Nic Watt has returned to his homeland from a stellar career in London as chief operating officer of highly regarded Japanese restaurant groups, Zuma and Roka. In the new year he is to open a contemporary Japanese Robata restaurant in SKYCITY’s Federal St
In my new restaurant guests will be seated around an open kitchen with the chefs and bartenders in full view of diners. The Robata principle involves cooking over open charcoal. The bar will host local and seasonally fresh fruit infused sake and shochu. The philosophy thread running through the entire menu is to source locally and sustainably wherever possible. Sourcing and foraging for the freshest ingredients is a personal choice. My own philosophy is to keep in touch with local producers as much as possible to ensure what I use is fresh and in season. Sourcing sustainable produce extends to my personal use too – outside a restaurant kitchen. I look for quality ingredients that are grown locally and I endeavour to support local artisans as much as possible. I buy free-range wherever I can. In terms of fish, I go for fish that is farmed sustainably, not wild-caught. We rely on aquaculture in today’s world in order not to deplete marine life. The aquaculture producers we have in New Zealand are world-leading in their approach to sustainability.