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.



  • 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
  • Seared yellowfin tuna, soy mayonnaise, wasabi, seaweed, fennel, lime gel, lavosh / 20
  • Asparagus, fried egg purée, orange, spiced almonds, goats maasdam cheese / 19
  • Wild shot venison carpaccio, poached pear, cranberry gel, sundried tomatoes, puffed wild rice / 20
  • Angus beef belly croquette, torched goats cheese, beetroot, spring onion, plum chutney / 20


  • Market fish, celeriac purée, bok choy, sauce vierge, puffed buckwheat, fried parsley /39
  • 200g 55 day aged beef fillet, red onion relish, onion caramel, blue cheese butter, potato dauphines / 46
  • Parisienne gnocchi, mushroom, pine nuts, courgette, smoked eggplant purée, comté, kale /38
  • Te Mana Lamb backstrap, pancetta, cauliflower, broccolini, blackberry purée, Cajun sheep labneh, black garlic dressing / 44
  • Confit duck leg, parsnip purée, red cabbage, pickled apple, sunflower seeds, pecans, shallots, jus / 39
  • 55 day aged ribeye, spinach, white bean, fried potato, walnut & fenugreek cheese, brown butter / 44


  • French fries with truffle salt
  • Provencal garden salad, apple vinigairette
  • Silverbeet, broccoli, lemon & tarragon butter
  • Peas, bacon, shallots

– please add $8 for sides –


2 courses / 55  -or-  3 courses / 65


  • Vanilla crème brulée, almond crumb, hokey pokey ice cream  / 17
  • Cirus, almond sponge cake, homemade mascarpone, sorbet, candied almonds / 17
  • Hazelnut friand, boysenberries, crème anglaise, meringue, lemon chantilly, sorbet / 17
  • Salted caramel set mousse, sous vide cooked apples, earl grey gel, 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 / 18


with wine matching

Soup of the Day
Maude Methode Traditionelle NV, Wanaka

Asparagus, fried egg purée, orange, spiced almonds, goats maasdam cheese
Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc ‘19, Marlborough

Market fish, celeriac purée, bok choy, sauce vierge, puffed buckwheat, fried parsley
Raats Old Vine Chenin Blanc ’17, Stellenbosch SA

Te Mana Lamb backstrap, pancetta, cauliflower, broccolini, black berry purée, Cajun sheep labnah, black garlic dressing
Maude Pinot Noir ‘18, Wanaka

Salted caramel set mousse, sous vide cooked apples, earl grey gel, crumbs, ice cream
Framingham Noble Riesling ’18, Marlborough

5 Course menu / 100
Wine matching / 150

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

  •   Lacklustre service but food food
    If I was the chef here I would be disappointed to see this comment, food was generally pretty good however let down by poor... read more

    avatar thumb Q5958IBchriss
  •   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 Lgyajh1987
  •   Lovely location with great views. Food delicious. Outside eating. Loved the "credit card" and wine dispenser

    avatar thumb christinafreeman
  •   Rare is it that I find a restaurant that can satisfy my tastes and feel comfortable dining in - the portions are just the right size, not too small or... read more

    avatar thumb siobhanplace8
  •   Recommended by both the waitress in the pub and our accommodation host!! Stunningly good. Casual atmosphere yet slightly poshy. The food was the winner. Monk fish was sensational and the... read more

    avatar thumb Joanne P
  •   We went on a Friday night and there weren’t many people perhaps because it’s not in the downtown area. There’s inside and outside seating in an attractive setting. We had... read more

    avatar thumb redroverma
  •   Totally blown away by the experience. Great food, wine and service. As locals, we tended to stick to ‘tried & tester’ but was game to try something for our Silver... read more

    avatar thumb C2MeiD613
  •   Delicious modern French cuisine served in a cute restaurant overlooking the hills in Wanaka. Service took a little too long though, but overall was a good experience.

    avatar thumb christianrD6666CP
  •   We had excellent food our entire wonderful Backroads trip but Bistro Gentil was my favorite.
    Beautiful setting, comfortable seating, elegant casual decor. Servers were excellent, even serving our group of... read more

    avatar thumb RandiFayeC
  •   Saturday night was a wonderful experience, lovely surroundings, greeted with a friendly smile on arrival, seated and offered a drink, completely unhurried to decide what you would like, mouth watering... read more

    avatar thumb Suziqs


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 for more details.

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!