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.

“We revisit typical flavour combinations using fresh seasonal ingredients from our kitchen garden and the best of our region. Lumina 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.

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


Bienvenue au Bistro Gentil


  • Chicken liver parfait cigar, quince paste, ash /7
  • Sourdough and Bistro’s compound butter /9
  • Manuka smoked olives /8
  • Rock oyster, shallot mignonette /7
  • Soft shell crab tempura, hot sauce mayonnaise /11
  • Lamb croquette, onion caramel, miso mayonnaise /11



  • French onion soup, gruyere crouton 13/21



  • Aged beef fillet tartare, radish, egg yolk, soy gel, miso mayo, crispy shallots, croutons /23
  • Burrata, fina seca wagyu, pumpkin seed pesto, edamame, asparagus, viniagrette /25
  • Roasted leek vinaigrette, goats cheese mousse, parsley sponge, egg mimosa, croutons /22
  • Earth board, selection of 3 cheeses, house chutney, walnut, croutons, sourdough /35


  • Market fish, lemon cream, cabbage savoy, fried sage /42
  • 200g 55 day aged beef fillet, red onion relish, onion caramel, potato dauphines, Café de Paris butter or blue cheese butter /55
  • Royalburn lamb tenderloin, cauliflower, blueberry chutney, broccolini, walnut, prego sauce /46
  • Braised broccoli, tahini, cauliflower, pomegranate dressing, wasabi peas /38
  • 200g Red Tussocks venison, pea purée, mint, sundried tomatoes, chorizo oil, red wine jus /46


  • Signature French fries with truffle salt /14
  • Carrots and parsnip braised in beef fat, spiced grains and parsley /14
  • Green garden salad, medlar vinaigrette /12
  • Kumara fries, aioli, chives /14


  • Vanilla crème brûlée, almond crumb, boysenberry sorbet /20
  • Chocolate cremeux, plum meringue, sesame and hazelnut praline, pickled blueberries / 20
  • Poached pear, almond crumb, ginger gel, pear balsamic, popcorn, vanilla ice cream /17
  • Colonel, lime sorbet, vodka Tried & True /17
  • Selection of house made ice cream and sorbets /17
  • Canelé de Bordeaux, French pastry with rum /10
  • Mini bistro desert /8
  • Affogato, vanilla ice cream, espresso, liqueur of choice /23

Feel like a sweet wine?

  • Pegasus Bay Finale Noble Sauv Blanc/18
  • Campbells Rutherglen Muscat/16
    Bon appétit !
  • star rating  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
    October 6, 2020
  • star rating  Bistro Gentil is, far and away, the best restaurant in Wanaka. My husband and I have enjoyed a meal here every time we come to Wanaka, but we also had... read more

    avatar thumb Jackie L
    May 27, 2018
  • star rating  Delicious food, stunning view! Reasonably priced given the quality of food. Would definitely visit again.

    avatar thumb Christine R
    October 4, 2018
  • star rating  This place is amazing. We sat out on the terrace and the view of the mountains and lake is lovely.
    The food is to die for. We had the... read more

    avatar thumb Katie B
    November 7, 2021
  • star rating  I live in Wanaka and try and get around the restaurants. Been here before and it never fails. Really good value. Highly skilled chefs knowledgable and charming wait staff. Great... read more

    avatar thumb Chefmetcalfe
    September 5, 2018
  • star rating  Dined here as a husband, wife and fussy teen. This place didn’t disappoint. Staff are excellent. I just kept asking myself why we can’t have more restaurants with great staff... read more

    avatar thumb vm183
    June 28, 2018
  • star rating  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
    March 17, 2020
  • star rating  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
    December 26, 2019
  • star rating  We are lovers of French food so picked this place while in Wanaka. Maybe we got it wrong but we found it more Modern and less French. I opted for... read more

    avatar thumb WZVZ
    August 20, 2022
  • star rating  The food was spectacular. We both had the duck with the maple syrup yams and it was all exceptional- easily 10/10. It was one of the best mains we have... read more

    avatar thumb bris1234
    July 25, 2018


To make a reservation, simply complete the form below, a credit card registration will be required to confirm your booking. No charge will be made to the card at this stage. In the case of ‘no show’ a $50 fee will be charged to the card. Please refer to our booking policy below. 

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

For parties larger than 9 people, we offer a 3 course 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 still have availability.

Please note that the cancellation must be requested 24 hours prior to the reservation time otherwise cancellation charges may apply. When booking we request credit card details via the secure Stripe payment platform in order to confirm the booking.

Bistro Gentil reserves the right to charge a cancellation fee of $50 per head when one of the following conditions has been met:
1. Booking is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.
2. Guests do not show up for the reservation (bookings will be considered no-show after 30 minutes)
3. Party size is less than the original booking by 2 or more guests without notice.
The cancellation fee will be deducted from the registered card on file and the person responsible for the booking will be notified by email.

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!



Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday 6pm till close

To Make a Reservation
Click here

For Inquiries
Ph: 03 443 2299
Email: bistrogentilwanaka@gmail.com