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 / 17
  • French onion soup, gruyère crouton / 19
  • 55 day aged fillet tartare, radish, free-range egg yolk, smoked miso mayo, crispy shallots, crouton / 21
  • Free-range pork belly, burnt apple puree, celeriac remoulade, compressed apple, crispy sage /22
  • Butternut squash, smoked halloumi, beetroot relish, black rice cracker /21
  • Black tiger prawns, calamari, bok choy, olive oil, garlic, butter, white wine, peri-peri sauce, milk bun /23


  • Market fish, scallops, yams, spinach, harissa, garlic, rocket, almonds /42
  • Half deboned roast duck, red cabbage relish, chorizo, Brussel sprouts, parsnip puree, walnut /44
  • 200g 55 day aged beef fillet, sweet potato, sautéed broccolini, bacon, potato galette, truffle jus /48
  • Free-range pork ribeye, confit garlic mash, portobello mushroom, mustard cream, chips /42
  • Royalburn lamb fillet, merquez sausage, Jerusalem artichoke, goats cheese, pear and date chutney, hazelnuts, brown butter /45
  • Wanaka phoenix oyster and lions mane mushrooms, pickled and fried, preserved lemon mayo, soy gel, /38


  • French fries with truffle salt
  • Steamed broccoli, silverbeet, kale, blue cheese dressing
  • Sautéed baby peas, bacon, shallots, butter
  • Confit garlic mash potatoes, chives

– please add $10.50 for sides –

Trust the chef 2course $60 or 3course $74


  • Vanilla crème brulée, almond crumb, boysenberry ice cream  / 19
  • Choux pastry, hazelnut praline diplomat cream, citrus textures, caramel, lime sorbet / 19
  • Almond friand, berry curd & coulis, rhubarb, rooibos gel, strawberry caramel, vanilla ice cream/ 19
  • Chocolate pastry flan, maple Chantilly, pop corn, walnuts, coffee crème anglaise / 19
  • Selection of house made ice cream and sorbets / 16

One 80g portion of cheese, served with accompaniments / 23

Selection of three 40g portions of cheeses, served with accompaniments / 35

Vanilla ice cream, espresso coffee, liqueur / 20


with wine matching

Soup of the Day
Maude Methode Traditionelle Brut NV, Marlborough

Butternut squash, beetroot relish, smoked halloumi, black rice cracker
Maude Pinot Noir ‘20, Wanaka

Market fish, scallops, yams, spinach, harissa, garlic, rocket, almonds
Jules Tayles Sauv Blanc ’21, Marlborough

Free-range pork belly, burnt apple puree, celeriac remoulade, compressed apple, crispy sage
Maude Pinot Gris ‘21, Wanaka

Almond friand, berry curd & coulis, rhubarb, rooibos gel, strawberry caramel, vanilla ice cream
Pegasus Bay Finale Noble ’19, Canterbury

5 Course menu / 120
Wine matching / 170

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

  • 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  Loved the food, the wine, the atmosphere and the service. The steak and the pork were amazing, the chefs dessert converted my partner to desserts, and the wine was lovely.... read more

    avatar thumb Bri1966
    December 12, 2019
  • star rating  The food was good, the service attentive, the tables are well spaced, the restaurant had a nice buzz but not too noisy for conversation. All the makings of a very... read more

    avatar thumb holyisle
    January 12, 2021
  • star rating  Great meal and great service. The lamb dish I had for mains was perfect, just could have done with a little more really. Other than that highly recommended.

    avatar thumb NzSimon
    September 24, 2019
  • star rating  Bistro Gentil created the BEST of problems- we wanted to eat more than we knew we could! After some haggling for favorites we had three entrees and two mains with... read more

    avatar thumb curiousgrins
    September 30, 2018
  • 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  While on holiday in NZ we visited Wanaka and celebrated my wife's birthday in this restaurant. Excellent food, good service and a nice and special way to choose your wines... read more

    avatar thumb leonp217
    March 23, 2019
  • star rating  Highly recommend reservation to avoid disappointment - parking at the rear or on the front or better still get a taxi - this is not really a place for young... read more

    avatar thumb MagicRoundabout365
    January 9, 2022
  • star rating  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
    March 24, 2020
  • star rating  Been traveling throughout New Zealand for about 3 weeks now. Wanaka is a great town to rest on the way to/from the west coast. After reviewing other TripAdvisor restaurant ratings,... read more

    avatar thumb mywaypete
    February 28, 2020


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’ $50 charge will be charged to the card, please refer to our kooking policy 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.

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!