Owner since 1998, Dale has seen Vista develop from being a just a cafe into a bistro/restaurant. “Over the years we’ve developed the menu and extended our opening hours. So we now not only fulfil all the daytime needs of our neighbourhood, but we also turn into a bar with tapas in the early evening and become an a la carte restaurant later in the evening.”
Dale’s particular speciality is cooking beef, lamb and some seafood in his thermal immersion circulator; also known as sous vide. The food is vacuum-packed to seal in flavour and nutrients, and then cooked at a low temperature for up to 72 hours. “Our customers have grown to appreciate the tenderness and flavour of food cooked by this method so we’re always developing new recipes for our sous vide menu,” says Dale.
With husband Dale at the helm, and daughters Donella and Jaimee also working front of house, Vista epitomises what a true family business is. “We love being able to work with our daughters at Vista. We can see so much more of them this way, and also share our love of fresh seasonal food,” says Lexia.
To be found front of house most days, Lexia says she enjoys everything on Vista’s menu but does admit to a particular love of groper, as well as a crisp chardonnay and pinot gris.
Simon has been working front-of-house for us for five years. A self-confessed foodie and aficionado of Martinborough pinot noir 08, Simon has welcomed the strawberry season and being able to sit outside without wearing a jacket.
“Working here is so enjoyable with so many Oriental Bay and Mt Victoria people regarding Vista as their neighbourhood cafe. We love having them here,” says Donella.
Donella says she loves all food, with her favourite being Vista’s kedgeree and the wok fry. Her wine choices are pinot gris and Riesling.
Having just had her second son, Alex, a few weeks ago Donella is quite busy at home. We're looking forward to seeing her back very soon.
The fourth member of the Keith family at Vista, Jaimee works with us in the front of house - “just like a French bistro,” she says. A keen baker, Jaimee helps prepare our home-made bread – the sourdough, banana coconut bread, ciabatta, Turkish bread and the five-grain loaf.
Brian has been cheffing with us since 2010. He's a great seafood fan; shellfish in particular. What he loves at Vista is being able to change the menu to reflect what's in the catch of the day, and using seasonal fruit and vegetables.
Bacon & eggs is Jack's favourite Vista dish - "can't beat it" he says. Jack's been with us, as front of house, for a couple of years now. He's in his third year of a BA in politics and history at Victoria. As well as the bacon and eggs, Jack says he very much enjoys the family atmosphere at Vista.