado burger.
The bunless burger proved to be very pleasant although I had to ask for the avocado. The waitress this time said “we didn’t put any on because we normally spread it on to the buns”. She kindly brought me avocado in a dish so that I could spread it on my chicken. The hot chips were excellent – hot, crispy and incredibly large and chunky.
General feeling from my companions was that it was an outstanding lunch. The food really was very good, prices were great (our burgers were $19 for instance and it was a large serving size) and the wait staff were efficient and helpful. Our food came quickly and we were able to eat comfortably within our allotted hour, even with the walk there and back. I would give Jack Tar 7 out of 10, but they could easily improve this by doing two simple things.
- In their freezer, have a couple of packs of gluten-free buns or baps (Venerdi do very nice ones).
- On their menu, note that gluten-free options are available.
So all-in-all, it was a good dining experience, and the work team will be going back there again! But come on guys, in this day and age, offer some options and notes for those with food allergies and intolerances!
Update 28th Nov:
I emailed this post to Jack Tar, and here is their response:
Thanks very much for coming to visit us with your friends and for taking the time to
review us on your blog.
I’ve passed your feedback on to the restaurant staff and they’ll be
addressing the gluten issue at their weekly meeting.
Thanks again and we look forward to entertaining you at our place again sometime.
Kind regards Rebekah