Whatever reservations you may have about the French, their cuisine is what makes it all worthwhile. Bistro Gentil brings the delights of French gastronomy to the beautiful shores of Lake Wanaka, and of course some decent Gallic wines too.

“We revisit typical flavour combinations using fresh seasonal ingredients from our kitchen garden and the best of our region. Cardrona Merino lamb, Aoraki salmon, Canter Valley duck…”

— Mario Rodrigues, Head Chef

The quaint bistro surrounded by lavender sits just outside of town, offering tranquil lake views and beautiful sunsets. An ideal way to spend your evening.

“Indulge in the classics from our À La Carte menu such as French Onion Soup, Beef Tartare or Crème Brûlée. If you simply can’t choose let our chefs spoil you with our 5 Course Tasting Menu with matching wines or for those feeling adventurous you can Trust the Chef”

Why not spend the day sampling local award-winning wine here at the Maude Tasting Room and stay on for dinner.


Get the Bistro Classics for $74
French Onion Soup, Beef Fillet & Crème Brulée

Choose 3 Courses from the A La Carte Menu for $69
Beef Fillet Supplement $7


  • Soup du jour / 15
  • French onion soup, gruyère crouton / 17
  • 55 day aged fillet tartare, radish, free-range egg yolk, smoked miso mayo, crispy shallots, crouton / 19
  • Ora King Salmon 3 ways, avocado, soy gel, grapefruit gel, pickled radish, fennel / 22
  • Soft cows cheese, smoked halloumi, butternut, persimmon, rice cracker, pomegranate dressing / 19
  • Wild shot venison carpaccio, poached pear, cranberry gel, sundried tomatoes, puffed wild rice / 20
  • Angus beef belly croquette, torched gin washed cows cheese, pickled cucumber, crispy parsley, quince jelly / 20


  • Market fish, scallops, celeriac, horseradish, perla potatoes, saffron & leek velouté, broccolini , chorizo / 39
  • 200g 55 day aged beef fillet, red onion relish, onion caramel, café de paris, potato dauphines / 46
  • Confit swede, kumara, créme fraiche, kale, sesame, shiitake mushroom, peppadews, parmesan & thyme crumb / 38
  • Lamb ribeye, neck croquette, mint salsa verde, preserved lemon, parsnip & harissa purée, hazelnut / 43
  • Confit duck leg, potato gratin, bok choy, silverbeet, cherry & orange brandy jus / 39
  • Angus hanger steak, beef shin croquette, cauliflower, beetroot relish, roast potatoes. walnuts, brown butter / 40


  • French fries with truffle salt
  • Sautéed baby peas, bacon, shallots, butter
  • Garden salad, apple vinaigrette
  • Winter carrots, cranberry, buckwheat, goats feta

– please add $9 for sides –


  • 2 courses / 55 p.p  -or-  3 courses / 65 p.p


  • Vanilla crème brulée, almond crumb, boysenberry ice cream  / 17
  • Unbaked fig cheesecake, strawberry & fig textures, candied walnuts, cocoa crumbs, ice cream / 17
  • Chocolate Brownie, miso caramel,pineapple, coconut & brandy chantilly, hazelnuts, dehydrated milk foam, chocolate sorbet / 17
  • Salted caramel set mousse, poached apples, earl grey gel, sesame praline crumbs, ice cream / 17
  • Selection of house made ice cream and sorbets / 15

One 80g portion of cheese, served with accompaniments / 21

Selection of three 40g portions of cheeses, served with accompaniments / 32

Vanilla ice cream, espresso coffee, liqueur / 19


with wine matching

Soup of the Day
Maude Methode Traditionelle Brut NV, Marlborough

Soft cows cheese, smoked halloumi, butternut, persimmon, rice craker, pomegranate dressing
Jules Taylor Sauv Blanc ’21, Marlborough

Market fish, scallops, celeriac, horseradish, perla potatoes, saffron & leek velouté, broccolini , chorizo
Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay ’20, Kumeu

Lamb ribeye, neck croquette, mint salsa verde, preserved lemon, parsnip & harissa purée, hazelnut
Maude Pinot Noir ‘19, Wanaka

Salted caramel set mousse, poached apples, earl grey gel, sesame praline, crumbs, ice cream
Framingham Noble Riesling ’19, Marlborough

5 Course menu / 100
Wine matching / 150

When the season allows, we enhance our dishes using fresh produce from the kitchen garden.

  • star rating  Magnifique - what a delight it was to sit at a table and dine at Bistro Gentil. The food & wine was amazing and enjoyed by all.
    The service... read more

    avatar thumb RobynD1060
    March 15, 2021
  • star rating  I’ve visited this restaurant once before and it was absolutely amazing so I had to return! Although the menu had changed slightly to my first visit, it didn’t let... read more

    avatar thumb taylarhiko
    May 21, 2019
  • star rating  We had dinner here for 4 to celebrate our sons engagement to his lovely fiance and their last night In New Zealand before flying home to the UK. The meal... read more

    avatar thumb Fredthefiddle
    February 15, 2020
  • star rating  This restaurant has it all. Amazing location with views onto the lake, charming building and interior, a French inspired cuisine to die for and very kind and subtle staff. Just... read more

    avatar thumb Mausl2014
    March 20, 2019
  • star rating  We ate here during our three night stay in Wanaka and it was absolutely delicious. Both dishes were perfectly cooked and delightfully flavoured. Service was relaxed and friendly, a good... read more

    avatar thumb Alex H
    April 15, 2019
  • star rating  What a dinner! Drinks, food, service and atmosphere were unbelievable, and very good looking chefs. Excatly what you are looking for on a girls night out.Good size portions; they don't... read more

    avatar thumb pavyy
    June 23, 2020
  • star rating  The best view anywhere in the world! We soaked up the view and clean air whilst we waited for our table. The food was yummy and presented beautifully. It is... read more

    avatar thumb Mcfetties
    February 8, 2020
  • star rating  Fabulous meal, thet best we have eaten in a long time. Easily beats the #1 rated place.

    Best on a nice day, to eat outside.

    avatar thumb rbertolott
    January 14, 2020
  • star rating  My husband (woo!) and I recently wed in an intimate ceremony in Wanaka, New Zealand, and we chose Bistro Gentil for our celebration dinner with our family that evening. Sinead... read more

    avatar thumb kimwaldo
    October 10, 2019
  • star rating  Loved the ambiance. We went in winter and the restaurant is cozy and has lovely character. Service cannot be faulted. However, the food was a bit of a let-down on... read more

    avatar thumb H M
    July 16, 2021


To make a reservation, simply complete the form below.

For private hire, large groups and special requests email bistrogentilwanaka@gmail.com.

For parties larger than 8 people, we offer a set menu so we can deliver the best service. Please email us for more details.

If you are unable to make a reservation online call us on 03 443 2299 as we may have still availability.

A request from us:

If you are unable to honour your reservation or would like to make any changes, please let us know as soon as possible. It is important that we reallocate seats to our waiting list during busy times.

We are a small restaurant, so the amount of staff on in an evening is based on our bookings. We will love you for it!